Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Living on the water

Living on the water:
People all over the world like to live on the water. So they can have a boat in front of their house and have their own small "beach"in front . Urban planners have constructed whole cities and neighburhoods to fulfill this need. The most famous examples of such neighbourhoods are the manufactured palm islands in Dubai. In the pictures below you can see Palm Jumeirah:

All the houses here have their own "private" beach:

Al though it look's cool you need a lot of money to buy a house here because they coast 3 million dollars on average. And you don't have much privacy as you can see.

Another place where such "living on the water" neighbourhoods are very common is the State of Florida in the United States. This state attracts people from all over the U.S because of the sun and the water. So whole cities were build here to provide people the option to live on the water. The biggest of such a city in Florida with only this purpose is Cape Coral. Thousands of canals were created here so as many people as possible could have their house on the water and could have a boat in front of their house:

Also notice the many bay windows with the glas roofs in the picture below. Sun is what people brings to Cape Coral:

Cape coral might be the biggest of such a city in Florida the layout of the city itself is certainly no exception in Florida. These layouts are found everywhere along the coast of Florida (especially the West coast). Take for example the restricted community of Rotonda West. It has an diameter of 5km and is shaped like an incomplete wagon wheel. A closed, fresh-water canal system surrounds the outside of the "wheel" and travels inside each of the pie-shaped wedges forming the subdivisions of the development:

A protected wetland to the south prevents development of that area. Alligators, bald eagles, great blue herons, egrets, and many other birds and animals inhabit the area. So it is not very rare that you have an alligator in your swimmingpool here.

Other cool layouts like this in Florida are found here at Punta Gorda:

, here at Holiday:

And here at Marco island:

These city layouts are not always found at the coast but also further land inwards. Near Miami the layout you can see in the picture below can be found everywhere:

These city layouts can of course also be found in Europe and other places around the world but by far not in the scale as in Forida. Maybe only the canals of Amsterdam can be compared in size (now also visible in google street view). But these were more designed for commercial trade rather than to provide sun and water.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Floating fish farms

Floating fish farms:
A floating sea fish farm is used to breed sea fish.
These floating fish farms are especially common in Asia and they come together in large numbers mainly at the coasts of China and Japan. These Chinese floating fish farms consist of a floating raft with different "fish pens". Each of these rafts generally have their own house on it for the owner. In the pictures below you can see such typical Chinese fish farms:

When they are together in large numbers it look's like a floating village:

The biggest number of floating fish farms close together in the world are found not far from the city of Shantou in China. At this point these farms stretch for almost 12 kilometres. Thousands of such farms are floating in the water here:

Each of these fish farms you see in the pictures below are generally 30 by 30 metres but sometimes they are almost 250 metres long:

The chain of floating fish farms at this bay "begings" here and ends all the way here (12 kilometres further). The formations can sometimes be very chaotic, and there seems not to be really thought of a logical structure:

If you wonder how they reach these farms take a look here where you can see all the boats used to reach the farms.
Another place i found where a lot of them float together is here (Not far from Xiamen):

This farming complex stretches for almost 5 kilometres. At the coasts of the fish eating country number one; Japan they also use these floating fish farms a lot. Al though they look different from the Chinese ones. They don't have the small houses on it and they generally use nets in Japan which are supported by floating circle-shaped or rectangular girders. Like you can see in this bay in Southern Japan:


Turkey point power plant

Turkey Point power plant.
Turkey point nuclear power plant south of Miami in the U.S look's like an ordinairy nuclear plant when you first look at it:

But when you look "better" you can find a huge terrain south of the plant with a lot of canals. This terrain is 8km long and 4 km wide:

This is the largest cooling canal system in the world. The large area of cooling canals have been constructed at the Turkey Point power plant to cool the circulating water. A separate supply of water that cools the turbine steam supply for reuse comes from a unique system of 36 interconnected canals. The canals act like a giant radiator to cool the water in a two-day, 168-mile journey before it is circulated back to the condenser for reuse:

It also happens to be an habitat for the endangered North American Crocodile. As their numbers teetered on extinction, crocodiles found refuge in the warm, salty water of the cooling canals. Here the placid water, filled with turtles, fish and crabs, suits them.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

LNG storage tanks

LNG storage tanks:
LNG tanks are the biggest type of storage tanks in the world. LNG stands for liquid natural gas. These tanks are specially designed to maintain the -163 degrees celcius temperature to keep the natural gas liquid. The relatively high cost of production of LNG and the need to store it in expensive cryogenic tanks ( to maintain the low temperatures ) gives the need of big tanks ( larger then in the oil industry ) to minimize costs. LNG tanks are always of double-wall construction with extremely efficient insulation between the walls. Large tanks are low aspect ratio (height to width) and cylindrical in design with a domed roof. There are a lot of safety measures to these tanks because if it escapes from a storage tank or ship, it can quickly vaporize. If this vapor ignites, it can create an immense fireball that would incinerate everything in its path.

