Tag Archives: Earth

WATER PIPES BURST ~ CAUSE AND PREVENTION

WATER PIPES BURST

BRRR!!! ~ IN THE DEEP FREEZE NOW!!!

   Right now, like many other Canadians, we are in a deep freeze and should be aware of the following causes and prevention steps we can take to avoid costly and heart-breaking damage to our homes from burst water pipes – here or away on holiday.  I’ve added ‘Prevention of Burst Pipes’ and ‘Tips on preventing your pipes from freezing while on vacation’ Why Do Pipes Burst the Way They Do? at the end of this blog.

The following are excerpts from Why Cold Weather Makes Your Water Pipes Burst written by Nick Berry – DataGenetics – 12/11/13
We’re currently experiencing colder-than-seasonal weather here in Seattle. This is causing a lot of problems with burst water pipes. Here is a picture of a couple of issues suffered by a friend of mine Ian.

Why do water pipes burst, and why do they always fail the same way? These are two interesting questions.
Water pipes burst because the water inside them expands is it gets close to freezing, and this causes an increase in pressure inside the pipe. When the pressure gets too high for the pipe to contain, it ruptures.
We grew up with water all around us and so this expansion phenomenon seems natural, but interestingly, it is a chemical anomaly. Most liquids do not expand just before transition to solid. You should be thankful for this; it is one of the reasons that life exists.
When a liquid cools the molecules slow down (temperature really is just a measure of the average kinetic energy of the molecules). This slowing down allows the molecules to get closer together and increases the density of the liquid. This happens with water too, and when water is cooled down, it gets denser and denser, down to 3.98°C then, something interesting occurs; it starts to expand again.
DENSITY OF WATERYou can see this effect on the graph …which shows how the density of pure water changes with temperature (at one atmosphere). You can see how density reaches a maximum at 3.98°C.

 

Because of the shape of a water molecule, it is slightly polarized. The electrons buzzing around it are more likely to be on one side of the molecule than the other (called a dipole), and this asymmetry creates a slight potential. Water molecules are attracted to each others’ opposite sides. These potentials create weak bonds that are called Hydrogen Bonds. Hydrogen bonds, whilst not as strong as covalent bonds or ionic bonds, are stronger that van der Vaals forces.

WATER MOLECULE2This extra hydrogen-bond ‘glue’ holding water molecules together is the reason why water is a liquid at everyday temperatures and pressures (another one of the reasons life exists). Other chemical compounds similar to H2O, but without the benefit of Hydrogen bonds, are all gases in typical Earth temperature ranges.
The Hydrogen-bonds in water are also the reason why water has such a high specific heat capacity (the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of water one degree); this helps dampen our weather and stops the Earth changing in temperature too rapidly. It also means that water is great for carrying energy around (like in power stations and hydronic central heating systems). It’s also why it takes a lot of energy to boil a kettle to make a nice cup of tea!
As water cools, like other liquids, the molecules slow down and get denser. A competing force, however, is the desire for the water molecules to align with other water molecules based on their Hydrogen bonds, and this causes expansion. Below the temperature of 3.98°C down to 0°C, this alignment expansion process wins out against the desire of slower molecules to get closer, and density decreases.
Whilst not completely understood, it is this expansion that causes beautiful snowflakes to form with their characteristic six points.
This decrease in density continues until the water finally freezes to form ice. Water expands to form ice which has a volume up to 9% greater than the water it came from. It is this reason that icebergs float (being less dense than the water they displace).
Again, it seems natural to us that ice floats, because we grew up this all effect all around us, but this is atypical.
Most other liquids, when freezing, do not form a solid ‘crust’ on top. As they cool, the solid formed, being denser, drops to the bottom of the cooling liquid and the solid grows up from the bottom!
This irregular behavior of water is yet another reason that life exists. When water freezes, it floats to the top, forming a skin which insulates the water below. When a river or lake freezes on top, life continues below in the liquid left underneath.
Why Do Pipes Split Longitudinally?
We know now that is it the expansion of water causing excess pressure inside the pipe that causes it to rupture. The second question to answer is why they always seem to burst parallel to the direction of the pipe?
SAUSAGES(Regular readers of my blog will find a lot of duplication in this topic to my posting about why sausages split the way they do. It’s the same reason).

