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AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

The Alaska Pipeline's Permafrost Challenge

  • Aired: 05/15/2006
  • 00:37
  • Rating: NR
The oilmen planned to build the Alaska pipeline the same way they'd built every other pipeline in the world -- dig a ditch and bury it. This would not work in the arctic. Beneath a thin, insulating cover of tundra and vegetation, much of Alaska sits on permanently frozen ground called permafrost. In some places, it's mostly gravel, but in others it's mostly ice.
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The Alaska Pipeline's Permafrost Challenge
The Alaska Pipeline could not be buried under the Arctic tundra.
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