Wednesday, June 15, 2011
The article is about the Syncrude Mine in the Athabasca tar sands, a single engineering project which involves moving 30 billion tonnes of earth-twice the amount of of sediment that flows down all the rivers of the world in a year. However, the sediment flow is shrinking, almost 50 000 large dams have over the past half century cut the flow by nearly a fifth. This is one of the reasons why the Earth's deltas, home to hundreds of millions of people are eroding away faster than they can be replenished. The article is now available in the issue of the Economist in the ORI Library.