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Über dieses Buch

The subjects refer to histories of ancient and modern use of seacoasts; possible macro-projects capable of massive changes in the coastlines of the Dead Sea, Red Sea and Persian Gulf caused by canal and massively scaled hydropower dam installations; relevant macro-projects for the Black Sea and Baltic Sea; possibilities of refreshment of the Aral Sea and Iran’s Lake Uremia with seawater or river freshwater importation macro-projects; potential rehabilitation of some vital arid zone regions now dominated by moving or movable surface granular materials using unique and unusual macro-projects; seawater flooding of land regions situated below present-day global sea-level; harnessing energy and obtaining freshwater from the world’s salt-laden ocean by modern industrial means; various macro-projects designed specifically for the protection (reduction of vulnerability) of particular Earth geographical regions.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Living with Sea Level Change and Dynamic Landscapes: An Archaeological Perspective

For most of human existence on this planet over the past 2 million years, sea level has been substantially lower than the present and has swung through changes of more than 100 m in response to the glacial–interglacial climatic cycle. At a time when modern society is increasingly concerned about the potentially destructive impact over the coming decades of a sea-level rise of 3 m or so, it is sobering to realize that prehistoric societies across the world faced a sea-level rise between about 16,000 and 6000 years ago of 130 m (Fig.

1

). That change of course was spread over many human generations and many millennia, so that the full effects would not have been experienced within a single human lifetime. Nevertheless, the long-term cumulative effect of sea level rise and loss of territory would have been dramatic. On a world scale, substantial areas of continental shelf were successively exposed, creating potentially attractive territories for human settlement and migration and land connections between major land masses, and then removed again by sea level rise (Fig.

2

). In Europe, during the last glacial period, the total land mass of the continent was extended by as much as 40% at the maximum marine regression (Fig.

3

), with a corresponding loss of land when sea levels rose as the continental glaciers melted into the oceans. In some parts of the sea-level cycle, and especially in regions where the slope of the continental shelf is shallow, the effects would have been noticeable and sometimes dramatic within the lifetimes and memories of the people affected. Moreover, these changes have taken place repeatedly over the long Pleistocene history of human existence.

Geoffrey N. Bailey, Geoffrey C. P. King

History of Ischia Harbour (Southern Italy)

The port constituted the fundamental marine transporation element connecting the island and the mainland, providing easier access to the island and promoting the progressive growth of the local economy. At the time, Ischia showed great diversity between one zone and another, and much of the island was almost inaccessible and sparsely inhabited. Noted for its active volcanism from the early fourteenth century and persistent seismicity until 1883, “before 1853 this island was almost impracticable, … to the detriment of many natural advantages that it has over others, it had a wild appearance, to say the least” (Annali Civili del Regno delle Due Sicilie—Annals of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

1855

).

Stefano Carlino, Elena Cubellis, Ilia Delizia, Giuseppe Luongo

“And an Island Never Cries”: Cultural and Societal Perspectives on the Mega Development of Islands in the United Arab Emirates

This chapter aims at revealing cultural and societal aspects of the megaengineering of artificial islands and other island development projects in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is a federation established in 1971 of seven traditional sheikhdoms or emirates, located on the Arabian coast of the Persian Gulf. The largest emirate Abu Dhabi; and also the name of the capital, but perhaps most famous is the city and emirate of Dubai for its many spectacular and extravagant megaprojects. The number and size of these new island projects can be understood by studying the elaborate chapter “Infrastructure” in the latest official

United Arab Emirates Yearbook 2009

. This chapter recounts for several projects of this kind that will be the starting point for my article and explained below in detail: In Abu Dhabi city the yearbook mentions that the islands named Sowwah, Al Reem, Saadiyat, Yas and Lulu are undergoing reclamation. In Dubai the world’s largest artificial archipelago called The World has been finalized and the three large man-made Palm Islands are under construction with one recently being completed. In the coastal areas of the smaller and poorer northern emirates, islands are being developed as well, following the pattern of the larger emirates.

