..... Stumper Index
Stumper #5.
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How Good Is Your Science KQ?

[i.e. your Knowledge Quotient]

- Let's Go Underground! -

For this stumper we offer two scenarios. In each scenario a similar human achievement involves underground science and affects the lives of millions of people.

You are challenged to identify the type of achievement.

Scenario 1. The scene of the first example is in the United States in the last quarter of the 19th century. The underground science involves a twenty-three square mile island traversed by two major faults and adjacent to a continental mass. Two main types of rock form the foundations of this island; dolomitic marble and schist. The dolomitic marble is a relatively soft rock while the schist in this region is very hard but, because it is susceptible to decay, is not uniformly so. The nature of the rock is a factor in this example but knowledge of the geology, although critical, was not predominant in the ultimate achievement.

Scenario 2. The scene of the second example is in Europe, with a time frame spanning 140 years from the mid 1850's. The underground science involves an island slightly smaller than the state of Oregon, adjoining a continental mass. The geology of the area presents strata of waterlogged chalk marl in which tiny fissures allow water percolation and produce local instability. In this example too, knowledge of the geology was critical, but what ultimately made the achievement possible was technology.

What type of subterranean achievement occurred in these two examples?


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