Published on December 12, 2007
Blacksburg DUSEL WorshopEarth Science and EngineeringTentative Conclusions: Blacksburg DUSEL Worshop Earth Science and Engineering Tentative Conclusions What have we accomplished? What next? A work in progress Our goals as defined yesterday:Scientific Roadmapsfor Deep Underground Earth Science: Our goals as defined yesterday:Scientific Roadmaps for Deep Underground Earth Science Starting from previous studies (in particular Ness2002,Earth Lab report, Berkeley workshop) go further Identification of major themes With syntheses which make sense for the specialists, resonate with other scientists and fascinates the non scientists Relatively few working groups: Coupled processes, rock mechanics and tectonics, geo-microbiology and applications Prioritization What are the most pressing questions to answer deep underground? Our advances the first day and a half: Our advances the first day and a half After a long day and a half of fact collection Even though, not necessarily either totally relevant to DUSEL (in particularly the deep aspects) or solicitation 1 character (a little bit of propaganda sipped through most site presentations) and some time slippage in the schedule in part motivated by the desire not to restrict the discussion too early Better understanding of the need to Simplify the message: Big questions (“sound byte”, “the elevator speech”) Overcome the fragmentation of the field into a large number of small expert communities (true in physics too) Hold together the three motivations and facets of our work • Tantalizing fundamental science questions • Fascinating new instrumentation capability • Critical applications for our society Science-Methods-Applications: Science-Methods-Applications Overlap is testimony of the richness of the field Opportunity for multiple advocacy NSF-DOE- Congress - Industry Experts-other scientists- Public at large “Observatory Group”:Big Science Questions: “Observatory Group”:Big Science Questions 1. What are the limits of conditions for microbial life? 2. Can we increase our fundamental knowledge of the earth and its dynamic processes? Observing from the inside… 3.Can we improve resolution, using observations at multiple-scales and at ranges of depths, of the couplings among thermal, hydrologic, chemical and mechanical (deformation) processes? (natural observatory context) Active Processes Laboratory: Big Science QuestionsEssential issues revolve around fractures and scale effects in space and time: Active Processes Laboratory: Big Science Questions Essential issues revolve around fractures and scale effects in space and time I – How do Mass, Momentum, and Energy, transfer and transform in fractured media -THMCB Experiment -Ore Deposits II – How do we image and scale in fractured media -Earthquake Cycle -Characterizing structure III – How do we engineer ultra-deep and large excavations -Caverns -Deep boreholes IV – How do we better understand cloud processes to improve climate prediction The Big Questions: A second attempt: The Big Questions: A second attempt The conditions for life Limits Metabolism/ Energy source Evolution/Evolution The ever changing earth Behavior of rock and fluids at depth. Coupled processes in inhomogeneous media: mass, momentum,energy flow Spatial and temporal scaling “laws” The structure and the evolution of the earth Observing from inside out: Core/mantle/crust/mountain Dynamics: earthquakes The concentration of ore deposits Climate change Paleo-climate ? Ancient sequestered water Clouds Methods: Methods Transparent Earth An old dream: being able to see looking down as well as we can see looking up “Making the rock transparent”, “Walking into your image” Combination of our most sophisticated sensors Acoustic Electromagnetic Neutrinos Anti-neutrinos from U/Th (solar neutrino detectors, ≈ not directional) X raying the earth with atmospheric neutrinos? (proton decay/long base line detectors) Passive/Active methods Tracking Life Underground Systematically characterize the biosphere deep below the surface Variety of habitats Most advanced sampling methods Full use of state of the art biological technologies Applications: Applications Resource extraction. Energy, mineral and water resources Improve: Prediction Imaging Recovery : Physical /chemical/biological Biotechnology Use of microbes as recovery or containment agents Pharmaceutical applications of genome Underground engineering: The mastery of the rock The largest cavity underground Safer mining methods Instrumented drilling bits Yesterday: Dependence on Geology: Yesterday: Dependence on Geology Earth science is not geology independent Not everything can be done at every site What are the generic site characteristics which are necessary to at least start to tackle the most important questions cf Depth as a major characteristic for physicists (but not needed for all) Do we have enough of a scientific case for recommending eventually a combination of sites? Sedimentary vs hard rock: Sedimentary vs hard rock We need both! Actually 3-4: igneous, metamorphic,sedimentary + salt + variability in terms of detailed rock type, fractures and feature scale (usually available at a single site) Build up case: Understand the differences / complementarity in science: e.g. porosity/permeability Difference of chemistry, role of water Balance additional complexity vs additional information in