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New Orleans Dead Zone Fountain

Or very large fish bubbler
  [vote for,

Apparently the recent US legislation that will bump up incentives for growing corn to make ethanol will make the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone even larger.

Separately, New Orleans could probably use a new attraction to jumpstart their economy after Katrina.

I propose we install a ridiculously large fountain off the Louisiana coast. There's no reason an abundance of nitrogen should lead to plant and animal death. All we're missing is oxygen for a veritable gumbo of living organisms.

Design recommendations: Make it in the shape of a giant golden ear of corn, and run it using ethanol internal combustion powered water pumps.

Worldgineer, Dec 18 2007

Dead zone may reach tipping point http://gristmill.gr...007/12/18/114120/91
[Worldgineer, Dec 18 2007]


       Why yes it should, as well as cool the air slightly.
Worldgineer, Dec 18 2007

       //Any disparity in temperature between the water and air should diminish from the circulation.//   

       No, you're forgetting about evaporation. Evaporation is a cooling process, where heat energy is used to change the phase of water from liquid to gas. The (dry bulb) air temperature can drop as low as the "wet bulb" temperature, which approaches the dry bulb temperature as the air becomes more humid. Admittedly, the water temperature will rise in such a fountain if it's lower than the wet bulb temperature, and summer wet bulb temps are around 78F. But I like UB's idea of pulling water from down deep, which should be well colder than surface temperatures.
Worldgineer, Dec 18 2007

       Actually, the silt slide (a la jscottpete) might be a less ostentatious but equally effective route to dispersing the relatively shallow hypoxic pool that is the GoM's "dead zone". Pump colder water from deep in the Gulf beyond the shelf, but rather than spray it above sea level as is suggested above allow it instead to cut its own channel off of the shelf back to cooler water.   

       Two benefits should accrue: the first is a current arising to carry ambient water at the discharge point away to deeper water, the second is a channel cut over time that will serve to divert natural ground water that seeps out of the shelf in several sites. This groundwater is well filtered, deoxygenated and denatured by salt and petroleum deposits underground and cannot but add to the transient hypoxia stemming from stream effluents.   

       This approach would be more targeted to local pockets of hypoxic ocean and would require less fuel to pump water without propelling it into the air.
reensure, Dec 19 2007

       Slowing down hurricanes is a nice idea, but how will a fountain like this otherwise affect the SE U.S.? Particularly the areas of Alabama, Georgia and Florida that are drought stricken now as a result of not enough tropical activity? That's not necessarily a great thing.   

       But, a bun for a giant corn fountain.
Noexit, Dec 19 2007


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