Monday, March 1, 2010

Making Islands from Spayed Ice

Also this seems potential...

"Ice islands are formed by spraying ice into cold air (below 20 degrees F), and layering the ice until it reaches a thickened state.  These islands are either grounded at the bottom of the sea floor or are floating structures in deeper waters.  Fabricated in just two months.

Ice islands emerged from exploratory drilling in the Canadian and US Beaufort seas during the 1970s and 1980s.  Replacing artificial gravel islands, ice islands offered various unique benefits – namely cost and safety.  Typical drilling vessels are vulnerable to sea ice, which is also a concern for artificial ice islands.  As such, constructed ice islands are layered with a thicker outer barrier for protection, essentially creating defensive walls.  Because these islands use the readily available seawater and cool Arctic air, they are a fraction of the cost of gravel islands.

The Sohio test island was the first ice island, built as a grounded spray island.  The mid-1980s witnessed four successful ice islands that were used as drilling platforms, the first being the Mars Ice Island.  Constructed in 1986 in the Western Harrison Bay in Alaska, it took 898 hours over a 46-day period with over 1 million cubic meters of pumped water to construct it.  The result was an island of 215-meter diameter and depth of 8 meters, grounding it into the seabed below.

Manufactured ice islands have several benefits over natural islands – namely, the fact that we can place them where we need them and anchor them to the sea floor.

Could ice islands be a new nodal infrastructure in the Arctic?  From military bases, to airports and distribution centers, ice islands could strategically be located to go where no land has gone before – sprayed into the air to freeze on the water."

[Large Ships spraying Water to manufacture Ice Islands]
[Ice Island Fabrication Diagram via. U.S Patent 4699545, 1987]
[Typical Section through an Ice Island, via US. Patent 3863456][Ice Island Fabrication Diagram, construction of outer ring & section via. U.S Patent 4699545, 1987]

No comments: