The construction of artificial islands will improve conditions for using the resources and spaces of the Ocean. On the Ocean, production facilities for underwater mining can be constructed. The creation of artificial islands opens new paths for the development of fisheries and mariculture - such sites could become bases for fishing fleets and fish processing.
Engineers, architects and builders in a number of
countries are already designing and constructing artificial islands for
multi-purpose use. Great successes have been already achieved in Japan,
Hong Kong and Singapore. Some of these artificial islands are sometimes
called the "Noah's Arks" of the future. In Japan, some tens of artificial
islands have already been constructed. In Russia, approximately 25 % of
the general expansion of the coastline is necessary, and will be accomplished
on an artificially-created shore. In Osaka Bay, the percentage is 81%;
in Tokyo Bay, it is 83%. Now, the general area of "man-made lands," together
with artificial islands, exceeds 1,000 km2, and by the year
2000, will come closer to 2,000 km2.
Creation of artificial islands
In 1975, Nagasaki began operation of an airport 163 hectares in area. In 1993, Osaka’s Kansai airport, built on an artificial island of 1,100 hectares was completed. Additional airports are planned in Japan, equal in size to Kansai airport.
The majority of artificial islands in shallow waters were created in other countries. In the Eresunn strait (Sweden), near the port of Landskruna, an island covering an area of 32 hectares was created from industrial waste and covered with a layer of fertile soil. In the Beaufort Sea, 26 km from Pullen Island, an artificial island was built in 19 m of water, with a diameter of 130 m.
Up to the present time, construction of artificial
islands was generally considered feasible in depths of 10-15 m. In recent
years however, increasing attention is being given to making construction
of artificial islands easier at greater depths.
The project of an artificial island-city / transpiration on the Ocean
The Japanese architect, K. Terom, developed a plan for a project, a suburb of Tokyo, which could be located 120 km from the present shoreline of Japan. In this project, a city will be constructed on piles, consisting of four levels (platforms); the size of each would be 5 X 5 km. Each level would have a height of 20m. An area on the order of 100 km2 is required for living accommodations and infrastructure to support 1 million residents. The spaces built above the piles would be stacked, containing large administrative, industrial, commercial, and living accommodations. On a roof of the structure a rest zone and an airport would be built, well-separated from each other. The suburb would be connected to the capital city by high-speed ferry service.
There are many architectural designs for ocean cities. The "Ocean Venice" project deserves special attention. An artificial island holding up to 30,000 people, would be erected 28 km from the east coast of Great Britain, over a depth of 10 m of water. The city, shown here in an artist’s concept, appears to have a step-like wall, similar to that of a huge amphitheatre. Power stations, fuelled by locally-supplied underwater natural gas, would be located on the perimeter. This artificial island would be built on a concrete and rock base. The wall of the amphitheatre would serve to protect the city from winds, and the upper, circular tiers will be used for living accommodations, joined together by escalators.
As the depth to the sea floor increases, the cost of fixed, artificial islands sharply increases. Therefore, a great deal of interest has been shown in the concept of “floating islands”. Building islands that float is a widely used practice. In the port city of Valdez, Alaska, a floating container terminal has been built, consisting of two sections which are anchored, and are connected to the shore by two steel bridges.
Floating islands will be constructed from concrete
and steel designs, which are intended for accommodating factories or shipyards.
To keep them in place, there will be anchor pilings, or supports fixed
to the sea bed. Along Arctic coastlines, artificial areas could be created
by using islands formed by pack ice.
The floating city project - an industrial complex for extracting and shipping mineral wealth from the sea floor
Industrial complexes built on the sea floor will
need a maintenance base on the Ocean surface. It will represent a floating
city, the body of which is constructed from steel or steel and concrete.
In this city - base, it will be necessary to install a high-power electrical
facility, repair plant, shops, storage, and other buildings needed to service
an underwater industrial business, and to maintain the normal life of the
people living there. From the city - base there will have to be transport
vessel moorings, ensuring access to the shore. Even storms will not be
disruptive for such a city, because their effects will be greatly dampened
by a pneumatic breakwater made from plastic pipe with sets of holes. The
breakwater pipe will surround the entire city area, incorporating a compressor
station. If there are small waves on the sea, the breakwater does not operate,
but as soon as the size of the waves become menacing, automatic control
units will activate the compressors.