Pernilla Ouis

The Dramatic Drop of the Dead Sea: Background, Rates, Impacts and Solutions

Up to the 1970s, freshwater input in the DS was able to maintain a less salty topmost water layer (epilimnion) over-riding a salt-saturated bottom water layer (hypolimnion). The epilimnion was ~40 m deep, had a seasonal temperature variation of between 19 and 37°C and a salinity of about 30%. The water was particularly rich in sulphate and bicarbonate. Below the density interface (pycnocline, 40–100 m of depth) the hypolimnion was characterized by a uniform temperature of ~22°C and a salinity of >34%; it contained hydrogen sulphide and high concentrations of magnesium, potassium, chlorine, and bromine. The hypolimnion was unmixed for a long time. It is saturated with sodium chloride that precipitates as halite on the bottom (Abed

1985

). The unique mineral composition of the DS water and its high salt concentration make it suitable for the production of potassium and magnesium. In addition, the high salt concentration provides natural cures against various skin sicknesses and the high oxygen content and low UVB exposure make the DS a prime area for therapeutic tourism (Abdel-Fattah and Pingitore

2009

; Charlier and Chaineux

2009

).

Shahrazad Abu Ghazleh, Abdulkader M. Abed, Stephan Kempe

The Red Sea–Dead Sea Canal: Its Origin and the Challenges it Faces

The purpose of this chapter is to allow uninformed readers to understand the situation in which the Red Sea–Dead Sea canal arose. The water policy in the Middle East is complex and some key elements are provided so that the reader understands (1) why Jordan is currently actively seeking a fresh water source based on the desalination of seawater of the Red Sea, (2) why the Palestinians (West Bank), who have large quantity of freshwater in their ground, are also looking for freshwater from the canal project, (3) why Israel is involved in this project while its water reserves allow it to do without that channel.

Damien Closson, Herbert Hansen, François Halgand, Nada Milisavljevic, Frédéric Hallot, Marc Acheroy

Red Sea Heliohydropower: Bab-al-Mandab Sill Macro-Project

Macro-engineering has purposely developed, and is currently applying, proved construction and operation technologies and modern management techniques to effectively connect the various natural and anthropogenic components of certain Earth-biosphere regions. “Industrial metabolism” is an apt metaphor to describe the mobilization and control of materials and energy through industrial activities. Predictive geomorphology involves the assessment of the “Anthropic Force”, the combined effect on the Earth’s surface, direct and indirect, of humankind’s planned and unplanned industrial activities (Haff

2003

). Twenty-first century technology enables us to move earth materials, and to create artificial constructions at an unprecedented scale—from the miniscule scale of Land Art to vast Macro-engineering mega-projects. In the near-term future it will become possible to divide suitable sea gulfs from the world-ocean through the building of appropriate physical barriers (dams) in order to create economically feasible power-drop macroproject sites.

Roelof D. Schuiling, Viorel Badescu, Richard B. Cathcart, Jihan Seoud, Jaap C. Hanekamp

The Hormuz Strait Dam Macroproject

“Noah’s Ark”, millennia ago, was caulked with tar mined from the ground’s surface to make it a waterproof lifeboat capable of enduring “Noah’s Flood”. Today, petroleum is pumped from beneath the same desert region where, putatively, “Noah’s Ark” was assembled. “Edin” is the Sumerian word for “plain”; the “Garden of Edin”, planted by God as man’s first home, is speculated to have been located somewhere on the trough-like alluvial plain situated north of the Strait of Hormuz, some of which has become seafloor while another part has become covered by river-borne sediments shifted from the Tigris-Euphrates watershed (Isaev and Mikhailova

2009

; Kennett and Kennett

2006

). “Edin” was Paradise, the true cradle of mankind, according to Sumerian myths and later religious mythologies (Hamblin

1987

; Scafi

2006

). Is there a possibility that Twenty-first Century Macro-engineering may make the arid region north of the Strait of Hormuz more livable? We assume no significant future changes in the existing wind climatology of the Persian Gulf—that is, during the summertime, the Indian monsoon-created light northwesterly winds over the Gulf, which allow the formation of thermally driven air circulations—sea breezes on land all year and land breezes on land during nighttime (Eager et al.

2008

). Sadly, and with some trepidation bordering on alarm, we also must assume that the historically famous “Fertile Crescent” could “disappear” during the Twenty-first Century owing to climate change related to global warming, however that air warming might be caused (Kitoh et al.

2008

). In other words, the ecosystem-states of the Gulf must find, during the Twenty-first Century, some new economic status of energy supply security and price stability, amongst other macro-problems in need of macro-engineering solutions.

Roelof Schuiling, Viorel Badescu, Richard Cathcart, Piet van Overveld

Construction Techniques for Deep-water Immersed Tunnel Using Real-time Sea Strait Current Forecast

The Marmaray Project (Lykke and Belkaya

2005

) in Istanbul, which provides an upgraded urban railway system approximately 76 km long with a 13.4 km underground section (see Fig.

1

), is under construction to overcome Istanbul’s chronic traffic congestion. Istanbul is divided into a European side and an Asian side by the Bosphorus Strait, thus the new railway system needs to cross the strait. An immersed tunnel method was applied for the construction of the tunnel, called Bosphorus Crossing Immersed Tunnel, and it is at the present time the world’s deepest immersed tube tunnel. The tunnel elements were prefabricated off-site and towed by ship to the work-site for installation and connection to the previously installed underwater elements. The remaining parts on the Asian side and the European side are being constructed using TBMs (tunnel boring machines) and are to be connected to both ends of the immersed tunnel, which consists of 11 individual submarine elements each approximately 135 m long, 15.3 m wide and 8.6 m tall. The total length of the immersed tunnel is 1,387 m and the maximum depth of the bottom of the tunnel is 60 m under the water of the Bosphorus Strait.

Yukinobu Oda, Kazunori Ito, Takahide Honda, Solomon Yim

Ecological Energy Conversion of Oceanic and Afferent River Water Currents

The special importance of these hydroelectric hydrokinetic power plants consists, such as in energy production from renewable and non-polluting sources, as by their ecological building in the absence of dams so as not to hinder the normal circuit of migratory fishes as well as the passage of ships (Cazacu

1999

).

Mircea Dimitrie Cazacu, Sergiu Nicolaie

Wave Energy Assessments and Modeling of Wave–Current Interactions in the Black Sea

The Black Sea is semi-isolated sea located between southeastern Europe and Anatolia, that can be considered as a distant arm of the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Mediterranean Sea. It is connected to the Mediterranean by the Turkish Straits System (composed of the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara), and to the Sea of Azov by way of the Strait of Kerch.

Eugen Rusu

The Sea Highway Macro-Project: A Multiple-Advantage Infrastructural Installation for Necessary Twenty-first Century Stabilization of Romanian Coastline Erosion

Romania’s segment of the existing early twenty-first century Black Sea shoreline, due to the disequilibrium between the alluvia quantity delivered by the Danube River via its distributaries at the coast, and their transport effect south of the littoral under the sea-wave action directed by the energetic resultant of the predominant winds from northeast, was disturbed in the twentieth century by the observable diminishment and shoreline regression of the alluvia volume, due to: the inland flood-control and Danube River navigational struggle of large-scale works against the soil erosion by numerous torrent-control arrangements (dams) and the riverbed’s regularization against the annual flood dangers (canalization), the longitudinal dams built by the dredging of the navigable Sulina Ship Channel, as well as by the hydropower structures realized on the Danube River, so on its tributaries and its distributaries (Bondar et al.

1973

; Bondar

1975

,

1984

; Spataru

1980

,

1981

).

Mircea Dimitrie Cazacu, Dan Aurel Machita

The Black Sea: A Georeactor to Immobilize Metal Wastes

Industries in many countries produce a range of metal wastes (metal sludges, residues from etching baths or galvanization processes, metal-rich fly ashes, tailings from ore dressing operations, metallurgical slags etc.). If the metals cannot be recycled, these wastes are disposed in specially adapted isolated landfills, often after conversion into (hydro-)oxide sludges. Such metal-rich waste deposits will require “eternal” monitoring, and even under the best conditions offer no guarantee that the heavy metals will not contaminate the surrounding soil and ground water at some unknown time in the future. Each of these deposits is, therefore, like a time bomb, which is going to go off at some unknown moment in the (near) future. There is an urgent need to solve the problem of metal waste disposal in a safer and more sustainable way. A number of mines use STD (Submarine Tailing Disposal), so they use the bottom of the sea instead of a land-based disposal site behind dams, that run the danger of bursting, causing gigantic pollution downstream. STD is currently being practiced in the following places (Coumans

2008

):

In Chile at the Huasco Iron Pelletising Plant operated by Compania Minera del Pacifico;

In Indonesia at Minahasa Raya and Batu Hijau mines both operated by Newmont Corporation;

In Turkey at the Cayeli Bakir Mine operated by Inmet Mining;

In Papua New Guinea at the Lihir Mine operated by Lihir Management Company and Rio Tinto;

In Papua New Guinea at the Misima Mine operated by Placer Dome;

In England at the Boulby Potash Mine operated by Cleveland Potash;

In the Philippines at the Atlas Mine operated by Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation.

R. D. Schuiling

Advantageous Techno-Naturalization of the Seawater in the Black Sea

At the beginning we shall present a short vision concerning the recounting of the Black Sea’s history, constituted by some remembrance writings from Antiquity, as well as on some more recent pertinent historical writings (Ballard

1999

,

2000

) based on the research made in situ, with the aim to elucidate the present-day chemical evolution of the degradation process of the seawater resident in the Black Sea.

At the same time, we have our duty to present some methods and proceedings to technically naturalize the deep waters of this important body of seawater in the topical imperious tendency to assure the sustainable development of our Earth-biosphere.

Mircea Dimitrie Cazacu, Raducu Viorel Iancu

Proto-Type of Replicable Industrial Black Sea H2S Gas Extraction Plant

Hydrogen sulfide gas (H

2

S) is flammable and poisonous. It is soluble in water, and it can also corrode pump and pipe metals such as iron, steel, copper and brass. The equilibrium concentration of H

2

S gas in the Black Sea is 10 ppm at 1,000 m depth. For mega-engineering purposes, H

2

S should be extracted without conversion to other molecules and it should be concentrated to 10,000 ppm or more, in order to bring it to concentrations similar to natural gas (methane), for which the technology has already been well developed for a long period of time, in order to produce useful hydrogen gas fuel. The solution of H

2

S gas in seawater is non-ideal and the extraction of this gas from seawater should be through Henry’s law and it depends on the physical and chemical variables (such as: concentration, pH, salinity, pressure of stripping pump, temperature, height of the stripping tower, etc.). These variables can be studied through Le Chatelier’s principle to find the equilibrium concentrations of H

2

S in the Black Sea.

Salah A. Naman, I. Engin Ture, T. Nejat Veziroglu

Oxygenation of Large Volumes of Natural Waters by Geo-Engineering: with Particular Reference to a Pilot Experiment in Byfjorden

Deeper parts of enclosed natural water bodies may at times be depleted in oxygen because consumption is higher than supply. When the oxygen concentration becomes less than 2 ml O

2

l

−1

the water is said to be hypoxic, and many animal species will have problems with the oxygen supply. If the water becomes completely depleted in oxygen, i.e. anoxic, no higher forms of life are possible. Since the 1950s, the Baltic proper is usually hypoxic in the semi-permanent halocline and below this the deepwater is often anoxic for long periods. There is then a lack of biomass as compared to a hypothetic case when anoxia and hypoxia do not occur (Diaz and Rosenberg

