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Observations on the Explosion at Ripple Rock


ON April 5, 1958, one of the world's largest man-made non-nuclear explosions was fired at Ripple Rock in Seymour Narrows on the west coast of Canada. Briefly, the object of the explosion, which was carried out for the Department of Public Works, Canada, was to remove a twin peaked underwater rock from the centre of a narrow seaway. The method adopted was to sink a 500-ft. shaft on a nearby island and then drive a 2,400-ft. tunnel to points beneath the peaks. Further shafts each 300 ft. high were driven upwards into the rocks and an extensive system of short tunnels was excavated so as to honeycomb the peaks. These tunnels were filled with 1,400 tons of an explosive known as ‘Nitramex 2H’ manufactured by the Du Pont Company of Canada. The general arrangement is shown in Fig. 1.

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  1. Lampson, C. W., “The Effects of Atomic Weapons” (McGraw-Hill, 1950).

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WRIGHT, J., CARPENTER, E., HUNT, A. et al. Observations on the Explosion at Ripple Rock. Nature 182, 1597–1598 (1958).

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