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Iceberg water transportation from Antarctica to Australia

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Spandonide, B (2012) Iceberg water transportation from Antarctica to Australia. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The amount of iceberg water that annually dissolves into the sea corresponds to a substantial part of the world’s annual consumption of freshwater. The Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) has 30 % of the icebergs of the world. This freshwater resource melts into the Southern Ocean. If harvested, it will have a positive effect on terrestrial ecosystems and the water market. This renewable freshwater resource will need a sustainable transportation system. The south western corner of Australia is drought prone and freshwater availability is a limiting factor. Western Australia (WA) and Perth are facing water problems. The demand and requirement for water is increasing. Australian freshwater supplies could be increased using this type of freshwater resource with appropriate technology. The question of whether icebergs from Antarctica could be transported to help solve this water shortage was studied in the 1970s and given up later because of economic and environmental obstacles. The questions need to be examined as to what are the most appropriate transportation techniques, how marine ecosystems could be protected and if a profitable system of transportation can be designed. The aims and objectives of this research are to study the geographical transportation conditions and to determine the feasibility of an iceberg transportation system from the AAT to WA. It will propose future iceberg transportation research. I studied and analysed iceberg properties, iceberg detection, sea transportation systems and techniques, environmental issues and the protection of marine ecosystems, and legal considerations related to the transportation of iceberg freshwater and the profitability of a specific iceberg water transportation system between the AAT and WA. My work provided a paradigmatic frame for iceberg transportation research. It is an original contribution to the water transportation discipline. Within this frame, a new design for an iceberg transportation system was proposed. Practical and feasible technical parameters of the iceberg transportation system were developed. The transportation system is based on three main steps: 1. belting and wrapping of the iceberg in-situ with a bag and a collar; 2. transportation of this system into warmer areas and the collection of the melted water of the iceberg in the collar and specific fresh waterbags, and 3. waterbag transportation from Antarctica to Australia using sustainable techniques of current drifting and kite towing. Given the increasing challenges for water in south WA this iceberg transportation system, could represent a viable long term source of freshwater. This iceberg transportation system proposal is an innovation which may be used by the Australian Government or private companies in further research to provide solutions for the freshwater crisis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: iceberg, transportation, water resources, sustainable techniques, maritime engineering, natural energies
Additional Information: Copyright the Author
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2012 04:42
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:41
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/14798
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