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Author(s) of the publication: V. Rantsev-Kartinov

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By Valentin A. RANTSEV-KARTINOV, Cand. Sc. (Phys. & Math.), Senior Research Scientist, Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute"

Living for thousands and thousands of years side by side with water, one of the four elements, man has been seeking to get to know it. As it seems, a good deal has been accomplished toward this end. And yet... The author of the present article, making a thorough study of photo images of a calm and rough ocean taken from different altitudes (and using an imaging technique he has developed), has made thrilling discoveries-lying on the surface, literally.

This is the method of multilevel dynamical contrasting of images which boils down to the following: using a computer program, an investigator "cleanses" the barely visible outline of an object from the masking effect of the ambient environment whereby "false images" (artifacts) are eliminated. Thus studying laboratory-developed, atmospheric and cosmic plasma, we have detected in it an interconnected network of long-lived tubular formations, the universal skeletal structures. Some of their characteristics as well as topology are explained by the hypothesis advanced in 1998 by Alexander B. Kukushkin, Cand. Sc. (Phys. & Math.), of the Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute". He suggested adopting carbon nanotubes as elementary basic blocks for such structures. Carbon nanotubes were discovered in the early 1990s by Dr. Ijima of Japan; these are cylinders made up of "patches" having a dense pattern of hexagons with C (carbon) atoms sitting in the vertices.*

See: A. Kukushkin, V. Valentin Rantsev-Kartinov, "Universal Skeletal Structures: in Lab and in Space". Science in Russia, No. 1, 2004; B. Kolbasov et al., "New Nanomaterial", Science in Russia, No. 1, 2005. -Ed.

Articles in this rubric reflect the authors'opinion. -Ed.

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Image of a fragment of the ocean surface in the focus of the Carolina hurricane upon treatment by the method of multilevel dynamical contrasting of images. A "cartwheel" with a diameter of - 10 m is clearly visible above-a second tier rising above a tubular structure stretching a few meters forward.

Left, the distinct image of an almost vertically oriented "cartwheel"-the end face of a tubular structure receding to the background at an angle of - 45. An identical block goes from the center to the right.

Using this very method it has become possible to detect similar structures in photographs of thick thunderclouds, tornadoes, hurricanes, waterspouts (whirlpools) and of a rough ocean surface. The images of the latter show up floating cylinders-floating vertically and horizontally (occasionally nested or embedded with a correlation of nearby diameters ~2m)-as well as constructions looking like cartwheels, either in their end faces or in whole blocks. They have rectilinear radial spoke-like links and tend toward self-similarity, or self-reproduction (each figure comprising look-alikes, though of smaller size, and these produce analogous ones, but even smaller-and so on down the line). Connected into a single network by surface tension forces, these blocks grow larger with the further choppiness of water, and the cylinders floating vertically above the water surface may rise 2 meters above because of the froth filling some of their volume.

It is not accidental that we have mentioned these constructions, or skeletal structures of the ocean, beside anomalous atmospheric phenomena. Our model identifies their common headsource, the dust plasma. In fact, an analysis of the database on hurricanes in the Atlantic shows: the formation of clouds responsible for their birth there is related to volcanicity and dust storms in Africa.* It is from Africa's west coast that tropical "monsters" travel to the Gulf of Mexico to wreak havoc and devastation there (this is seen in the map of their routes drawn from the data collected for nearly a hundred years of observations). Similar evidence for the Pacific Ocean points at Japan and Oceania as chief "purveyors" of microdust particles in the atmosphere.

Some of the components of suchlike impurities include structure-forming elements: carbon nanotubes, microscopic grains of silicon oxides, salts of aluminum and other metals, and so forth. Under the effect of the geomagnetic field and atmospheric electricity they may become coupled electrically and, upon turning into magnetic dipoles (two charges equal in magnitude but opposite in sign) can build a framework (skeleton) in the shape of a solid grid. The microscopic ice crystals and drops of water deposited on it give rise to a strongly charged cloud (the charge may be as high as 1 GV). Its high-conductance "skeleton" can concentrate all this energy in the zone of a breakdown** and thus touch off a hurricane or tornado.

But yet another scenario is possible: a cloud loses its charge and descends onto the ocean surface. Its solid-body skeleton does not sink in but keeps above water by vigorously adsorbing the gases dissolved in the water. A great number of such structures have built up ever since the ocean has been in existence. During storms many of these are broken up, and their fragments get into those that have survived intact. Accordingly, at every point of theirs, matter is present in the solid, liquid and gaseous forms. Consequently, surface tension forces act even at some depth below the water surface. Like taut rubber braids they tighten the blocks packed with crushed fragments (and thus hardened), and these blocks are brought together-softly and flexibly, as so many skeletal joints-into a single network.

See: Ye. Demin et al.. "Cyclone Over Sahara". Science in Russia, No. 4, 2005. - Ed.

