04 Dec 2017
Rare-earth metals are found in everything from mobile phones to ground-breaking cancer treatments. The rise in demand is taking us to the seabed, where some of the greatest concentrations of rare-earth metals are to be found. But the stakes are high: deposits are hard to access, procedures are largely unproven at this scale and the capital required is huge – not to mention the environmental risks.
In our cover feature for this edition, we assess the opportunities and challenges presented by the industry, and tap into the expertise of hydrographic surveyors, to find out about some of the science behind mapping and understanding the sea bed.
Also this issue:
- At a global level, there is an enormous variety in construction methods and building materials. So why are we so wedded to un-environmentally friendly concrete? We take a look at three extraordinary – and even sometimes commonplace – building elements that we could be using a lot more in the future.
- How can we improve the resilience of our buildings and infrastructure against extreme events such as earthquakes? We speak to scientists and researchers behind the latest global projects to improve earthquake-proofing in the built environment, as well as earthquake detection and mitigation.
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