applications: e.g. oil vs mineral deposits in methods: Cases where rock type just modifies general approaches where one type of rock is needed:e.g., oil deposit simulation carbon sequestration? Elaborate roadmaps using complementarity e.g. from simplest to more complex comparison low/high porosity, carbon rich-hydrogen rich Integration of existing facilities WIPP, URLs International context Postpone prioritization/ tactical arguments: “ Let us not clip our wings too early or get stuck in unproductive rivalry” Eventually develop consensus on scientifically optimal deployment strategy Our goals as defined yesterday:Major Experimentsfor Deep Underground Earth Science: Our goals as defined yesterday:Major Experiments for Deep Underground Earth Science Can we identify major types of experiments or facilities Not necessarily same approach as physicists But go further than the “1km3 sand box” where we want to play for at least 10 years e.g. Earth Lab Ultradeep Life and Biogeochemistry Observatory Deep Flow and Paleoclimate Laboratory and Observatory Induced Fracture and Deformation Processes Laboratory Deep Coupled Processes Laboratory Generic experiments: Generic experiments General feeling of substantial progress in break out session Saturday afternoon See summary presentations on dusel.org Common aspects in the approach Complete characterization before perturbations (laboratory construction, active experiments) Long term monitoring Attention to compatibility with other experiments High demands of geo-microbiology Systematic use of tracers even for bore holes at site exploration stage Do not disturb long duration experiments (e.g. thermal) Simultaneous or consecutive use of bore holes and instrumentation e.g. deep observatory bore hole first used for biology then deep seismograph More generally build up as we go cavities/bore holes and instrumentation: initial high priority experiments => facilities open for proposals Increasingly better characterized blocks Increasingly powerful instrumentation Generic Experiments (naïve Mickey Mouse drawings) : Generic Experiments (naïve Mickey Mouse drawings) Observatories (vertical view- some extrapolation my part) Interesting geological features Biological sampling + monitoring -> Seismograph (3D) Coupled process laboratory (horizontal view) Deep bore hole ≈5cmØ cores 4-7 km Site dependent 125°C Deepest level e.g. 2 km Potential sites of energy sources for underground life Various depths + Cloud Chamber (3-5mØ 500-1000m high) Our goals yesterday:Infrastructure Requirements: Our goals yesterday:Infrastructure Requirements Adapt infrastructure requirement matrix to Deep Earth Science (Lee Petersen, Derek Ellsworth) At minimum, additional columns indicating rock type, fracture characteristics etc. Define also needed characterization / monitoring of the site + precautions for biological studies Estimate of the demand in an international context Requirements: Requirements What Next? 1: What Next? 1 Documentation of this workshop Web - no written conclusions deemed necessary at this stage Continue informal discussion/reflection Use of firstname.lastname@example.org Email to PIs: email@example.com S2 preparation Further synthesis/fleshing out by working groups Progress on themes+ wordsmithing Tree building process (F. Heuze) How to deal with the needed diversity of rocks/conditions? Document scientific complementarity, deployment strategy, use of existing and international facilities Infrastructure requirements: work with Lee Petersen & Derek Ellsworth + compatibilities => Boulder Jan 5-7 Conditions for Life Ever Changing Earth What Next ? 2: What Next ? 2 Work on synergies Validate/ Flesh out cross cutting ideas e.g. neutrinos to X ray the earth Full integration of existing sites: needed for the science International coordination, and estimation of world-wide demand Coordination with other US initiatives and major stake holders Earth Scope, IRIS National Labs Secure Earth NASA centers, USGS Involve industry (through S2 proposals and professional groups?) Broaden our base as much as possible Evolutionary biology + other “extreme conditions” biologists Solid Earth scientists (tectono physicists) Climatologists Professional meetings (AGU,APS,ASMB etc.) What can we start immediately? Science: Exploit the new contacts that this process generates Use exploratory bore holes for science (T. Kieft) Education and outreach: Webcast lecture series (J. Wang) Involvement of students and postdocs in studies? Science talks for local populations around sites Contact with science journalists as soon as we are approved what is the story? Unique collaboration between physicists, astronomers, earth scientists, biologists and engineers? Conclusions: Conclusions A work in progress: A great deal done Still a lot do be done Thanks to all Everybody for their patience and courtesy Thanks to our Virginia Tech Colleagues for the organization In particular Tom Burbey, Bruce Voguelar, Bob Bodnar, Matthias Imhof and staff behind the scene Boulder Jan 5-7 Bring in “mainstream” biologists (e.g. evolutionary molecular and microbe) Synergies between fields Focus on infrastructure requirements <= results of working groups Modules Sketch of report: major themes Last opportunity to adjust our common language before Solicitation 2 Important to attend in spite of S2 proposal pressures
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