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Upper Hutt Leader : May 11th 2011
52 UPPER HUTT LEADER, MAY 11, 2011 To order your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: pix.ccn.co.nz The earth will go bump in the night By TASHA BLACK Men at work: Senior GNS Science research scientist Stuart Henrys, left, with Orica Mining Services export and business development manager Denis Brassard and Orica shot fire surveyor John McIntyre, right, are working on a 50-metre deep hole they plan to blow up this week. Mr Brassard is holding liquid explosive. The team will detonate each borehole using a GPS clock and standing 100m away between 9pm and 5am from May 10 to May 14. (Mr Henrys) described the experiment, which is the biggest to date, as a CAT scan'' of the earth's crust. Half a ton of explosives will be detonated in Kapiti this week as part of an experiment to understand more about earthquakes. But those keen on watching a fire- works display will be disappointed, as the controlled explosion, one of 12 to go off between Kapiti and Wairarapa, will take place at night 50 metres underground. The experiment is a joint project between GNS Science and Victoria University. It will help scientists learn more about the tectonic plate boundaries in the lower North Island. GNS Science senior research scien- tist Stuart Henrys said the explosions were designed to get an image of the crust and will take place in 12 boreholes cased with steel, 50m deep and about 20 centimetres in diameter. Information from the explosions will be recorded by seismographs buried in the ground 100m apart into the back of beyond'', said Mr Henrys. The first borehole the scientists began preparing on Tuesday last week was on farmland north of Paekakariki, and from there to the Wairarapa the boreholes are 8km apart. Last week staff from Orica Mining Services, who came from Auckland, were pumping half a tonne of liquid explosives, from their truck, into the bottom 10m of each borehole. Orica's export and business dev- elopment manager Denis Brassard said the explosive, made up of ferti- liser and diesel, was similar to may- onnaise, needing an emulsifier, like egg yolk, to keep it together. On top of the explosive, which looks a bit like sticky porridge, the hole is filled with gravel to compress the upward energy released during the blast. The team will detonate each bore- hole using a GPS clock and standing 100m away between 9pm and 5am from May 10 to May 14. Mr Henrys said the explosions need to happen when it is quiet, with little wind and traffic so the seismographs can receive a clear sig- nal. He described the experiment, which is the biggest to date, as a CAT scan'' of the earth's crust. Each explosion would be like a mini earthquake'', less than magni- tude one, and would not generate any other earthquakes. If you are standing close you will feel the ground shake,'' said Mr Henrys. The team has resource consent and permission from landholders for the bores, which must be 250m from dwellings. The scientists want to record infor- mation 25km deep and across 90km to the other side of the North Island. You can think of it as dropping a stone in a pond . . . our receivers are picking up all the wave ripples around the edge of the pond,'' said Mr Henrys. Introducing a backwards way of parking By EMMA BEER Parking in Oriental Bay could be moving backwards in the future. Public submissions were made at a Wellington City Council meeting last month regarding the lowering of the speed limit around Oriental Parade to 40kmh. Cycle Awareness Network spokesman Patrick Morgan suggested the idea of reverse angle parking. As the name suggests, reverse angle parking would require drivers to reverse into parks at greater than 90 degrees. Mr Morgan said the idea was to make roads safer for vehicles and passengers, as well as cyclists. Drivers exiting have a better view of the road. Kids getting out of rear seats are facing the footpath, not the road. It's easier to load from your boot. The problem for people on bikes is [drivers find it] hard to reverse out and see them.'' He said it was no harder for a driver to reverse in than it was to reverse out. However, Automobile Associ- ation spokesman Mike Noon said there was a difference. You are backing into a confined area . . . [many drivers] find it dif- ficult to judge the overhang of their car. People say it's no differ- ent, but actually [in normal angle parking] you are backing from a tight space to a big road.'' He said people often felt pres- sure about parking. It's not that people can't do it. [But] you don't choose to do some- thing more difficult, something that puts more pressure on you.'' According to the NZ Transport Agency, local governments can implement the parking arrange- ments they want. Wellington City Council trans- port portfolio leader Andy Foster said anything was possible. We would want to look at the pros and cons [of reverse angle parking],'' he said. The council would need to con- sider if it had been implemented elsewhere in New Zealand and what the benefits might be. While rare in New Zealand, reverse angle parking is used in several Australian cities. What do you think about ''reverse'' rather than ''front in'' angle parking -- not just on Oriental Bay but local streets where angle parking already exists? Send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your letter to P O Box 300-29, Lower Hutt.
May 18th 2011