Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fight Tsunami Using Artificail Coral-Reefs

Kogami is an NGO that was established seven years ago in order to reduce loss of life from earthquakes and tsunamis. The group believes in using natural solutions to flight disasters. One of the projects is using artificial coral reefs to break up wave energy of tsunami before it reaches the shore.

Kogami built a prototype scheme in Sumatran city of Padang, a place under heavy threat from tsunamis. It uses the technology of cathode accretion, a chemical process putting a small electricity in the water to draw calcium carbonate, the same substance forming coral reefs, suspended in the seawater and deposits onto an iron-based skeleton. The calcium slowly accumulates, forming an artificial reef and wave barrier.

With this technology, Kogami wished to construct a new and robust warm water artificial coral reefs to enhance the local economy and reduce the power of waves approaching the coast.
In addition to reefs, it could also be used to build structures that would serve as community hubs and also work as tsunami protection. When disaster strikes, the local community would go to the structures for refuge. Because the buildings are literally grown from the ocean environment, the hope is that they would be more resistant to the damage caused by a tsunami.

The project is still very much in the conceptual phase, but in area where tsunamis are a constant threat, new design paradigms that are resilient to the damage of a giant wave are going to be necessary.

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