The floating airport of future
Many modern cities near the Ocean, and their suburbs, are overpopulated. In these areas it is difficult to find land suitable and convenient for building airports. The increasing volume of air traffic produces noise that has a harmful effect on people’s lives. This situation forces airports to be built away form the cities, and for some, artificially created islands are the answer to this problem.
In the USA, Great Britain and Japan, projects
and designs for airports built on artificial, floating islands are being
A floating-port project built of steel and reinforced concrete
The floating island can be a marine port which
will ensure safe mooring of large-tonnage vessels. Cargo vessels and tankers
can deliver minerals and petroleum extracted from the sea floor in such
ports. Engineers have produced a huge horseshoe design for this type of
floating facility, with protected spaces inside, serving as a port of call
for these vessels.
There are already artificial ports with well-arranged terminals for cargo handling situated at significant distances from the shore.
With the development of Ocean industries, there is the inevitable requirement to design and build various types of technical facilities, e.g., industrial complexes, mines, drilling platforms and associated structures, underwater navigational stations, transport systems, etc.
The vigorous activities of humans in the Ocean will require the creation of a new class and quality of underwater technological products, special ships and underwater vehicles. Ships of one type will be used to realise resource exploration and extraction, fulfilling Man’s needs for every possible economic activity at any depth. Vessels of another type will be engaged in underwater fishing. Underwater vessels will be required to take passengers to underwater cities and transporting workers to industrial firms on the Ocean bottom.
In the future, ores and other mineral raw materials mined and stored on the Ocean bottom will need to be transported by special vessels. The construction of special “diver” vessels for extraction and transporting raw materials is envisioned. Depending on the type of extracted raw materials and its incidence on the sea floor, the “diving” vessels will have special devices to automatically retrieve and load these raw materials in holds of underwater transport vessels. Diving vessels can be used to deliver any cargoes to the shore or any underwater base of operation.
There are already many projects awaiting the production of underwater transport vessels. The first use of these vessels could be to transport petroleum and petroleum products across the northern polar seas. Research on the economic efficiency of underwater oil ships of the future has shown that the cost of petroleum transportation will be lower than if carried by ice-breaking surface oil tankers and will also be lower than the cost of transferring it by oil pipelines. It is assumed that the underwater oil tanker will load its tanks with petroleum from underwater moorings, not floating on the surface.
Multi-disciplinary research of already-used routes
for transporting raw materials through Arctic waters is necessary for solving
the problems connected with underwater navigation. Some researchers see
the Arctic Ocean as one of the main marine routes of the future.
Fishing by underwater trawlers
Underwater oil tanker of the future
Routes of underwater oil tankers of the future
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A recreation facility built in Australia
Cruise liner of the 21st century
Jet thruster ferryboat
The constantly growing interest in marine cruises forces us to consider new ways to manifest this most ancient and interesting kind of recreation.
Floating islands will probably be built, on which recreation, rest and tourist facilities are located, and which can be moved during the winter months to zones with more favourable climatic conditions. Travel on underwater passenger vessels will give tourists and vacationers a chance to become acquainted with the natural beauty of the underwater kingdom and with its flora and fauna.
Resort zones will be built on artificial islands. There are already resorts on some small islands built off the shores of the Florida peninsula, with land, beaches, and even palm trees.
When building these various artificial islands, it is necessary for Man to resolve the enormous problems of transporting, placing and maintaining great volumes of soil, sand and stone at depths. These programmes, in turn, create new work for researchers, and builders of these projects.
The implementation of these grandiose schemes is
closely connected to the global problem of protecting the Ocean environment.
Therefore, carefully thought-out plans and in-depth studies must precede
these schemes to ensure that the fragile, and in many respects, already
damaged nature of the Ocean is protected. It is a debt which we must pay
today to ensure a happy life for the people of the future. Tomorrow’s day
of the Ocean relies on that which we make of it today.
Information provided by HDNO: http://www.oceansatlas.com/unatlas/about/ContactInfoForHDNO.html