2008

), a problem of increasing global concern. Hypoxia and anoxia influence the biogeochemistry. For instance, hypoxia stimulates the loss of nitrate and nitrite to nitrogen gas by denitrification and anoxia inhibits the binding of phosphorus to iron and manganese. Conley et al. (

2002

) showed that there is a correlation between decreased phosphorus content in the water and decreased area of anoxic bottoms in the Baltic proper. Stigebrandt and Gustafsson (

2007

) estimated that earlier anoxic bottoms in the Baltic proper that become overlain by oxic water may more or less instantaneously bind 4 tons P per square kilometer. The process is reversible why phosphorus will dissolve again if the bottom water becomes anoxic.

Anders Stigebrandt, Bengt Liljebladh

Aral Sea Partial Refill with Imported Caspian Sea Water

In 1960, the Aral Sea’s volume was slightly more than 1,000 km

3

with a salinity of ~10 g/L. Its level stood at ~53 m above the world-ocean’s mean sea-level—almost what it was ca. 200

ad

—but, by 2007, its level had dropped to ~30 m above the world’s prevailing ocean level (Glantz

2007

; Micklin

2007

) (Fig.

1

.)

Richard B. Cathcart, Viorel Badescu

Aral Sea Rehabilitation with Irtysh Imports

Many years ago a major macro-project was proposed by Russian scientists to divert water from major Siberian rivers and use this water to irrigate the steppes of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. At that time the plan was dismissed as megalomaniac, and it was proclaimed that it would have dire implications for the climate. Since then the runoffs from the two rivers that feed into the Aral Sea, the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya have been used to irrigate the steppes. This has made Uzbekistan (and to a lesser degree Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan) one of the leading cotton producers in the world, at the cost, however, of causing the Aral Sea (which is an endorheic lake) to evaporate and transform into a dusty salt plain. Ironically, it has led indeed to a climate change for the worse, as the winter rains have become scarcer in the region.

Roelof D. Schuiling, Viorel Badescu

Urumia Lake: Hydro-Ecological Stabilization and Permanence

Urumia Lake (Fig.

1

), an internationally important wetland, home of a unique brine shrimp species (

Artemia Urmiana

) and seasonal settlement for thousands of migrating birds is in great danger.

Hossein Golabian

Sediment Transport by Wind and Water: The Pioneering Work of Ralph Bagnold

In 1978, at the age of 82, Brigadier Ralph Alger Bagnold was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science by Aarhus University in Denmark. For the occasion, he gave a lecture, later published in

Nordic Hydrology

(Bagnold

1979

), titled “Sediment Transport by Wind and Water.” In his introduction, Bagnold remarked, in his typically blunt style, that “it is doubtful whether modern textbooks of river and canal engineering convey any clearer understanding of the natural processes involved than was probably possessed by the great engineer Pharaohs of the 12th Dynasty 4,000 years ago, one at least of whose vast canals appears to have remained self-clearing for 1,500 years.”

Michael Welland

Dune: Arenaceous Anti-Desertification Architecture

A single grain of sand is almost nothing: a splinter of rock, a miniscule fragment of a geological formation, the residue of a microcosmic event. Myriad grains together, however, become almost everything: mesmerising landscapes, vast deserts, a fluid material capable of being transformed into solid structures, and, ultimately, flourishing cities. In aggregates of sand, interlocking angular quartz grains, we find fascinating forms and emergent patterns; possibilities, potentials, substance. In short, we find a constant unfolding of interactive opportunities (Balmond

2002

).

Magnus Larsson

Dune Sand Fixation: Mauritania Seawater Pipeline Macroproject

Wide-spreading actively migratory sand dune fields are mainly found in the Earth’s climatically designated desert regions—“hot deserts” cover ~14.2% of Earth’s land (Peel et al.

2007

; Parsons and Abrahams

2009

). Some eremologists suspect that “global desertification”, a persistent decline of ecosystems’ benefits for humans—loss of utility or potential utility of land—in already dry regions, is occurring and will increase as the twenty-first century unfolds (Yizhaq et al.