Let’s model a section of water pipe as a thin-walled cylinder with hemispherical end caps.
What does that mean? It means that we’re only concerned with modelling the wall of pipe (the thing that fails). Thin-walled means that the thickness of pipe is considered negligible compared to the diameter of the pipe (in this way, we only need to consider the tension in the wall).
According to Pascal’s Principle we’ll assume the pressure of the fluid inside the pipe is uniform.
Stress is defined as Force per Area, and can be calculated by dividing the forces experienced over the cross-section upon which they are applied. We’ll use the Greek letter σ to represent stress.

HOOP STRESSHoop Stress
To calculate the hoop stress, we look at a slice down the center line of the pipe and consider the forces in a small hoop of width dx.

As before we calculate the force by the internal pressure multiplied by the area it is applied over:
Force = P.2r.dx
The area this force is applied over is the two parts of the ring at the top and bottom of the cylinder:
Area = 2.t.dx
Combining these, we can calculate the longitudinal stress:
σh = P.2r.dx / 2.t.dx
σh = Pr / t

HOOP STRESS_FIRST

LONGITUDINAL STRESS_FIRST

LONGITUDINAL STRESSResult: Comparing the two results, we can see that the hoop stress in the wall is twice that of the of the longitudinal stress. It should, therefore, be no surprise that pipes burst through a hoop failure and create a rupture that runs perpendicular to the line of maximum stress.
Hoop Stress: σe = Pr / 2t
Longitudinal Stress: σh = Pr / t

In other words, insulate your pipes this winter!
________________________________________
This post was originally published on Data Genetics, a site created by Nick Berry was educated as a rocket scientist and aircraft designer, graduating with a Masters Degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, and currenty works as a Data Scientist at Facebook.

WHY

Prevention of Burst Pipes:

  • Make sure you know where your stop cock is. If you do not know where your stopcock is or how to operate it then please take a look at our blog on main stopcock.
  • Ensure that any outside taps and piping including drain pipes for heating or overflow pipes are insulated. You can use insulating lagging or foam to do this but make sure you do not leave any joints, bends or taps exposed. For outside taps fitted covers are available.
  • Any piping that are in unheated areas such as lofts, basements and garages all need to be lagged with good quality pipe lagging.
  • Any pipes buried in the ground outside such as pipes to garages or sheds need to be buried deep enough and/or lagged.
  • Insulate your cold water tank, this is so often forgotten and can be the major cause of Burst Pipes.
  • Leave your heating on at least 12 degrees centigrade at all times throughout cold spells. This will keep the system warm enough not to Burst Pipes and the water flowing.
  • Fix any dripping taps or existing leaks before the cold spell. Many Burst Pipes happen because of leaks.
  • Have your Central Heating System serviced regularly.
  • In particularly cold spells leave the loft hatch open as this will allow the warm air to circulate around the loft space and warms any pipes in that space, reducing the risk of a Burst Pipe.
  • If your home will be unoccupied for any space of time, turn off the stopcock, drain any water from the system and close the taps again (this is very important), leave your heating on. Most heating systems will continue to work without the mains water on for a period of time. Most importantly of all make sure that someone can check on the house from time to time. As much as you can do these actions to prevent a Burst Pipe sometimes Burst Pipes will occur and the sooner you can deal with them the better.
  • If you have any doubt or if you cannot do any of these measures yourself then make sure you get in touch with a good emergency plumber who will carry out these jobs and advise you further. Remember that the cost of a burst pipe can be thousands so a little preventative cost can save much more in the long run.

