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Draining the Gulf of Mexico to prevent hurricanes from reaching the US?

  1. Aug 29, 2008 #1
    Why not build a dam from Florida to Cuba and from Cuba to Yucatan and then pump all the water out?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2008 #2


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    You've got to be joking.
  4. Aug 29, 2008 #3
    Well, my thinking was that the gap from Yucatan to Cuba isn't that big. I'm not sure how deep the water is there. And it isn't that far from Cuba to Florida. Of course, it will be engineering on a huge scale, but it seems that it could be done in principle...
  5. Aug 29, 2008 #4

    jim mcnamara

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    I'm with evo - you got a spare quadrillion dollars?

    There is a concept - just because it is possible does not not make it sensible. Plus it would flood Holland. Mauritius would declare war on you... you'd raise sea level about 3m, enough to turn Maurtius into an underwater archipelago. The lawyers in Mahhattan would make you PAY because most of the "Island" is < 3 m above sea level.
  6. Aug 29, 2008 #5


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    Actually, I find it an interesting "thinking outside of the box" idea. Impractical in the end, but valid as a brainstorming idea.

    I think the main practical problem is the net economic loss to the Gulf states in terms of commerce. You would have to construct commercial harbors at multiple points along the Gulf Dam, and provide ground transport (rail or highway) of the goods that normally flow into the Gulf state harbors.

    Well, there are also the pesky Environmental Impact Report issues to consider.... herding all the sea creatures out of the dam area would be a challenge....
  7. Aug 29, 2008 #6

    D H

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    The environmental and economic impacts would vastly exceed the costs of the project (which would be astronomically high). There would obviously be no fisheries in the Gulf, but the impact goes far beyond that. The Gulf Stream emanates from the Gulf of Mexico. Draining the Gulf of Mexico would kill vast chunks of the entire Atlantic and would make western Europe much less habitable. On the plus side, we wouldn't have to worry about economic competition from that pesky Euro.
  8. Aug 30, 2008 #7


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    This is beyond ridiculous, for the reasons already stated and then some (including communities with their entire economy based on tourism to their beaches suddenly having no beaches). This certainly isn't a thread that belongs in the Earth forum, so I'm locking it. If one of the engineering mentors wants to continue allowing discussion of the engineering challenges of a large scale dam construction project while recognizing this is a completely impractical scenario, it may get moved to engineering and unlocked.
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