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Tethered Undersea Cities of the Future!

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2024 5:16 pm    Post subject: Tethered Undersea Cities of the Future! Reply with quote


Let's talk about cities in the future . . . beneath the ocean! Cool

An undersea city wouldn't necessarily have to be permanently affixed to the ocean floor. In fact, I actually prefer the idea that it be anchored to the floor by long cables so its depth could vary from a few thousand feet right up to zero, floating on the surface! Very Happy

I can see clear advantages to that — but not to making it capable of chugging around like a bloated riverboat!

The reason the anchoring cables would be needed, of course, is to counteract the force of the ocean currents that would constantly try to carry the city along with them if it wasn't anchored. Expending energy by using a propulsion system to counteract that movement would be wasteful — especially in the view of the fact that those same ocean currents could be used to create energy for the city, using underwater turbines similar to these!

With that in mind, the best location for the city would be smack in the middle of a very strong ocean current, anchored by the cables to the sea floor.

Ironically, this is the reverse of an undersea city which expends vast amounts of energy to move around for questionable reasons. The "tethered undersea city" I described remains in one spot and lets the ocean move past it, generating energy from the moving seawater which flows past turbines that aren't actually anchored to the ocean floor like the ones shown above.

These turbines would instead be positioned behind the city, "downstream", generating electricity and transmitting it through the same cables that attached them to the aquatic metropolis.

Two propellers back-to-back which turned in opposite directions would prevent the generators from being twisted by the torque while the propellers rotated and created the power.

While describing the city in the above paragraph, I wondered where the most powerful ocean current in the word was located. I Googled the question and found this remarkable fact.

The Antarctic Circumpolar Current is the strongest current system in the world oceans and the only ocean current linking all major oceans: the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

The map below shows two very interesting things about ACC.

(1) The current is roughly circular, traveling around Antarctica like an aquatic merry-go-round, and —

(2) the current is funneled through the gap between the southern tip of South American and the NW tip of Antarctica. That's a distance of only 600 miles, and this prevents the ACC from wandering too far from the midway point of those two land masses.

That's important to my concept of an undersea city powered by ocean currents — which tend to shift quite a bit. For example, the ocean current that drives El Nino can meander north and south by thousands of miles!

But the ACC doesn't do this throughout most of its course, and least of all in the area bounded by South America and Antarctica. And since this just happens to be "the strongest current system in the world oceans", it's the perfect location for the tethered undersea city I described!

But wait! There's more good news! Very Happy

The ACC is about 15,000 miles long, and it intersects with the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The Wikipedia article says, "The ACC has been known to sailors for centuries; it greatly speeds up any travel from west to east" because of the clockwise direction of the current. That means submarines can use the current to get a boost in speed when traveling from the west coast of South America to Africa, or from Africa to Australia.

But wait! There's still more!

If the ACC is a good location for one tethered undersea city, why not several of them? I placed markers in the map below to indicate the four best places for tethered undersea cities, based on various considerations.

The one nearest South America is only 300 miles from the southern tip of that continent and the NW coast of Antarctica, and it's located above an undersea plateau, which reduces the required length of the tether cables the undersea city will need. That's a real advantage.

The next one (moving clockwise) is about halfway between the southern tip of South American and the southern tip of Africa. It too is located directly above a mountain range that reduces the ocean depth beneath the city, and therefore the length of the tether cables it will need.

The third one is also positioned atop an undersea mountain range, and it's located halfway between Antarctica and Australia.

The four "tethered undersea cities" on my map would be accessible to both high-speed submarines and surface vessels from all three major oceans because of the location of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

Also consider that regular transportation between the cities would be accelerated by the ACC (clockwise, at least) for both submarines and surface vessels! The ACC would be like the highway "loops" which encircle many American cities like Atlanta and Charlotte.

I think this idea is really exciting, and I'd love to see it happen in the decades to come.

Meanwhile, a movie based on this would be more fun than mud wrestling with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders!

Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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