Tips on preventing your pipes from freezing while on vacation:

  • Ensure all windows and entry doors are closed tightly including crawl space doors if applicable.
  • You must NOT turn the heat off, but turn it down to 55 degrees.
  • Do not turn the hot water heater off but rather, setting your hot water heater on the lowest heat setting possible will keep it functioning at a minimum level, while saving you money on your energy bills. Some water heaters have a “vacation” setting which should be utilized.
  • Open all kitchen/bathroom cabinet doors under the sink and the door to the water heater closet to ensure circulation of warm air.
  • If you are going to be gone for a short period of time and a deep freeze is expected, turn on all hot and cold faucets including bath and kitchen to a slow drip. Tape a note on all dripping faucets reminding others to leave dripping.
  • If you are going to be gone for a week or more, shutting the water off to the whole house would be a great precaution. Others have recommended to turn off the water to your sinks, toilets, dishwasher and washing machine.
  • Undo all garden hoses from exterior faucets.

HOW EARTH MADE US – WATER ~ A MUST SEE VIDEO!!!

HOW EARTH MADE US_WATER

How Earth Made Us – The untold story of history.

This is part 2 in Professor Iain Stewart’s series, “How Earth Made Us”.  I highly recommend you take an hour to watch it as it is superlative!!!

Our planet has amazing power, and yet that’s rarely mentioned in our history books. This series tells the story of how the Earth has influenced human history, from the dawn of civilisation to the modern industrial age. It reveals for the first time on television how geology, geography and climate have been a far more powerful influence on the human story than has previously been acknowledged. A combination of epic story telling, visually stunning camerawork, extraordinary locations and passionate presenting combine to form a highly original version of human history.

Youtube video, “How Earth Made Us – Water”, uploaded on May 16, 2011 – Of all our planet’s forces perhaps none has greater power over us than water.  For me water is the most magical force on earth.  The presence of water shapes, renews and nourishes our planet.  It’s our planet’s life blood, that pumps through it continuously…

Water

This time he explores our complex relationship with water. Visiting spectacular locations in Iceland, the Middle East and India, Iain shows how control over water has been central to human existence. He takes a precarious flight in a motorised paraglider to experience the cycle of freshwater that we depend on, discovers how villagers in the foothills of the Himalayas have built a living bridge to cope with the monsoon, and visits Egypt to reveal the secret of the pharaohs’ success. Throughout history, success has depended on our ability to adapt to and control constantly shifting sources of water.

Discover why societies have succeeded or failed, and how the environment has influenced every aspect of our history from art to industry, religion to war, world domination or collapse. Visiting some of the most iconic places on Earth, How Earth Made Us overturns preconceptions about our civilisations and our cultures to offer a new perspective on who we are today.

~Youtube video presented by Professor Iain Stewart ~

Link to ~ How Earth Made Us—a masterly BBC documentary

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/04/eart-a21.html

 
Our heartfelt thanks to Professor Stewart
for his exceptional accomplishment!

‘Grand Canyon’ of Greenland Discovered Under Ice Sheet

View of the subglacial canyon,
looking northwest from central Greenland

GREENLAND

The age of discovery isn’t over yet. A colossal canyon, the longest on Earth, has just been found under Greenland’s ice sheet, scientists announced today (Aug. 29) in the journal Science.

The following reblog is from counselheal.com’s article by Cheri Cheng ~ In an accidental find, researchers identified a huge canyon underneath Greenland’s thick ice sheet. This canyon is roughly twice as long as the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The newly discovered canyon is believed to be 800km or 497 miles long and 800m or half mile deep. It is encased under the ice and carved out by a great river.

GREENLAND TOPOGRAPHIC“With satellite images instantly available on a mobile phone we could assume that the Earth has been fully mapped, but there’s clearly a lot left to discover. We’re incredibly excited about this – it really is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery to find something on this scale,” the lead author, Professor Jonathan Bamber of Bristol University said according to BBC News.