2007

). “Drylands cover about 41% of Earth’s land surface and are home to more than 38% of the total global population of 6.5 billion” (Reynolds et al.

2007

). Here, however, we focus only on certain active sand dune fields located in the northern Africa coastal nation of Mauritania where few people live and work today (Badescu and Cathcart

2008

).

Viorel Badescu, Richard B. Cathcart

Treeing the CATS: Artificial Gulf Formation by the Chotts Algeria–Tunisia Scheme

Nicola M. Pugno, Richard B. Cathcart, Joseph J. Friedlander

Mapping of the Qattara Depression, Egypt, using SRTM Elevation Data for Possible Hydropower and Climate Change Macro-Projects

The Qattara Depression, which has a nearly triangular shape with a vertex at about 67 km distance from the Mediterranean Sea, is the largest natural closed land depression (19,605 km

2

) of the Eastern Sahara. It forms the most significant geomorphologic feature in the northern part of Egypt’s Western Desert. The deserted periphery of the depression is taken at the present sea level contour, while the lowest point in the depression is 134 m below mean sea level (b.m.s.l.). The large area of the depression, and the fact that it falls to a depth of 134 m b.m.s.l., has led to several proposals of major hydropower projects, to generate a huge hydroelectric power by conveying seawater from the Mediterranean Sea in an open channel or tunnel (Ball

1933

). Recently, there is a serious concern to use the Qattara Depression as a basin to discharge the extra ocean water possibly resulting from Earth’s climate change. The transformation of Qattara Depression into isolated anthropogenic inland sea could provide some ocean level adjustment, as well as generate energy, induce rainfall over some of the adjacent desert, reduce hottest desert daytime and nighttime air temperatures, and permit new local-use fisheries (aquaculture) as well as international tourism resorts. Persons visiting the Aswan High Dam will surely also be drawn to view the proposed seawater canal and the enormous anthropogenic desert seawater lake located so close to Alexandria’s great Library.

Ragab A. Hafiez

Assessing the Climate Response to Major Surface Inundation: Lake Eyre, Australia

A World Meteorological Organization assessment of freshwater resources noted that approximately 1.7 billion people, or one-third of the world’s population, live in countries that are water-stressed (Stockholm Environment Institute

1997

) (defined as using more than 20% of their renewable water supply, a commonly used indicator of water stress), and that this number is projected to increase to around 5 billion by 2025. As a result, projects to ‘drought-proof’ regions vulnerable to water stress are clearly of interest to many people and governments.

Pandora Hope, Andrew B. Watkins, Robert L. Backway

Macro-Engineering Lake Eyre with Imported Seawater

By conduction and thermal radiation (~11.7%) and rising air (~7%), approximately 18.7% of the Earth’s energy budget is used for direct heating of the air. Whatever the causes—perhaps, in part, an expansion of the width of the Earth’s Southern Hemisphere atmospheric Hadley cell (Johanson and Fu

2009

; Liu et al.

2007a

,

b

)—a widening of the Tropical Zone air circulation and a southward shift of the Southern Hemisphere’s tropospheric jet stream and Australia’s associated subtropical arid lands appears to be taking place (Fu et al.

2006

; Evans et al.

2009

). It is worth noting, too, that since the “Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994” became Australia’s newest country-wide geographical coordinate system, it has been discovered and documented subsequently that Australia, an isolated landmass, is moving to the Northeast at ~3 cm/year. The geographical shift of the continent’s supporting tectonic plate bodes a future change in Australia’s vital hydrologic cycle. Australia is the world’s driest permanently inhabited continent and it has the most variable precipitation, with periods of widespread drought (Sohn

2007

).

Viorel Badescu, Richard B. Cathcart, Marius Paulescu, Paul Gravila, Alexander A. Bolonkin

Can Geoengineering Sustain Critical Ocean Currents?

