Press Conference, Monday, March 5, 9 am
RAZORBACKS ON MARS
The mystery of pattern formation in certain geological formations has been solved, just in the past year, using mathematical and modeling techniques employed in condensed matter physics. Speakers at session B7 explain why this is. Troy Shinbrot (Rutgers) will talk about how granular materials can self-segregate themselves (complication the task of industrial mixing) and how they can self assemble into strange formations, such as razorbacks. Some of his findings undercut the claim that observed gullies on Mars are necessarily the result of flowing water. Meredith Betterton (Univ. Colorado) will report on snow spikes; Nigel Goldenfeld (Univ Illinois) on sedimentary terracing around Yellowstones hotsprings; Martin Short (UCLA) on how icicles get their shape; and Stephen Morris (Univ Toronto) on how lava shapes itself.
Press Conference, Monday, March 5, 1 pm
ENERGY FROM HEAVY OILS AND HYDRATES
Colorado has the world's largest deposits of shale oil, rivaling the oil reserves of the Middle East, but in past years extracting the resource has been too expensive to make it feasible. Rising oil costs may soon change that. Douglas Schmitt (University of Alberta) will report on new seismic imaging methods to track the flow of heavy oils, such as those in Colorado's shale and Canada's abundant oil sands, when they are extracted via the injection of solvents or steam into the ground (paper A2.5). Accurate imaging of reservoirs will be vital if sand or shale oils are ever to become significant energy sources. Timothy Collett (U.S. Geological Survey) is pondering another unconventional energy source - icy combinations of natural gas and water known as hydrates (paper A2.4). The oceans contain enormous reserves of natural gas hydrates. Although estimates vary, even conservative guesses are an order of magnitude larger than the amounts held in conventional natural gas reserves.
Contact: James Riordon
American Physical Society