Military Geology in War and Peace
In warfare, military geologists pursue five main categories of work: tactical and strategic terrain analysis, fortifications and tunneling, resource acquisition, defense installations, and field construction and logistics. In peace, they train for wartime operations and may be involved in peace-keeping and nation-building exercises. The classic dilemma for military geology has been whether support can best be provided by civilian technical-matter experts or by uniformed soldiers who routinely work with the combat units. In addition to the introductory paper this volume includes 24 papers, covering selected aspects of the history of military geology from the early 19th century through the recent Persian Gulf war, military education and operations, terrain analysis, engineering geology in the military, use of military geology in diplomacy and peace keeping, and the future of military geology.
Swords into plowshares: Military geology and national security projects
Published:January 01, 1998
James T. Neal, 1998. "Swords into plowshares: Military geology and national security projects", Military Geology in War and Peace, James R. Underwood, Jr., Peter L. Guth
Download citation file:
Military geology and national security projects are comparable, achieving their raison d'etre in support of national goals, military operations, and the systems that support them—all for vital national interests. The application of geoscience to these ends, especially engineering geology, has occurred from pole to pole and included every conceivable environment and natural condition. In the conduct of such projects, the geosciences have advanced, and vice versa.
Desert trafficability, most notably regarding playa surfaces, is temporary and variable and not a persistent condition as some early authors believed. Playas in Australia, Iran, and the United States show that saline efflorescence is removed following surface water dissolution and subsequent deflation, resulting in very hard crusts. Magadiite, a hydrous sodium silicate and possible precursor of bedded chert, was first discovered in North America at Alkali Lake, Oregon, during a military project. Pleistocene Lake Trinity, a small and mostly buried evaporite basin in the northern Jornada del Muerto, New Mexico, was discovered during exploratory drilling in support of a military test program.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), operated by the U.S. Department of Energy, has underground cavern storage of ~600 million barrels of crude oil in five Gulf Coast salt domes. The geologic characterization of the SPR sites is a major component of these comprehensive engineered works—unparalleled in modern times and on a comparable scale with the Panama Canal. Numerous studies of salt-stock heterogeneity, salt-karst features, and structural and physical attributes of salt deposits are broadening the database for use in the commercial storage industry. Geologists serving in military and national security endeavors are fully functioning members of the project technical teams and have made significant advances to the geosciences.
- framework silicates
- military geology
- New Mexico
- petroleum engineering
- salt domes
- scapolite group
- sheet silicates
- underground storage
- United States
- Alkali Lake
- Weeks Island
- Lake Trinity
- U. S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve