What do people think about the smart boulder? Here's what our experts have to say...

"Understanding underwater avalanches is important as they can break sea-floor cables, which carry 95% of the world's data traffic. "

Peter Talling, University of Durham

'The smart boulder has recorded the first detailed measurements of incredible underwater avalanches. A single avalanche can sometimes transport ten times more sediment than all of the world's rivers combined. Understanding these avalanches is important, as they can break sea-floor cables, which carry 95% of global data traffic, including internet traffic, phone calls and text messages. '

Peter Talling

Image: Peter Talling

"The smart boulder can help us study underwater avalanches in more detail than ever before. "

Miles Traer, Stanford University

'We've known about underwater avalanches for decades, but they still remain a deep mystery to us. Technologies like the smart boulder can help us to study these avalanches in much greater detail, connecting all the knowledge we've gained from laboratory studies, mathematical models and rock records. I can't wait to see what we might learn! '

Miles Traer

Image: Annie Parish

"The smart boulder can reveal the inner workings of our planet and help us prepare for future environmental challenges."

Kenny Broad, environmental anthropologist

'The smart boulder can help us understand the invisible processes that shape our world, such as underwater avalanches. By shedding light on these processes, the smart boulder can help us envision different approaches for dealing with future environmental challenges.'

Kenneth Broad

Image: Kenny Broad

1 comments on 'Points of view'

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Mike Clare, National Oceanography Centre

April 8, 2017 at 10:24

The flows that these smart boulders measure are like rivers underwater. They not only transport sediment to the depths of the ocean, but also provide nutrients and oxygen that support important but poorly studied communities of deep sea organisms. We still only know a small amount about the links between deep-sea biology and these flows, so these boulders and other instruments are providing exciting new insights to help us understand how life can exist and survive in the deepest parts of the oceans.

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