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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:50

..more Marieta islands...


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:46

...and amazing Marieta Islas in Mexico!


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:40

The second largest man-made hole in the world (surpassed only by the Bingham Copper Mine in Utah) is a diamond mine located on the outskirts of Mirny, a small town in eastern Siberia.

 

Excavation on the pit began in 1955, and today it is 1,722 feet (525 meters) deep, and 3,900 feet (1.25 kilometers) across. Stalin ordered construction of the mine to satisfy the Soviet Union's need for industrial-grade diamonds following the war.

 

The harsh, frozen Siberian landscape made working on the mine a difficult proposition at best. Jet engines were turned on the unyielding permafrost in order to melt it; when that failed, explosives were used. During its peak years of operation, the Mirny mine produced over 10 million carats of diamonds annually, a good percentage of which were gem-quality.

 

Although open pit mining has ceased in the pit, mining work is continuing by underground methods. The massive 20-foot (6 meter) tall rock-hauling trucks that service the Mirny mine travel along a road that spirals down from the lip of the hole to its basin. Airspace above the mine is off-limits to helicopters, after "a few accidents when they were 'sucked in' by downward air flow..."


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:36

The Guatemala sinkhole...


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:35

In February 2007 a large sinkhole opened in a poor neighborhood in northeast Guatemala city, killing three people. The sinkhole was 100.5 m (330 ft) deep, and apparently was created by fluid from a sewer dissolving the rock underneath. As a result, one thousand people have been evacuated from the area. The sink hole has since been mitigated and plans to develop on the site have been proposed.


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:34

Chuquicamata or “Chuqui” as it is more familiarly known, is an open pit copper mine in Chile. It is the mine with the largest total production of copper in the world – though it is not the largest copper mine. The mine is over 850 meters deep. Copper has been mined for centuries at Chuquicamata as was shown by the discovery in 1898 of “Copper Man”, a mummy dated at about 550 A.D. which was found trapped in an ancient mine shaft by a fall of rock. It is also said that Pedro de Valdivia obtained copper horseshoes from the natives when he passed through in the early 16th Century.


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:33

The Udachnaya Pipe is a diamond mine in Russia. The owners of the mine plan to cease its operations in 2010 – in favor of underground mining. The mine was discovered in 1955 and is over 600 meters deep. The nearby settlement of Udachny is named for the deposit. As of 2004, Udachnaya pipe is controlled by Russian diamond company Alrosa, which plans to halt open-pit mining in favor of underground mining in 2010.


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:31

The Diavik Mine is a mine in the Northwest territories of Canada. The mine (opened in 2003) produces 8 million carats or about 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) of diamonds every year. The mine is owned by a joint venture between the Harry Winston Diamond Corporation and Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Group. The lifespan of the mine is expected to be 16 to 22 years. The mine consists of three kimberlite pipes associated with the Lac de Gras kimberlite field and is located on an island 20 square kilometres (8 sq mi) in Lac de Gras and is informally called East Island. It is about 220 kilometres (137 mi) south of the Arctic Circle.


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:31

The Great Blue Hole is an underwater sinkhole off the coast of Belize. The hole is 1,000 feet across and 400 feet deep. It was formed as a limestone cave during the last iceage. This is a popular spot amongst recreational scuba divers, who are lured by the opportunity to dive in crystal clear water and meet several species of fish, including giant groupers, nurse sharks and several types of reef sharks such as the Caribbean reef shark and the Blacktip shark.


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:27

Karakum desert


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:26

In the heart of the Karakum desert of Turkmenistan the Darvaza Gas Crater or The Burning Gates give off a glow that can be seen from miles away during the dark night. The large crater is a result of a Soviet gas exploration accident in the 1950’s. It was created when a Soviet drilling rig was drilling for natural gas fell into an underground cavern resulting in a crater which today measures roughly 60 meters in diameter and 20 meters deep. The huge crater was set alight shortly after being discovered and has been burning ever sinse. The smell of burning sulfur can be detected from a distance and becomes quite strong as you near the hot edge of the crater.


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:25

The Bingham Canyon Mine is a copper mine in the Oquirrh mountains, Utah. The mine is 0.75 mile (1.2 km) deep, 2.5 miles (4 km) wide. It is the world’s largest manmade excavation. The mine has been in production since 1906, and has resulted in the creation of a pit covering 1,900 acres (7.7 km²). Over its life, Bingham Canyon has proven to be one of the world’s most productive mines. As of 2004, ore from the mine has yielded more than 17 million tons (15.4 Mt) of copper, 23 million ounces (715 t) of gold, 190 million ounces (5,900 t) of silver, and 850 million pounds (386 kt) of molybdenum.


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:24

more Monticello Dam


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:23

Monticello Dam is a dam in Napa County, California, constructed between 1953 and 1957. The dam is a medium concrete-arch dam with a structural height of 304 ft (93 m) and a crest length of 1,023 ft (312 m). It contains 326,000 cubic yards (249,000 m³) of concrete. The dam impounds Putah Creek to form Lake Berryessa, the second-largest lake in California. The capacity of the reservoir is 1,602,000 acre·ft (1,976,000 dam³). Water from the reservoir is supplied mostly to the North Bay area of San Francisco. The dam is noted for its classic, uncontrolled spillway with a rate of 48,400 cubic feet per second (1370 m³/s) and a diameter at the lip of 87 ft (27 m).


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:21

The Kimberley Diamond Mine


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Posted on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 16:21

The Kimberley Diamond Mine (also known as the Big Hole) holds the (disputed) title of being the largest hand-dug hole in the world. From 1866 to 1914 50,000 miners dug the hole with picks and shovels, yielding 2,722 kg of diamonds. Attempts are being made to have it registered as a world heritage site. The Big Hole has a surface of 17 hectares (42 acres) and is 463 metres wide. It was excavated to a depth of 240 m, but then partially infilled with debris reducing its depth to about 215 m; since then it has accumulated water to a depth of 40 m leaving 175 m visible. Beneath the surface, the Kimberly Mine underneath the Big Hole was mined to a depth of 1097 metres. A popular local myth claims that it is the largest hand-dug hole on the world, however Jagersfontein Mine appears to hold that record.


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