Uses for land below sea level

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stevenf
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Uses for land below sea level

Postby stevenf » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:47 pm UTC

Can we make use of land below sea level?

http://geology.com/below-sea-level/ gives an overview of the best contenders.

Would evaporation be fast enough to make a hydro-electric project viable?

Would extending the reach of the sea into desert areas do anything to ameliorate the regional environment?

I'm guessing here - the areas involved are not large enough to make an important significant to sea level rises at present but as the levels do rise, presumably, more land would become available to flood.

What other uses come to mind?

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wst
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby wst » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:45 pm UTC

Put convicts there.
Flood it.

Okay, kidding.
Large swathes of land could be drained, walled in with dams etc, and filled with water really efficiently. As in, slowly, with the water pressure pushing it through loads of energy sapping turbines before letting it flow out calmly inside the 'dry bit'.
When it's flooded, start flooding a new bit of land, and evaporate the water for the salt.
Sell the electricity and salt.
???
Profit.
Anything I said pre-2014 that you want to quote me on, just run it past me to check I still agree with myself.

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Senefen
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby Senefen » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:25 am UTC

Use it for an Octopus' garden?

Spoiler:
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden in the shade
He'd let us in, knows where we've been
In his octopus' garden in the shade

I'd ask my friends to come and see
An octopus' garden with me
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden in the shade.

We would be warm below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus' garden near a cave

We would sing and dance around
because we know we can't be found
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden in the shade

We would shout and swim about
The coral that lies beneath the waves
(Lies beneath the ocean waves)
Oh what joy for every girl and boy
Knowing they're happy and they're safe
(Happy and they're safe)

We would be so happy you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden with you.


Aww man, all we have under sea level is Lake Eyre and that's been dry every second year anyway.

Personally I don't think there's much you can use it for long term, aside from a dam maybe but that has too many other factors that are more important that it being below sea level.
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zealo
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby zealo » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:34 am UTC

wst wrote:Large swathes of land could be drained, walled in with dams etc, and filled with water really efficiently. As in, slowly, with the water pressure pushing it through loads of energy sapping turbines before letting it flow out calmly inside the 'dry bit'.
When it's flooded, start flooding a new bit of land, and evaporate the water for the salt.
Sell the electricity and salt.
???
Profit.


i like this idea
i know there are places they do that already (but without the generators, just the salt)

as an added bonus the dam can be used as a bridge
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Iv
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby Iv » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:02 am UTC

You should visit Netherlands. It is not only the home of legal weed and prostitution but also a country that reclaimed 2500 km² from the sea. The giant dike is considered one of the engineering marvels of the world. A lot of the country's area is below sea level.

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EvilDuckie
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby EvilDuckie » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:51 pm UTC

It depends on whether the land is close to "open" sea/ocean, or a landlocked depression (Death Valley, Dead Sea, Caspian Sea, Qatarra Depression).

To get a bit more specific:

Roughly half of The Netherlands is below sea level, including my hometown. I'm safe though, I have an apartment on the 2nd floor :D Land reclamation has been going on here for a long time (iirc the part where I live was reclaimed in the 1200s, maybe even earlier).

You can do pretty much anything with land below sea level, as long as you take the proper precautions for keeping it land below sea level (as opposed to shallow sea), which is a constant struggle. One limiting factor is that the soils tend to be clay (soft and soggy) rather than sand (dry and strong). This means you have to account for that when building stuff (or, as they recently found out in Amsterdam, digging tunnels), to avoid it sinking...

The Delta works and Zuiderzee works are the massive projects undertaken in the 20th century to keep our feet dry. Worth a read.
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FrankManic
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby FrankManic » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:24 pm UTC

Aquaculture? Amusement parks? Very slow computers?

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wst
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby wst » Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:32 pm UTC

EvilDuckie wrote:You can do pretty much anything with land below sea level, as long as you take the proper precautions for keeping it land below sea level (as opposed to shallow sea), which is a constant struggle.
I had a storybook (with pictures) when I was a midget that was about a kid in the Netherlands who found a leak in one of the dikes. He stuck his finger in the hole. Man, that story worried me. Until I realised I wasn't there :P
Anything I said pre-2014 that you want to quote me on, just run it past me to check I still agree with myself.

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EvilDuckie
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby EvilDuckie » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:51 am UTC

Hans Brinker... Complete fabrication. If you see a small leak in a dike, the only smart thing to do is get the hell out of there, because it isn't going to stay a small leak for much longer.
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Iv
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby Iv » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:10 am UTC

Read it too. I then thought that Netherlands were just a catastrophe in the waiting, then I realized what the dikes were like :
Spoiler:
Image


Targeted bombings could still have devastating effects. No wonder that it is a pacific nation :-)

Carnildo
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby Carnildo » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:09 am UTC

Iv wrote:Targeted bombings could still have devastating effects. No wonder that it is a pacific nation :-)


Targeted mining explosives buried by SpecOps forces? Maybe. But Operation Chastise during World War II demonstrated that earthfill dams are reasonably immune to conventional bombing.

Iv
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby Iv » Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:00 pm UTC

Maybe a 2.7 tons bomb wouldn't break an earthfill dam, but a 44-tons of TNT equivalent bomb may well be enough.

It may be pointed out also that some recent bombs are designed to have a more destructive effect with the same yield. http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2004/ ... ready.html (please do not comment the location of this picture, this is not the subject at hand). Add to this the fact that guidance systems are far better and that launching 5 of these bombs in a perfect line would be quite feasible today.

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EvilDuckie
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby EvilDuckie » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

Iv wrote:Read it too. I then thought that Netherlands were just a catastrophe in the waiting, then I realized what the dikes were like :
Spoiler:
Image


Targeted bombings could still have devastating effects. No wonder that it is a pacific nation :-)


Yeah, the Afsluitdijk is a big whopper.

Up until World War 2 the national defense strategy was to flood certain areas to prevent any movement: the Dutch Water Line. And targeted bombing of dikes was used in 1944 to flush (literally) the Germans out of Walcheren.

As far as 'accident waiting to happen' goes... I guess that's true, but it's something we've learned to live with. At least it's possible to prepare for a flood, as opposed to earthquakes, volcanoes, forest fires and the likes...
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Carnildo
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby Carnildo » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:26 am UTC

Iv wrote:Maybe a 2.7 tons bomb wouldn't break an earthfill dam, but a 44-tons of TNT equivalent bomb may well be enough.


That's a fuel-air explosive. Wonderful for knocking down buildings and killing soldiers, but you wouldn't do more than scorch the pavement if you dropped it on the above dike.

stevenf
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Re: Uses for land below sea level

Postby stevenf » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:47 pm UTC

Thank you to all who have responded.

On the subject of breaching dams - I live near Europe's largest man-made reservoir, Keilder Water. It has an earth filled dam. The design was chosen, allegedly, because it was the design that the Dam Busters of WW2 could not breach.

However...

I have spoken to one of the workmen involved in its construction and he says that he would not voluntarily live downstream from it as he knows what went into it - including several local felons and stolen vehicles.


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