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A Small-scale Investigation of the Possibility of Constructing Low-Relief Earth-Fill Dams Using Nuclear Explosives

Description: The experiment described herein has shown that the concept of low dams produced by ballistic collision of ejecta from simultaneous detonation of properly spaced parallel rows of charges is a feasible one. Rows of 8-pound charges were buried 3 feet deep with 4-foot spacing between charges. When two such rows of charges were placed parallel and 17.5 feet apart, the maximum height of the "dam" was achieved. The spacing of 17.5 feet between rows corresponds to 4.7 times the crater radius of one 8-pound charge at the burial depth which maximizes the single-charge crater. The extrapolation of these results to larger explosions is discussed. The height decreases and the width increases as the spacing between rows is further increased. The mass of material in the "dam" cannot exceed that in the crater of one of the rows. At the spacing between rows which maximizes height, the volume of the "dam'' is about 50 percent of maximum volume theoretically achievable. At wider spacings, the volume increases to 75 percent.
Date: February 1965
Creator: Vortman, Luke J.

Construction of a Sea-Level, Transisthmian Canal Using Nuclear Explosives

Description: Partial abstract: "This report is based: (1) on information developed in earlier high explosive experiments which determined the optimum spacing and burial depth of charges in a row to produce a channel uniformly wide and deep, and (2) on the Sedan and Danny Boy experiments, which provided data on dimensions of nuclear craters in both soil and basalt rock. This information has been combined with the 1947 route surveys of the Panama Canal company, and estimates have been made not only of the number and yield of nuclear explosives required to excavate a Transisthmian canal with nuclear explosives, but also of the cost of the explosives and the cost of their replacement."
Date: February 1964
Creator: Vortman, Luke J.