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Studying Sediments in Space

Studying Sediments in Space

An International
Space Station
investigation called BCAT-CS studies dynamic forces between
sediment particles that cluster together.

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For the study, scientists sent mixtures of quartz and clay particles to the space
station and subjected them to various levels of simulated gravity.

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Conducting the experiment in microgravity makes it possible to separate out different forces that act on sediments and look at the function of
each.

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Sediment systems of quartz and clay occur many places on Earth, including rivers,
lakes, and oceans, and affect many
activities,
from deep-sea hydrocarbon drilling to carbon sequestration.

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Understanding how
sediments behave
has a range of applications on Earth, including predicting and mitigating erosion, improving water
treatment, modeling the carbon cycle,
sequestering contaminants and more accurately finding deep sea oil
reservoirs.

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It also may provide insight for future studies of the
geology of new and unexplored planets.

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Follow @ISS_RESEARCH to
learn more.

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