08 January 2010

Seamounts of the World, Unite! New Nations Arise

Seamounts are literally undersea mountains rising from the bottom of the sea that do not break the water's surface. Scientists generally define them as as steep geologic features rising from the seafloor with a minimum elevation of 1,000 meters and with a limited extent across the summit. _EncyclopediaofEarth

Seamounts are undersea peaks rising from the ocean's floor. These submerged mountaintops could be used to tether floating seasteads + their floating breakwaters. More interestingly, seamounts could be used as building platforms for giant towers -- part underwater, part above water.
How would you build a tower with a foundation hundreds or thousands of feet under the seafloor? This discussion from seasteading.org looks at a few of the issues involved.  But taking into account advances in undersea construction technology related to deep sea oil drilling, and future advances in nanotechnological construction methods, it is likely that we will be able to build undersea tower-foundations capable of supporting significant above-the-surface tower structures.

Exclusive Economic Zones

As long as you avoid building within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of an existing nation, it is unlikely that any existing nation could prove a claim against your structure.

To visualize what a nano-assembled foundation might look like, visualize a gigantic  Eiffel Tower, with about 1/3 of the structure submerged.  The tower would be built molecule by molecule, using materials resistant to the corrosive effects of seawater -- such as  tough hybrid diamond / silicon compounds.   Creative use of floatation would allow for surface level expansions.    An alternative design might look like a fractal pyramid -- a 3-D Sierpinski triangle.  The idea is to provide a strong, broad foundation fixed to the seamount, capable of supporting an appreciable above-surface construction.

Such mid-ocean de novo nations could provide the nucleus for duty free economic zones, experimental medical procedures, mid-ocean space launch, tourism, deep ocean mining and drilling, oceanic research institutes, and a nascent seastead construction industry.

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Blogger kurt9 said...

You know, they talk about using fullerine carbon to make the space elevator or a sky hook. Any material strong enough to make a sky hook or space elevator will certainly be strong enough to make artificial islands in the ocean that can withstand any typhoon or rogue waves that get thrown at them. Even the sky hook is several thousand kilometers in length. An artificial island has to be only about 6 kilometers high.

I am very much into the ocean city-state (Hong Kong ver 2.0) concept.

Friday, 08 January, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Building a platform for a seamount seastead will require some creative engineering. But the payoff is likely to be substantial.

To create another Hong Kong or Singapore, you will need a fairly large seastead, and a lot of bright creative entrepreneurs and financiers. You also need a quick route to the world's markets -- good acess for sea freight and air transport.

Saturday, 09 January, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In your post you link to a seastead forum discussion that touches on using concrete piers to support a microstate. Seeing the seastead link brought up something I have been thinking about for a couple of months now. Concrete could conceivable be used as a construction material in space. This sounds loony, maybe even asinine, but I think I have worked out how such a construction method could be used in near earth orbit allowing us to build large geometrically simple structures such as massive spheres and cylinders for space colonies.

Let me describe how a sphere would be formed in space. At an orbiting drydock a large solar shield would be unfurled to prevent massive swings in temperature. This solar shield would essentially be a cylinder with one end closed and the open end permanently pointed at earth, which since the drydock would be orbiting low enough would prevent the sun from shining directly into the workspace.

In the workspace an spherical textile form would be inflatedd, and then a second form would be inflated inside the first form. Since the forms are not reusable ideally the inner and outer forms would be stitched together as a single piece with tiny fibers running from the inner form to the outer form keeping them in perfect alignment. Most types of concrete must have internal reinforcement in order to overcome tensile forces and to increase compressive strength, but steel rebar is not a practical building material in space. Fiber reinforcement has been suggested here on earth as a replacement for rebar, since certain types and shapes have been hypothesized to impart higher tensile strength to the finished product. However, I believe that mixing in a fiber reinforcement is somewhat impractical in space and instead an advanced concrete that does not need reinforcement should be used. I propose the use of a next generation of this, or some other concrete using much purer materials.

By this method cylinders 1000m long and 150m wide could be built and then have floors installed internally.

Sunday, 10 January, 2010  

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