Space Station investigation called BCAT-CS studies dynamic forces between
sediment particles that cluster together.
For the study, scientists sent mixtures of quartz and clay particles to the space
station and subjected them to various levels of simulated gravity.
Conducting the experiment in microgravity makes it possible to separate out different forces that act on sediments and look at the function of
Sediment systems of quartz and clay occur many places on Earth, including rivers,
lakes, and oceans, and affect many
activities, from deep-sea hydrocarbon drilling to carbon sequestration.
sediments behave has a range of applications on Earth, including predicting and mitigating erosion, improving water
treatment, modeling the carbon cycle,
sequestering contaminants and more accurately finding deep sea oil
It also may provide insight for future studies of the
geology of new and unexplored planets.