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Giant Underwater Dome Could Contain Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Posted By Ariel Schwartz On April 28, 2010 @ 4:00 pm In Architecture,Design,Disaster-proof design | 15 Comments

sustainable design, oil spill, gulf of mexico, underwater dome, bp, green design, eco designGeodesic dome photo by Hobbes vs Boyle [1]

The massive oil [2] spill in the Gulf of Mexico is growing worse, with 1,000 barrels pouring into the ocean every day over a span of 28,600 square miles. As the spill creeps closer to Louisiana [3]‘s coastline, which contains 40% of the country’s wetlands, scientists continue to scramble for a solution. One possible fix: a giant underwater dome [4] that could be placed over the leak to suck up the oil.

sustainable design, oil spill, gulf of mexico, underwater dome, bp, green design, eco design [5]Photo Credit: US Coast Guard

BP engineers [6] are working on designing and lowering a giant dome over the leak in an attempt to suck up oil and stop the gusher from reaching the coastline. The idea isn’t new — it was first tried and abandoned in a 1979 oil spill after two months of sustained damage from harsh seas. Domes have been used since then, but never at the depth of the Gulf of Mexico [7] spill (5,000 feet).

Even if the dome idea does work, it can’t come fast enough. Scientists expect the oil to hit the coastline in a matter of days, and a dome isn’t likely to be ready for at least two weeks. Still, we have to hope that the dome will make some sort of difference — it’s the only hope for the fragile Louisiana coast.

+ BP [8]

Via Wall Street Journal [9]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/giant-underwater-dome-could-contain-gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill/

URLs in this post:

[1] Hobbes vs Boyle: http://www.flickr.com/photos/haarald/3779792179/

[2] oil: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/31/obama-set-to-announce-offshore-oil-drilling-plan/

[3] Louisiana: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/09/11/make-it-right-begins-constructing-houses/

[4] dome: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/07/13/plantagon/

[5] Image: http://inhabitat.com/2010/04/28/giant-underwater-dome-could-contain-gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill/oilspill/

[6] engineers: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/30/scientists-develop-carbon-capturing-photosynthetic-foam/

[7] Mexico: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/01/22/container-city-in-mexico-is-entertainment-hot-spot/

[8] + BP: http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7061626

[9] Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703465204575208270683324094.html?mod=WSJ_World_LEFTSecondNews

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