** Breakdown-here, an electric channel along the cloud-earth discharge stretch. -Auth.

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Now let us take the "cartwheels" arising on the ocean surface. They keep alive for a rather long time without spinning (in contrast to whirlpools) and always have distinct radial bonds between the "axis" and the "rim"; they often intrude larger structures and can come up as the end faces of horizontally floating cylinders, nearly upright, and dozens of meters across. Similar structures, but dozens of times as large, are occasionally seen in snapshots taken by space orbiters and high-altitude weather rockets.

Another variety of skeletal structures appears in the form of dendritic, tree-like images, with a "stem" shaped like a bulging bridge connecting two humps of a wave and "branches" going deep under. Their geometrical dimensions can be calculated from photo images and thereupon, the strength characteristics of the entire construction, for it has the same density as water does.

Tubular structures are found to be most common among those under investigation. They can be multilayer ones and of different dimensions, with the smooth, reticular or wicker surface, radial connectives and "cartwheels" on faces; they float horizontally when the ocean is just ruffled (even though they are more stable in the vertical, upright position, for their center of gravity lies deep under water). Occasionally the top of a cylinder is submerged or rises slightly above the surface, while the central part, smaller in diameter, pops up like a float.

A study of photos taken from a bird's-eye-view height (that is about 100 m above surface) has demonstrated: the lower wind lays bare, and the frothy water brightens the constructive peculiarities of skeletal structures (because air bubbles in such water reflect light intensively). But their sudden motion in a rough ocean allows to trace their movement trajectories. That is why the objects of interest to us had better be studied in stormy weather.

Our observations prompt this conclusion: many of the vertically floating cylinders coming up dozens of meters apart are actually the faces of a U-shaped structure (its middle part can be at a depth of 50 to 100 meters), i.e. they are communicating vessels. Therefore, when a wave overruns one of them, another zooms up and spurts a jet of water. The dynamic impact of a jet like that is rather strong: say, it is capable of lifting a surfboard rider pretty high where he will hang on for a while like a ping-pong ball in a fountain. But the hydrodynamic pressure within this waterspout will fall soon, and our hapless surfing rider will go under without realizing what has occurred to him.

Scanning photo images by our method allows to detect the skeletal structure of ocean waves (a body made up of tubes whose faces show up "cartwheels" with distinct "spokes"); those washing a gently sloping shore display "tongues" lolling out quite faraway. The frontal part of such tongues has a rather complex structure in which, however, we can discern tubular constructions around an eminent "pivot". The crest of the wave is in fact a hori-

Fragment of the surface ocean's image obtained over a stormy sea from the upper point of the trajectory of a high-altitude meteorological rocket. A cartwheel structure measuring 600 m across shows up after image treatment.

An extended well-nigh rectilinear dendritic (tree-like) structure is discernible upon image treatment. Its "branches" go under and connect-like a bulging bridge-two humps of the wave. Their links with elements of a larger structure can also be traced.

Showing in the middle is a water level rise ~40 cm across. It has a recess from which a cylindrical pivot sticks out almost vertically-like an angler's float- ~6 cm in diameter, with a smaller one about 1 cm across.

стр. 43

A horizontally floating multilayer cylinder whose outer envelope (~3 m across) is torn apart horizontally. Some of the features of the inner structure are discernible: the remains of the radial bonds linking the layers and envelopes; the reticulate structure of the internal cylinder's surface.

Fragment of an image showing the crest of a storm wave; the crest is shaped like a multilayer cylinder ~10 min diameter. Crossing it perpendicularly are similar cylinders which destroy some of its outer shell and poise over the descending part of the wave crest almost horizontally. As seen in the picture, the outer envelope of the crest cylinder is destroyed by the impact.

A "tongue" lolling out from the breaker as it overruns a gently sloping shore.

zontally floating cylinder with water flowing in through its lateral surface. Similar structures occur now and then in the water flow, though perpendicular to this cylinder. Colliding, they break its outer shell and expose its inner structure. Hitting a steep shore slope with the lower part of their faces, such cylinders may collapse to look like so many broken thick-wall cast-iron pipes.

All this happens in stormy weather. As the storm subsides, some of the above constructions submerge, while others keep above. Their air-exposed parts dry up, they lose the liquid film connectives and fall apart. Their fragments either submerge or stay up, depending on individual buoyancy. Incidentally, in a calm sea one can track from outer space routes of ships over a stretch of 1,500 km. The point is that their screws destroy the homogeneity of the ocean skeletal structure (something that affects the water reflectivity over there), and its rehabilitation takes some time.

Now let's consider water whirlpools from a standpoint of our hypothesis. The whirlpool is often misnamed a tornado rising over high water. Yet the whirlpool has a short life, a mere 15 to 30 min, and it is much second to the tornado in size and growth, and climbs to 0.1 - 1 km. Whirlpools are not always attended by gale-force winds, and the sea may not be choppy at all.