Peter C. Flynn, Jason Songjian Zhou

Calling upon Neptune: Ocean Energies as “Renewables”

Roger H. Charlier

Coastal Ecosystem Management Using a Wave Energy-driven Seawater Pump: Some Mega-engineering and Environmental Aspects

Mexico has an extensive coastline and a great number of coastal water bodies where intense economic activities take place. Some of the most important and famous touristic sites are located along the coast, and most commercial products are moved through ports. In addition, an increasingly greater proportion of marine protein is produced by aquaculture in coastal water bodies.

S. P. R. Czitrom, I. Penié, G. de la Lanza

Wave Powered Desalination

One of the wave energy devices studied in the 1970s and 80s was the Edinburgh duck. Figure

1

, taken by Jamie Taylor in 1976, shows a duck under test in a narrow tank.

Stephen H. Salter, Joao M. B. P. Cruz, Jorge A. A. Lucas, Remy C. R. Pascal

A Novel Macro-Engineering Approach to Seawater Desalination

No life resource is needed in such enormous volumes as freshwater—most living biomass in the Earth’s biosphere consists of 60–95% water, and the absence of freshwater limits individual human survival to just a few miserable days, as those who have ever found themselves cast mercilessly upon the ocean’s vast undulating surface, or lost in the wilderness on land, can testify—if, of course, they have lived to relate to others their life-threatening experience. New natural resources of potable water are being depleted worldwide (Rizzuti et al.

2007

).

Alexander A. Bolonkin, Shmuel Neumann, Joseph J. Friedlander

The Ike Dike: A Coastal Barrier Protecting the Houston/Galveston Region from Hurricane Storm Surge

William J. Merrell, Lyssa Graham Reynolds, Andres Cardenas, Joshua R. Gunn, Amie J. Hufton

Kalpasar: Potential Coastal Impacts for India of a Mega-Engineering Project “Fulfilling All Wishes”

D. Venkata Subba Rao

The Bering Strait Seawater Deflector (BSSD): Arctic Tundra Preservation Using an Immersed, Scalable and Removable Fiberglass Curtain

The First International Conference on Iceberg Utilization, held at Iowa State University during 2–5 October 1977 (Husseiny

1978

) awakened the world-public’s interest in a mega-engineering concept first advanced circa 1949 by John Dove Isaacs (1913–1980), the maverick USA oceanographer (Behrman and Isaacs

1992

). More than 60 years ago few took Isaacs’ mega-project proposal seriously and, until 1977, little was done by mega-engineers to rigorously evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of towing tabular icebergs, naturally and artificially calved from the periphery of the icy continent of Antarctica, to the warm dry-land regions enduring, or predicted to endure during the twenty-first century, significant consumer demand-driven freshwater shortage. During the twenty-first century, the Earth’s two coldest regions, our planet’s northern and southern Polar Zones, achieved their commonly accepted cultural–geographic status as the axial and symbolic polar foci of the supposed anthropogenic “Global Climate Change” (Yusoff

2005

; Cameron

2005

). In the Arctic, at the southern tip of Novaya Zemlya (i.e., the island of Yuzhnyj), which lies at about the same latitude as Alaska’s northernmost point (latitude 71ºN), the Russians demonstrated their technology by detonating on October 30, 1961 the most powerful aerial nuclear explosion in history—the Tsar Bomb yielding 50 Mt; the Arctic is contaminated by decaying radioactive materials deposited by weapons test fallout, industrial nuclear accidents on land and warship mishaps at sea, and from intentional disposal of nuclear waste by marine dumping. However, and beneficially, with the advent of nuclear-powered submarines “…the entire Arctic Ocean…ceased to be remote and is open to study on a year-round basis…” (Molloy

1962

). We accept the practical mega-engineering outlook that physical things of our world are never truly static, and that utopia/dystopia is a dynamic terminology and, therefore, the properly professional approach of the mega-engineer is ‘if it needs to be done, it can be done’. We only have to secure a real need.

Richard B. Cathcart, Alexander A. Bolonkin, Radu D. Rugescu

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