Monday, April 14, 2014

Our plastic sand demonstrates mass wasting. A draft.

Mass wasting and other slope processes using Emriver plastic sand. from Steve Gough on Vimeo.

At LRRD we have notebooks full of "what ifs" for our models.  As I worked on other things last weekend I put together this little demonstration and checked one off the list.

The video speaks for itself.  I've always known our plastic media could be used to demonstrate hillslope processes, but this is the first time I've attempted to record it.

I'm a fluvial guy and not so well versed on slope stability outside of the situations I see in stream banks — and even those are usually handled by a geotechnical engineer on my team.

So I'd appreciate comments on this little demonstration and how we can improve and expand it.

I was surprised to see how well the "mudflow" demo worked, especially since my wetting method was very crude.  With slow, methodical saturation of the slope, I think we could make wonderful simulations of this process.

We will likely have some interns working here this summer, and this looks like a great project for one!

As noted in the video, the flickering you see is from one of the awesome skylights we installed — great for energy savings, but not too hot for time lapse lighting on a partly cloudy day!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We ship an Emriver Em3 to Liaoning, China.

Today we shipped a dual-tilting Em3 model to a museum in Liaoning, China. 

Four separate crates will travel to China via ocean freight.  They hold a reinforced Em3 and lots of spare parts.

When the museum’s buyers first contacted us I assigned the project to Alee Quick, I saw it as a long shot.

Months passed as Alee and Meriam and I negotiated huge cultural and language barriers — I didn’t think we could overcome those.  But Alee made it happen.  We had help from Chinese speakers in Carbondale and hired a Chinese-American lawyer in Chicago to write a contract.

Building and crating the model for shipping was a marathon effort.  Thanks to John Cotter, his super skilled daughter Kelli, and to Jim and JM at LRRD.

Jim Nation put in many extra hours this week to make things perfect.   

We do things nobody else in the world does.   Now we envision tens of thousands of people in China learning about rivers when this Em3 we built in Carbondale, Illinois goes to work.