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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • using information from wells, the topography of the ground and a water table contour map, carry out the following: interpret cross-sections, calculate the thickness of the unsaturated zone, and the rate of groundwater flow; deduce the direction in which groundwater is flowing; and estimate the depth to the saline interface in a coastal area from the height of the water table;

  • list the types of rock that usually make g
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Introduction

Energy from sources other than fossil or nuclear fuels is to a large extent free of the concerns about environmental effects and renewability that characterise those two sources. Each alternative source supplies energy continually, whether or not we use it. Many alternative sources of energy have been used in simple ways for millennia, e.g. wind and water mills, sails, wood burning – but only in the last two centuries has their potential begun to be exploited on an industrial scale. Except
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Acknowledgements

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

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Introduction

Energy from sources other than fossil or nuclear fuels is to a large extent free of the concerns about environmental effects and renewability that characterise those two sources. Each alternative source supplies energy continually, whether or not we use it. Many alternative sources of energy have been used in simple ways for millennia, e.g. wind and water mills, sails, wood burning – but only in the last two centuries has their potential begun to be exploited on an industrial scale. Except
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4 Locating high-enthalpy geothermal fields

The search for potentially useful geothermal fields focuses initially on locating rocks that have been chemically altered by natural geothermal fluids, as well as looking for obvious surface features of geothermal activity such as geysers and hot springs. Measurements of fluid flow through the field allow estimation of its likely economic potential.

When a promising resource has been located exploration wells are drilled. However, given the high pressures and temperatures typical of a g
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6 Summary

Nuclear power generation results from fission of uranium isotopes when bombarded by neutrons. Conventional burner reactors require relatively scarce uranium-235, whereas fast breeder reactors (which have not yet been developed on any significant scale) would exploit more abundant uranium-238.

In the early 21st century over 400 nuclear — mainly burner — reactors produced 16% of global electricity demand.

The UK played a leading role in nuclear power developments during the 1950
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3.2 Uranium occurrence and ore deposits

In igneous rocks, uranium is more abundant in granites (~3.5 ppm) than in basalts (~1 ppm). The large size of the uranium atom prevents it from easily entering the structures of common rock-forming minerals, so it is an incompatible element that tends to remain in magmas until a late stage of crystallisation, when it enters minor minerals, or even the uranium oxide, uraninite (UO2). In suitable circumstances, following fractional crystallisation of uranium-rich granitic magm
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4.1 Global coal reserves

Having looked in detail at how coal is mined, this section focuses on those areas of the world that produce it. It begins by looking at how and why reserves of coal are distributed throughout the UK and Europe, before reviewing the current global reserves of coal.


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2.4 Modern mine planning

Once the geological data gathered during the exploration phase has been evaluated, geologists will estimate the quality and quantity of coal present. Coal reserves (in tonnes) are calculated from volume × density (Section 5). The volume of coal is controlled by seam area and seam thickness.

Hence:

tonnage = se
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1.5 The physics and chemistry of coal formation

Coal is a type of sediment made up mainly of lithified plant remains. But how does spongy, rotting plant debris become a hard seam of coal? As discussed earlier, plant material growing in mires dies, and then rots under anoxic conditions to form peat (by the process of humification). With time, the mire becomes covered with layers of sediment, the weight of which squeezes water and gas out of the pore spaces and compacts the vegetation. As subsidence allows deposition of further mire
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1.3.2 Peat formation in raised mires

Mires can also form inland within low-lying depressions, provided the rate of precipitation exceeds the rate of evaporation (Figure 4a). Peat is impermeable and so its accumulation progressively impedes drainage. This attribute gives mires the ability to maintain a water table independent of the area surrounding them.
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2 Odd one out

The image below shows models of four mammals:

  • Rhinoceros

  • Whale

  • Elephant

  • Hippopotamus

Figure 1
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7.3 Regulation of secretion

Up to this point we have made a clear distinction between constitutive secretion and regulated secretion. In reality however the border is a bit more blurred. For example, many molecules are constitutively expressed on the surface of a cell, but their expression is increased in response to a particular stimulus. In other words, surface expression is determined by both constitutive and regulated secretion. Constitutive secretion is regulated primarily at the level of protein synthesis, whereas
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6.2 Endocytosis

Fluid-phase uptake by pinocytosis can be broadly categorised according to the size of the endocytic vesicle and this also relates to how the vesicle is coated (Figure 35). The rate of internalisation is directly proportional to (i) the concentration of extracellular molecules, (ii) the volume enclosed by the vesicle and (iii) the ra
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4.5 Summary

  1. Targeting sequences at the N-terminus of proteins direct translation across the ER, and act as signals for import to the nucleus, mitochondrion and chloroplasts. Sequences at the C-terminus control traffic through the ER and the Golgi and to peroxisomes.

  2. Glycosylation is directed by signal sequences that act as targets for N-linked glycosylation in the ER and O-linked glycosylation in the Golgi apparatus. Glycosylation and remodelling of polys
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3.7 Summary

  1. The formation of transport vesicles is initiated by small G proteins that insert into the donor membrane and assemble coat proteins. The coat proteins are COPI, COPII or clathrin, depending on the pathway, and the coat includes adaptor proteins that link the coat to the vesicle and its cargo. Epsins and dynamin are involved in the budding process.

  2. The vesicle cargo depends on the adaptor proteins, sorting proteins and receptors that are assemb
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2.7 Summary

  1. Eukaryotic cells contain numerous distinct types of membrane-bound compartment. Transport vesicles move proteins and other molecules between the compartments.

  2. Proteins contain signalling sequences or patches that specify their destination compartment.

  3. Proteins destined for lysosomes, secretion or the plasma membrane are synthesised in the ER, transported to the cis Golgi, modified in the Golgi apparatus, and sorted and pa
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References

Alberts, B., Johnson, A., Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, K. and Walter, P. (2002) Molecular Biology of the Cell (4th edn), Garland Science, New York.
Cowley, S., Paterson, H., Kemp, P. and Marshall, C. J.(1994) 'Activation of MAP kinase is necessary and sufficient for PC12 differentiation and for transformation of NIH 3T3 cells', Cell, vol. 77, no. 6, pp. 841–52.
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4.1 Glucose metabolism

We are now in a position to draw together the major concepts and components of signalling, and show how they operate in one well-understood system, namely the regulation of the storage or release of glucose in the human body. From this, you will be able to recognize archetypal pathways represented in specific examples, you will be able to appreciate how the same basic pathways can be stimulated by different hormones in different tissues, and you will see how opposing hormones activate separat
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3.5 Monomeric G proteins

We shall discuss monomeric G proteins (also called small G proteins or small GTPases) separately from the trimeric G proteins for three reasons: their upstream activators are different, they tend to have different target proteins, and they commonly operate within different signalling pathways.

  • What structural features and activities do monomeri
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