Monday, June 29, 2009

Stretchy Salt, No Surprise

Salt Block Unexpectedly Stretches -- ScienceDaily (2009-06-24)

I'm surprised by this article (see above). I thought the nature of salt and its ability to "flow" was fairly well known and accepted by the scientific community. I took a tour of a salt mine a while back and observed with my own eyes how the salt had flowed around a door frame, nearly swallowing it up, just in the few years since the door had been installed. Yet, when you hold the salt in your hand it is solid and hard, shattering if you were to hit it with your rock hammer. A curious trait, agreed, but recognized as characteristic nonetheless. Geologists have recognized the evidence for salt tectonics for quite some time now. Can someone explain to me what is so new about this finding? Is it the scale of the stretchiness? Is it the tool used to test the salt? Is it the mechanism(s) by which the salt stretches?

To me, the article just provides additional support to the theories of salt deformation and models for the advancement of salt (as observed in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere).

Maybe I'm just missing the point??

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