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The Marine Corps’ most (in)famous technologist has a solution for the Gulf oil spill: Blow the crap out of it, with the Mother of All Bombs.
Over the past decade, no one in the Corps has been more creative, more persistent and more migraine-inducing in his pursuit of war fighting gadgetry than Franz Gayl.
Some of his ideas were rock-solid, like small spy drones and bomb-resistant trucks. Eventually, the Pentagon bought tens of thousands of the trucks, due in large part to his agitating and whistle blowing efforts.
Other concepts of his were more fringe: orbiting troop transports, super-strength exoskeletons, laser guns that could roast insurgents alive.
Now Gayl, a civilian scientist (semi-) employed by Quantico, may have come up with his most dramatic idea yet: Use a 21,000-pound megamunition to generate a king-sized shock wave that would force those leaking pipes on the seabed shut.
Deploying the GBU-43 MOAB — known as the “Massive Ordnance Air Burst” or “Mother of All Bombs” — would be “proven, safe and ‘green,’” Gayl tells our pal David Axe, of War Is Boring.
The bomb consumes all its own fuel, after all. And it’s not a nuclear weapon, like the one the Russians allegedly used to shut down out-of-control wells. If there are no MOABs to be had, Gayl adds, a Vietnam-era Daisy Cutter will do just fine.
A batholith (from Greek bathos, depth + lithos, rock) is a large emplacement of igneous intrusive (also called plutonic) rock that forms from cooled magma deep in the earth's crust. Batholiths are almost always made mostly of felsic or intermediate rock-types, such as granite, quartz monzonite, or diorite (see also granite dome).
Although they may appear uniform, batholiths are in fact structures with complex histories and compositions.
They are composed of multiple masses, or plutons, bodies of igneous rock of irregular dimensions (typically at least several kilometers) that can be distinguished from adjacent igneous rock by some combination of criteria including age, composition, texture, or mappable structures.
Individual plutons are crystallized from magma that traveled toward the surface from a zone of partial melting near the base of the Earth's crust.