news from the lab 2015

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Earth Sciences



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Earth Sciences - Electroengineering - 11.12.2015
Upside-down lightning strikes
Upside-down lightning strikes
11.12.15 - Upward lightning strikes initiate on the ground and head skyward. These discharges, which usually begin at the top of tall and slender structures, pose a real risk for wind turbines.

Materials Science - Earth Sciences - 11.11.2015
Plate tectonics thanks to plumes?
Plate tectonics thanks to plumes?
It is common knowledge that the Earth's rigid upper layer called lithosphere is composed of moving plates. But just what mechanism first set plate tectonics into motion still remains a mystery. A team of researchers led by ETH professor Taras Gerya has now come up with one possible answer by using simulations.

Earth Sciences - 06.11.2015
Thin walls with potentially fatal consequences
Thin walls with potentially fatal consequences
06.11.15 - Given the choice between safer and cheaper construction, many housing design companies in earthquake-prone developing countries see themselves forced to save on expensive construction materials and opt for the latter. EPFL structural engineers have gathered new data on how these structures respond to earthquakes, and in which circumstances they may fail.