Youtube video, “Greenland’s Mega Canyon, posted August 29, 2013 by mvdktube ~

The researchers came across the canyon as they were studying climate changes in the ice sheet. The researchers were interested in finding out how global warming will affect the melting of the ice sheet. Over the past years, central Greenland was 500m or 0.3 miles above sea level. Now, central Greenland is 200m or 0.1 miles above sea level, a drastic change. Upon doing their research, the team used radar to bounce off signals from the bedrock beneath the ice sheet, which is currently two miles thick. By using certain frequencies, the researchers knew that the ice sheet would be transparent to radio waves. With the help of previous research from NASA and from research out of the United Kingdom and Germany, the team found the canyon.

 PETERMANN GLACIER“The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets hide a lot. It’s pretty surprising to find this canyon. Greenland isn’t that big for a canyon of that size and for it to survive in its pre-glacial form after successive glaciations is quite something,” Professor David Vaughan from British Antarctic Survey said. “There’s likely to be some sort of bacteria down there – whether it’s viable is a different matter.”

The researchers believe that the canyon existed before the ice sheet developed. They also theorized that parts of the canyon might have been visible 100,000 years ago. The canyon currently runs through the center of Greenland and up to the northern coastline. It runs “downhill” and the water from the ice sheet trickles out slowly by the northern end.

This new find is extremely exciting. The canyon is believed to be one of the largest ones in the world. The report was published in Science.

Link to article ~
http://www.counselheal.com/articles/6552/20130830/researchers-discover-huge-canyon-under-greenland-s-ice-sheet-video.htm

WATER IN EARTH’S NEXT EPOCH ~ ALARMING!!!

EARTH GRAPHIC COVER THE ECONOMIST JUNE 2011

Beautiful YouTube video,  ‘Water in the Anthropocene’, post on geek.com by May. 26, 2013 It’s not easy to visualize the global impact of modern man on our Earth. Fortunately, there’s this great video to fill in whatever gaps you may have.  It’s impossible to argue with the fact that modern man has impacted the world, but seeing, explaining, and understanding remains difficult. One way to do so would be to focus on the changes we have made that affect one of our most important natural resources, our water supply

EARTHWhen you think about everything in our world that needs water, and then think about how mankind has affected that resource on a global scale, the chances are high that you lack the whole picture. Fortunately, this short video on how we as humanity has affected water in the world today is here to help paint the global picture.

ANTHROPOCENE CHART

It is currently being debated whether we are currently living in or on the verge of the next epoch, the Anthropocene. Before now, the Earth was affected by natural forces and organic structures. It still is of course, but in our lifetime we have created structures and organized ourselves as civilizations that are now changing many of those natural forces and organic structures. It’s interesting to be able to see that kind of thing on a global scale, and wonder how the next generation of humanity will interact and change the planet.

STOERMERThe geological epoch we are currently in is formally known as the Holocene. Anthropocene is an informal term coined by Dr. Eugene F. Stoermer, who found Holocene to seem incorrect given the impact of man on the Earth. The Holocene is widely accepted to have started about 12,000 years ago, so it’s quite understandable that the developments humans have made over the past few hundred years alone would be sufficient to be considered the dawn of a new era, even a geological one.

2013 BONN CONFERENCE Links related to article:
More info at –
 

BILLION YEAR OLD WATER FOUND RIGHT HERE IN CANADA!!!

Collages1A team of British and Canadian scientists think they’ve found the oldest water sealed off from the Earth’s atmosphere hidden deep in the Earth’s crust, and estimate it is between 1.5 and 2.67 billion years old. 

YouTube video, “1.5-Billion-Year Old Water Discovered”, published by GeoBeats News on May 17, 2013 ~

The researchers analyzed water welling up from boreholes drilled 1.5 miles under the planet’s surface in a zinc and copper mine in Timmins, Canada.

YouTube video, “Gold Diggers Unleash Water Trapped in Rock for 1.5 Billion Years”, published by slatester on May 17, 2013 ~


An analysis of the water, particularly its xenon content, suggests it is at least 1.5 billion years old, and even much older if it was around at the time as the rock formations in which it was found — an age range that came as something of a shock.  “We were expecting these fluids to be possibly tens, perhaps even hundreds of millions of years of age,” said Chris Ballentine, a geochemist at the University of Manchester, in a statement.  The water was found in the Precambrian Shield, a geological formation covering much of northern Canada, which billions of years ago was at the bottom of a sea. While the water is still being analyzed for signs of microorganisms, it does contain hydrogen, nitrogen, and methane in forms that could support life.

YouTube video, “Scientist Find Oldest Water On Earth”, published May 16, 2013 by VideoNewsPortal ~

 Greg Holland, a geochemist at Lancaster University in England, announced in the journal Nature, that this is the oldest cache of water ever found.  “That is the lower limit for the age,” Holland says. It could be a billion years older. That means the water was sealed in the rock before humans evolved, before pterosaurs flew and before multi-cellular life.  But how did it end up underneath that gold mine in north eastern Canada? Where did it come from? “The fluids that we see now are actually preservations of ancient oceans,” Holland says.  About 2.7 billion years ago, the landscape of small-town Timmins looked a bit different. Beneath prehistoric seas, tectonic plates were spreading, and magma was welling up to form new rock. As the rock matured under heat and pressure, water was trapped inside tiny cracks.  The rock drifted around the globe for eons, helping form continents and mountain ranges, and all the while it kept its cargo of water sealed up tight inside.  “It’s managed to stay isolated for almost half the lifetime of the Earth,” Holland says. It’s a time capsule. And it doesn’t just hold water. “There’s a lot of hydrogen in these samples.” That’s significant because hydrogen is food for some micro organisms. Hydrogen-eating microbes have been found deep in the ocean and in South African mines where chemical reactions in the rock produce a steady supply of hydrogen. And that hydrogen, says Holland, “could provide the energy for life to survive in isolation for 2 billion years.”  Holland’s colleagues are now testing the water samples for evidence of microbes. They hope to have results within a year. If life is found, it would have evolved distinctly from the surface world and might give a unique insight into the earliest forms of life on Earth. Its discovery would also give hope to people searching for life in places that are even more remote. geologyterrain

This map, from the United States Geological Survey, shows the age of bedrock in different regions of North America. Scientists found ancient water in bedrock north of Lake Superior. This region, colored red, was formed more than 2.5 billion years ago.

WATER ~ EVERY DROP INVOLVED IN AN AMAZING RELATIONSHIP

AFRICAN SAVANNAH

Reflections at the Water Hole, by Bryan Karney, Water Canada Nov./Dec. issue

The memory is vivid: the parched, dusty East African savannah, the grassy plain dotted with elegant acacia and the rarer baobab twisted into mysterious shapes. In the foreground, a social congress of animals concentrated at their water hole, lying tranquil under the lengthening afternoon shadows.
After many years, the scene still reminds me of water as central and sustaining, the foundation of a complex system of animal and plant communities that reach beyond the limits of sight and that run as deep as the termites and as high as the clouds… Like the water hole, the remarkable properties of water arise from the wholeness of its structure and the company it keeps. A single water molecule is fundamentally asymmetric: one side hydrogen-rich and statistically lacking in electrons, and thus slightly positive charged, and the other relatively hydrogen-free portion being disproportionately rich in electrons and carrying a slightly negatively charge. These opposite charges naturally attract and cause the water molecule to have pronounced pull on other water molecules in the vicinity. When combined with the chaos of temperature and turbulence, the result is a dynamic and transitory set of free alliances and changing allegiances. Water is more a flickering community of H2nOn than a set of independent and colliding H20 pellets… The direct consequences turn out to be immense. First, each cubic kilometre of air above this East African water hole contains the energy equivalent of many millions of litres of gasoline, a reality dramatized by every thunderstorm or hurricane. This latent heat provides one of the most important transfers of energy between the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere, cooling the surface and warming the atmosphere. This energy generates the giant energy transport systems involved in atmospheric circulation and the hydrologic cycle itself. These latent heat transfers, through evaporated sweat or moisture lost during respiration, allow the animals gathering at the water hole to survive the heat of the day. The global circulation system that produced this water hole and the biological system that depends on it, both turn on the axis of water.

