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Old 10-14-2005, 08:36 PM
Idle Thoughts Idle Thoughts is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Arizona
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Some questions about The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Why exactly does it lean, again? Isn't it because the earth it's built on is unstable and making it sink into the ground on one side at a slow rate per year?

And what will eventually become of it? If it's still sinking, even at a very slow rate, where will it be, say, 100 years from now? Wouldn't it fall over finally someday?
Old 10-14-2005, 09:11 PM
Mangetout's Avatar
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 57,832
Many attempts have been made to halt the progress of its lean or right it (famously, the first attempt was carried out while it was still being constructed) - including massive lead weights on a concrete collar and freezing the surrounding soil.

The latest attempt appears to have worked; they drilled out some cores of soil from the side that wasn't sinking so fast and this allowed it to settle back to a slightly more upright position, albeit slightly lower compared to ground level. Supposedly good for a couple of hundred years now.
Old 10-14-2005, 09:23 PM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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Location: Garden Spot of the South
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Yes, the soft soil has caused the differential settlement of the tower. A few years ago, a team of international engineers completed a "straightening" of the tower - not looking for perfection, but trying to move it several inches.

You may find this article helpful.

The construction of the tower went on for two hundred years. Over that period, several attempts were made to straighten it as it went up - including the use of tapered blocks.

According to CNN, it reopened in December 2001.

Sounds like this "straightening" technique can be used successfully again, if needed.

Upon preview: beat me to it, Mangetout
Old 10-15-2005, 08:45 AM
peepthis peepthis is offline
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Location: ...and around the corner
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Cecil speaks on the Leaning Tower before the latest straightening measures were completed.
Old 10-15-2005, 11:27 AM
flurb flurb is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 923
Maybe a trite answer, but I suppose that the tower can be kept upright for as long as the somebody thinks it's worth the cost of doing so. There's really no reason why the lean cannot be remedied indefinitely, although probably through increasingly more expensive engineering and technological fixes. If it ever reaches the point that the costs of maintaining verticality outweighes the perceived benefits to national pride, historical preservation and tourist dollars, then that'll be that.
Old 10-15-2005, 12:09 PM
Jman Jman is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 3,200
Honestly, I think it's amazing that the thing is still standing. It REALLY leans. It's kind of disorienting when you walk up it.


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