Skip to main content

Roman-style concrete could help with sea-level rise

Two thousand years ago Roman builders constructed vast sea walls and harbor piers.

Scientists say durable, environment-resistant ancient Roman concrete structures could play a part in quelling rising sea levels.

Two thousand years ago Roman builders constructed vast sea walls and harbor piers. The concrete they used outlasted the empire — and still holds lessons for modern engineers, scientists told the Washington Post.

The harbor concrete, a mixture of volcanic ash and quicklime, has withstood the sea for two millennia and counting and is stronger than when it was first mixed.

The concrete is “an extraordinarily rich material in terms of scientific possibility,” Philip Brune, a research scientist at DuPont Pioneer who has studied the engineering properties of Roman monuments, told the newspaper. “It's the most durable building material in human history, and I say that as an engineer not prone to hyperbole.

Marie Jackson, an expert in ancient Roman concrete at the University of Utah, is studying samples with her colleagues as part of a project called the Roman Maritime Concrete Study.

If her effort is successful, the concrete could yet have a role to play in human history — “if one was indeed interested in making sea walls” and “forced to protect shoreline environments,” Jackson said.

Related

DealerOutlook

Seabins Coming to Lake Erie

The devices, deployed as part of a pilot program, skim and collect debris from the water, including microplastics. Meanwhile, MBIA announces scholarship funds.

1_BOATSETTER

Boatsetter Reports Uptick in Rentals

The on-water experience company has seen triple-digit growth in pontoon and party-boat rentals, as well as fishing and yacht charters.

1_SMARTGYRO

Smartgyro Signs Distributors, Hires Sales Manager

The company said the three U.S. distributors, working with Bob Walker, will help expand its dealer network and brand recognition.

1_YEARGIN

The Upside of a Downturn

Economic challenges should push you to develop a strategy that helps you weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.

1_TRAVELIFT.COOP

Marine Travelift Launches Co-op Program

The company received its first student, a University of Wisconsin engineering major, in the seven-month paid co-op.

1_JULY4

Trade Only Today Returns Tuesday

The e-newsletter will not publish July 4 in observance of Independence Day. We wish everyone a safe holiday weekend.

1_ORR.FUNDS

ORR Announces Federally Funded Projects

The U.S. Economic Development Administration prioritized outdoor recreation for the first time

Norm#4

Ten Ways To Sell in a Tough Economy

These keys to successful selling can help you create customers who keep coming back, even when sales dip