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Pat Shingleton: "Galloping Gertie and Sea Shells By The Seashore"

10 months 1 week 2 days ago Saturday, November 07 2020 Nov 7, 2020 November 07, 2020 9:00 AM November 07, 2020 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton:

Louisiana has experienced numerous episodes of bridge complications. Imagine 30 to 35 mph winds swaying, buckling and toppling the Sunshine Bridge. On November 7, 1940, 30 to 35 mph winds caused the Narrows Bridge in Tacoma, WA, to vibrate excessively. Moments later, it collapsed into the water. The collapsed span was called "Galloping Gertie," entering the engineering Hall of Shame. It was the start of the meteorological field of wind engineering. Now, meteorologists specializing in atmospheric winds collaborate with structural and civil engineers in the construction of high-rise buildings, sports stadiums, bridges and other large structures. "Wind-proofing" of coastal residences continues to save billions of dollars when storms hit. From bridges to seas. The sea shell, that you find by the sea shore, is not only loaded with calcium but may be very old. Sean Brennen, from the U.S Geological Survey, reported that the residue from evaporated sea water was trapped in rock salts many years ago. A tremendous increase in ocean calcium, 515 million years ago, may have caused the evolution of sea shells. Researchers believe that during this period there was three times as much calcium as found today. It's referred to as the Cambrian pulse where shelled organisms increased as metazoans and were subjected to the high ocean calcium over millions of years. They then coped with the toxic conditions by altering their cellular-waste removal system, excreting more calcium, to form the solid shells. Others believe that shells didn't evolve from toxic waste or calcium excretion but through a process of control and energy where water chemistry factored into the process.

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