Pardon my ignorance in case someone’s asked before, but how feasible would it be to create an artificial island by dumping large amounts of rock on existing seamounts? There are several locations south of the andaman sea and between Christmas island and mainland australia that seem suitable. All outside EEZs.
As I see it this solves many of the problems associated with building pillared/floating platforms. And if they’re built high enough, quite immune to large waves and tropical storms.
What I have in mind is actually a C shaped artificial attol with the opening on the leeward side of the island. Seafood can be farmed in the relative safety of the lagoon while habitation occurs around it. This also allows for eventual expansion with a separate C shaped structure encircling the first.
What I’d like to know is if it’s economically viable. I haven’t got any good estimates from google earth about how close to the surface these seamounts(I hope they aren’t really 2km down :p) are and I’ve no idea how much rock will be required or how much it will even cost.
Neither of those areas look very viable I’m afraid. The Ninetyeast Ridge, running north/south along E90 never has any spots above 2km or so. The shallowest spots are around the Osborn Plateau at S14 E86…and even that doesn’t get higher than 1.7km below sea level.
South of Christmas Island (and Indonesia) you have the same situation…lots of these little mountains but they all are over 2km beneath the waves. The best I could find are a few seamounts around the Horizon Ridge around S14.5 E106….and you are still looking at depths of more than 1km.
You would have to dump incredible amounts of stuff to ever build that up above sea level…but I guess it’s possible.
Heh, that’s unfortunate, but I suppose there have been hundereds of mountains leveled in the name of land reclaimation already… But yes, highly unsuitable spots. I take it the only suitable mount we know of is the one near Tonga?
There are actually plenty of places where seamounts push up to only 400-700m below the waves. While those areas are perfect for mooring or anchoring I’m not sure how much material you would need to dump to make a whole atoll and lagoon…but it’s a hella lot less than doing it in 2km of water!!
The other thing about just dumping dirt/rock into the ocean is that you still need to test the stability of the structure. You don’t want the shifting of one large rock 300m down to cause a section of your atoll to collapse under you. It’s not as simple as 1) dump rocks, 2) build houses.