Project Global: Ground

This exploration of our current day metropolitan condition as a system of systems deals with the crust of the Earth as a primary carrying capacitor of human activities, from the extraction of resources deep within the ground, to agricultural operations that barely scratch the surface.

Part 1: Lexicon

Part 2: Atlas

Part 3: Architectural Projects

Part 1: Lexicon index

︎ Formation

    ︎ Kaapvaal Craton
    ︎ Johannesburg Dome
    ︎ Vredefort Dome
    ︎ Topsoil
    ︎ Müggelsee

︎ Measurement    ︎ Schwerbelastungskörper
    ︎ Mining Earthquakes
    ︎ Low-tech Soil Testing
    ︎ Soil Texture Triangle
    ︎ Geologic Time Scale 
    ︎ Stratigraphic Colum
    ︎ Geographic Information System
    ︎ Ecotone
    ︎ Cultural Landscape

︎ Prototype
    ︎ Unter den Linden
    ︎ Zoological Landscape
    ︎ Counterculture
    ︎ Cultural Agency
    ︎ Mine-pit Lakes
    ︎ Parliament of Things

︎ Land distribution
    ︎ 1913 Natives Land Act
    ︎ District Six
    ︎ Eavesdropping
    ︎ Reconciliation Policy
    ︎ Land Grabbing
    ︎ Land Acting
    ︎ The Red Ants
    ︎ #PutSouthAfricansFirst
    ︎ Suburban Enclaves
    ︎ Parallel State

︎ Extraction
    ︎ Cullinan Diamond Mine
    ︎ Platinum Group Metals
    ︎ Zamazamas
    ︎ Gold Rush Inertia
    ︎ Sinkhole
    ︎ Maize Doctor
    ︎ Coal Hands

︎ Infrastructure
    ︎ Gautrain
    ︎ Le-guba
    ︎ Lesotho Water Project
    ︎ Deutscher Wald
    ︎ Arrival City

︎ Production
    ︎ Safari Economy
    ︎ Agritourism
    ︎ Rainfall Line
    ︎ Upington Airport
    ︎ Tiergarten Transformation
    ︎ Pivot Irrigation
    ︎ Allotment Garden
    ︎ Bokoni Terracing
    ︎ Johannesburg Forestation
    ︎ Game Farming Cycle

︎ Waste
    ︎ Trümmerberg
    ︎ Fab-Soil
    ︎ Mining Waste Belt
    ︎ Sanitary Landfilling
    ︎ Soil Structure
    ︎ Biogas Technology

︎ Pollution
    ︎ Dry Stacked Tailings
    ︎ Water Pollution
    ︎ Soil Pollution
    ︎ Uranium Sandstorms
    ︎ Poaching

︎ Remediation
    ︎ European Green Belt
    ︎ Conservation Agriculture
    ︎ Airfield Urbanism
    ︎ Solar Park
    ︎ Gold Reef City
    ︎ Mine Pit Lake
    ︎ Loess Plateau
    ︎ Erosion Control

Uranium Sandstorms

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The soil quality of many regions of South Africa is loose and dry which is easily blown large distances by strong winds. High-altitude storms can often cause intense downdrafts which increase the amount of soil particulate matter that is picked up by the wind into the atmosphere. These intense winds laden with particulate matter then travel horizontally: a sandstorm.
        Although certain areas of South Africa experience sandstorms more frequently than the city of Johannesburg, the presence of uranium
tailing impoundments in the city lead to unique health concerns for the local population. The impoundments for the uranium tailings from gold reef mining operations in the region in and around Johannesburg resemble large, yellow-tinged artificial hills in the relatively flat landscape of Gauteng province. The soil of these impoundment hills is dry and sandy, and is easily eroded away by water and wind. Thus, if there are downdrafts in the region - or if strong wings traverse the city area - the soil of these uranium impoundments is easily disturbed with the potential to cause uranium particle sandstorms.
        Aside from the radiation-poisoning risks that uranium itself poses for the local population, the particulate matter poses risk of inhalation. Should particulate matter be small enough to be called “dust,” then inhalation would lead to impairment of respiratory functions in the human body. In that case, then, the airborne dispersal of uranium particulate matter in the city of Johannesburg poses two serious risks in the form of sandstorms which cause radiation-poisoning, and dust storms which cause physical respiratory harm.

Image source: JHB Sandstorm 1.JPG (1024×654). n.d. Image. Accessed March 6, 2022.

1.   “IN PICTURES: Sandstorm Paints Jozi City Gold | ENCA.” n.d. Accessed February 25, 2022.
2.   Malgas, Bertram. n.d. “WATCH | Sandstorm Engulfs Parts of Upington.” News24. Accessed February 28, 2022.
3.   Penny, Tara. n.d. “Johannesburg Hit by Massive Sandstorm.” Accessed February 28, 2022.
4.   “Sandstorm Hits Johannesburg as South Africans Dust off Their Memes.” 2017. Memeburn (blog). August 22, 2017.
5.    “Top Photos From The Jozi Dust Storm.” 2017. August 22, 2017.
6.    “Is Johannesburg the Most Radioactive City in the World?” n.d. Accessed February 27, 2022.