Collages
Every drop of water that we might consider is intrinsically involved in a network or relationships and interdependencies, whether in a groundwater reservoir, a flowing stream, or in the vast arial extent of a Great Lake. Wherever water is found, connections engage and mediate a complex set of physical, chemical, and biological relationships…

THE DEAD SEA ~ INTERESTING VIDEOS AND FACTS

The Dead Sea is unique not only because it is the lowest point on Earth, but also because it is filled with natural treasures, with zoological and botanic riches and because the region has witnessed remarkable historical events.  The following YouTube video, “The Dead Sea For New 7 Wonders”, uploaded by on Jul 6, 2011, is a wonder in itself ~ creatively crafted and narrated with impressive artistic sand art and accompanied by serene music.


Uploaded by on Aug 25, 2008

To reach the top of the world one would need to be an expert mountaineer, be willing to risk one’s life and be able muster almost superhuman strength. To reach the lowest place on earth, however, one only needs to be ready to enjoy sunshine, good weather and floating in the salty waters of the Dead Sea. 08/25/08

Time.com video ~ “Is the Dead Sea Dying?”
The Dead Sea has long attracted tourists for its mineral-rich waters. But now man-made problems are causing the sea to shrink.
http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,71715312001_2016083,00.html

“Land Sinking as Dead Sea shrinks” video

The Dead Sea in Jordan is shrinking at an alarming rate – a development that has led to the creation of some 3,000 sinkholes along the sea’s coasts. The sea has shrunk by a third since the 1960s when its major water source – the River Jordan – was diverted for upstream projects in Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. But for many people, the projects have backfired and the farmers who work near the sea say the once verdant and fertile land has become increasingly barren. Al Jazeera‘s Nisreen el Shamayleh reports from the village of Ghor Al Haditha.- Uploaded by on Feb 2, 2010

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE DEAD SEA ~ FROM EHOW and http://www.sfbsc.com/20-dead-sea-facts
The Dead Sea is 3 million years old and is located in the Jordan River Valley bordered by Israel and Jordan.
The Dead sea is 67 miles long and 11 miles wide at its widest point. It’s known as an endorheic (internally drained) lake and is one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet.
The Dead Sea isn’t actually a sea at all! The Dead Sea is a saltwater lake (10 times saltier than any ocean) and is the lowest elevation on earth.
The shores of Dead Sea mark the lowest elevation on earth,
The atmosphere contains a unique UV filter that allows visitors to soak up therapeutic sunlight without the risk of burning.
Even if you can’t swim, you’ll never sink in the Dead Sea because the minerals make the water so dense you just bob on the surface like a cork.
Many visitors to the Dead Sea rub themselves with the salt or cover their bodies with the black mud, which are said to be good for relieving skin ailments and arthritis.
In 1947 a Bedouin shepherd discovered some of the oldest copies of books of the Bible in a cave above the Dead Sea. These 2,100-year-old manuscripts are known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Dead Sea has been a part of human history since the Bedouin tribes lived in the area in 6,000 B.C.
Cleopatra had factories specializing in cosmetics and resorts built around the Dead Sea because it was one of her favorite places.
The Dead Sea was the most crowded leisure destination in Israel in 2011, with some 857,000 visitors during the year.
The BBC News reported in 2001 that environmentalists predict the sea will vanish by 2050 because the water that replenishes it is being rerouted to the countries of Jordan and Israel for various purposes.

Related link ~
The Telegraph – Can the Dead Sea be brought back to life?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/9260302/Can-the-Dead-Sea-be-brought-back-to-life.html