This natural phenomenon (whirlpool) begins with a shining spot 10 to 20 m across on the water surface within a dark one three times as large. Then there appear distinct "whiskers" wound along a spiral, and, little by little, the whole thing starts spinning. A ring of water droplets and vapor builds up all around to give rise to a whirlpool column. The spiral contracts, and a "finger", the climacteric point of the phenomenon, sticks our from the "mother" cloud. Thereupon the rotation slows down, the column inclines downward, stretches out and comes apart.

According to the capillary-drop electrostatic model suggested by the author of the present article, definite conditions are needed for a whirlpool to arise. The paths of a strongly charged cloud (up to 109V) about 1 km tall and of a vertically floating cylinder filled with capillaries (supposedly assembled from carbon nanotubes) should cross. A very thin film of moisture starts rising up their walls under the effect of surface tension forces and an electric field generated by the cloud. Reaching as high as their upper end faces, it forms droplets, each carrying a charge of several electrons; these tiny drops soar upward, speed up to a definite velocity and then, moving at a steady rate, build up an aerosol column.

The electric field extrudes capillaries from water and sends them up as high as 2 m. It's over there that the whirlpool "pedestal" stands. Once upon it, the capillaries start losing drops, since the liquid is stretched by its sheer weight to a snapping-point; there come high-frequency oscillations which ionize and excite water and gas molecules, the cause of the luminescence. Thereupon the column, with a fall of the static pressure

стр. 44

within, begins to suck in by its entire surface the surrounding air mass (which is a weakly ionized plasma). The air thus starts moving horizontally and, what with the presence of the vertical component of the geomagnetic field, this triggers a torque responsible for the unwinding of the column and the ambient gases.

Finally, a thin film of sea water (possessing sufficiently high conductivity) is formed on the column's periphery. The cloud discharges rapidly, and in its destructive impact this terrible natural phenomenon comes close to a tactical nuclear blast. Indeed, during its lifetime it is capable of performing work equivalent to 103 GJ-quite enough to speed up an air volume of 0.5 km3 to a rate of 150m/s.

We have derived and solved equations that describe the kinetics of the process quantitatively; furthermore, we have determined the characteristic times of its stages, the velocity of gases and aerosol particles, their mean density in the column as well as other parameters. We hope our hypothesis will help explain much of what is still not clear to us, and describe the putative scenario of the process as the whirlpool grows into a classical tornado. We may also try to use a similar model for the most violent tropical hurricanes.

Knowing the basic conditions and mechanisms of the whirlpool and its formative process, we can explore avenues toward its forecasting and prevention. For instance, it will be advisable to monitor regions where such phenomena occur the oftenest and, if need be, by blowing a small charge, destroy a vertically floating cylinder spotted in the zone of a thundercloud's trajectory. And why not make the best of this ecologically pure source of geophysical energy in the future? Why not utilize it?

Summing up, let us evaluate the impact of skeletal structures, very active physically and chemically, arising in the ocean and having a very high specific surface area per water volume unit (~5 · 103 cm2/cm3). Their structural strength may attain significant values, up to 0.6 kg/cm2. Say, if the length of a block like that is equal to ~100 m, and its diameter, ~30 m, its weight will be as high as ~3 · 105 tons, or dozens of times greater than the displacement of big ocean liners. That is why in a storm such structures pose a major threat to safe navigation, especially where they occur too often. It may be for this reason that sea captains will keep away from certain areas off Africa's southern shores.

Meanwhile the intense generation of ultimate charged aerosol particles, which are conducive to hurricanes and water whirlpools, activates chemical and biological processes in the ocean: the surface of skeletal structures attracts microscopic plants, bacteria and phytoplankton that consume the oxygen adsorbed from water as well as carbon dioxide, the two gases vital to biosynthesis. It is not much to say that the objects of our study are in fact powerful biochemical and physical reactors, the "lungs" of our planet, and form a good base for the output of

Seen in the foreground is a remnant of the face of a horizontally floating cylinder ~7 min diameter that collapses as a bow-wave hits the shore in a storm.

A tubular structure -6 m in diameter with radial bonds on the end face. Its middle part is a similar structure extending to 4 m and -2 m across, with many (ca. 12) thin radial "spokes" and central axial disk ~0.7 m in diameter from which a ~ 0.3m cylinder protrudes.

food protein and carbohydrates. Let us recall that they have a common microdust skeletal structure and by this virtue can be viewed as a living organism (similar to fungal mycelium) with the rudiments of social functions. The World Ocean is alive, it throbs with vitality, and it should be treated with much care!


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V. Rantsev-Kartinov, SKELETAL STRUCTURES OF THE OCEAN // London: Libmonster (LIBMONSTER.COM). Updated: 27.09.2018. URL: (date of access: 26.09.2022).

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