Posts uit augustus, 2014 weergeven

The tale of the two tides

Last week, I was sitting on the beach looking at the "Oosterscheldekering", one of the largest engineering constructions on Earth. It was designed to protect Zeeland from flooding during large storms and extreme high tides. As a boy I was always remembered of the power of the water (my complete family is from the island Schouwen-Duiveland, where the storm of 1953 hit hard). It gave me a sense of aw and pride, that engineers designed and build these large constructions. Maybe even, it gave me motivation to go into engineering.

As I was admiring the view, I was thinking about tides and their cause. One of the most common questions about tides is: Why are there two high (and low) tides a day? If tides are caused by the Moon, due to its gravitational attraction, there should only be one tide a day, because the Earth rotates only ones a day, right? The answer to this problem is: Correct Frame of Reference!
Since we, humans, know the Earth is round, we tend to place our point of …

Gravity Expeditions at Sea: Promotion movie

Several blogpost are about this historic project I am working on. We, together with people of the library of the TUDelft, are describing the work and voyages of one of the most adventurous scientist and professor of my university, Professor Vening Meinesz. In the beginning of previous century, professor Vening Meinesz measured Earth's gravity field onboard several submarines of the Dutch Navy. Me, being a geoscientist with experience in gravity field modelling, was asked to explain his work and relate it to Solid Earth Science. Diving into his work and stories, I became very enthusiastic and motivated for the project.
We are in the middle of the project and are asking people to help us in any way they can. For this purpose (and because we live in a media-type world), we have made a promotional video. And I wanted to share this first version of the film. Please be aware! You will see me talking science :). If you like the movie and the project, please share it among your friends. …

The Waddensea Experiment: combining sailing and science

Last week, I read in the papers that the Danish part of the Waddenzee is also put on the World Heritage List. This means that the complete Waddenzee (Dutch, German and Danish) is a protected nature site. Me, as a strong admirer of this region, makes this news happy and content! It also gave me new inspiration for a blogpost. In this blogpost I will look at an experiment that I did on the Waddenzee. At the end I will prove that the Earth is round (or more precisely, not flat).
The Waddensea is an area north of Holland, north-west of Germany and west of Denmark. when inspecting any atlas or google Earth, you can spot a row of islands from west to north-east. In between these islands and the mainland is the Waddensea, with all its beauty! 
Special about this region is the large influence of Earth's tides on the landscape and nature, the Waddensea is a very shallow sea. At high tide, the area is completely covered with water, but at low tide, large parts of the area become dry. This …