As sea levels rise and shorelines erode, the hunt is on for ways to protect the millions of people that live in seaside communities. But engineers with an eye on a wetter future might want to look to the past for inspiration. As Ben Guarino reports for the Washington Post, an innovation from ancient Rome might hold clues to creating a more durable sea wall.
Saltwater corrodes modern concrete within years. But the concrete used by ancient Romans doesn't suffer this same issue. Romans erected sea walls and piers roughly 2,000 years ago, and many still stand strong in Italian waters. Now a new study in the journal American Mineralogist explains why.
Scientists analyzed the chemical makeup of pier pieces from locations throughout Italy and assessed historical writings about ancient Roman sea structures to learn more about the tough material. This analysis suggests that the materials undergo a rare chemical reaction.
Read more: SMITHSONIAN
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WhyRoman Concrete Still Stands Strong While Modern Versions Decay: THE GUARDIAN