The biggest LNG storage tank in the world is situated on Elbas Island near Savannah in the U.S. Below you can see some pictures ( from live search maps birdview) during it's construction:

The world's largest LNG export terminal is called the Sakhalin II terminal and is situated on the Sakhalin island in the Russian Far East. The storage tanks on this project belong to the largests in the world and have a storage capacity of 1.2 mln barrels (190,000 m3 ), The picture below shows what a giant impact these structures have on the once peaceful beach of the village nearby:

Another large LNG terminal is the Bontang LNG Plant in Bontang in Indonesia. The 6 tanks on this site are all more then 80 metres in diameter:

And what about the liquefied natural gas storage tanks at the Yemen L.N.G project which was recently build near (not yet visible in google maps) Balhaf in Yemen. These storage tanks are aboslutely huge as you can see in the pictures below (Click to enlarge)

Here you can see a worker who walks through one of two main storage tanks:

Another large liquid gas storage tank was build in the Senboku LNG terminal II in the harbour of Osaka. This thing was build in 2000 and was the world's largest aboveground LNG storage tank for a long time. This thing is 60 metres high and has diameter of 80 metres.

To view the size of these LNG tanks even better you can enlarge the picture below by clicking on it. The people on top are dwarved by the huge tank. This thing stands here in the harbour of Guangdong in China:


Space launch sites

Space launch sites:
There are not many spaceports around the world. Fewer than two dozen have been constructed during the Space Age. Over the decades since 1957, some 5,000 satellites have been boosted above the atmosphere from these sites. The space programs of the United States and Russia have been comparable in size and are by far the world's largest. They are followed in size by the space programs of the ESA, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, India, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Belgium and Spain.

The Baikonur space launch site, also known as Tyuratam ( A city in Kyzylorda Province of Kazakhstan rented and administered by Russia ), is the world's oldest and largest working space launch facility. The first man made satellite to orbit the Earth was launched from here. For decades, the facility was shrouded in secrecy with the Soviet authorities refusing to confirm its precise location.The site has a diameter of 90 km:

There are a number of big launch pads on this huge complex. Here is the biggest launch pad on the site. Another big one is found here. A huge movable service tower equipped with cargo and passenger elevators and a crane here, allowes access to the rocket in vertical position on the launch pad:

With so many years of launching missles and satellites into space the surrounding steppes are littered with spent boosters, many with toxic propellants still on board - although clean-up plans are underway. The second biggest space launch site is the The John F. Kennedy Space Center from NASA on Merritt Island, Brevard County, Florida, United States. It is 34 mi long and around 6 mi wide, covering 219 sqmi. The huge vehicle assembly building is the most well known landmark on the huge site. The 160m tall building is the largest one story building in the world and is still the tallest building in the United States outside an urban area:

The site has two very big launch pads and a lot of smaller launchpads. The biggest launch pad is found here ( Launch pad 39B):

And here launch pad 39 is situated. This 105 meters high structure can be seen from miles away:

There are more of these space launch sites but none of them are comparable in size with the 2 mentioned above.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Artificial islands

Artificial islands
What is a better symbolization of a manufactured landscape than an artificial islands? When you talk about artificial islands i guess that everybody would immediately think about the Palm island projects at Dubai. These are the biggest artifcial islands under construction in the world today. In total 4 big artificial island projects are going on here: The Palm Jumeirah island project (Check out the skyscrapercity thread ) ,the Palm Jebel Ali project (skyscrapercity thread ) , the Palm Deira project ( not visible in google maps yet ), and the amazing World Islands project.

(skyscrapercity thread). All these projects together can be seen in the picture below:

Similar to the Palm Islands in Dubai is the Al Bahrain artificial island project in Bahrain. The project consist of a series of 13 small man-made islands linked together to form 1 island. Totally it is covering an area of 20 million square meters:

In the northern part of Bahrein is another large artificial island. This is called Amwaj Island project. The Amwaj Islands was reclaimed from the relatively shallow seas to the northeast of Muharraq Island, which is the northernmost island in the Kingdom of Bahrain.The Islands contain residential, commercial (highrise) and hotel and retail buildings, as well as a 240 m diameter circular marina with over 140 berths:

When talking about the largest artificial island you have to be in the Netherlands. The Flevopolder, which was reclaimed on the Zuiderzee and was completed in 1968, is the biggest artificial island in the world:


Agriculture terraces

Rice terraces:
In agriculture, a terrace is a leveled section of a hilly cultivated area, designed as a method of soil conservation to slow or prevent the rapid surface runoff of irrigation water. Often such land is formed into multiple terraces, giving a stepped appearance. The most common crop on these terraces is rice. Nowhere in the world such spectacular agriculture terraces (rice terrases in this case) are found as in the Philippine Cordilleras. The philipinne Cordilleras is a mountain range in northern Philipinne. The most spectacular and most famous rice terraces here are the ones around the village of Banaue. The Rice Terraces here are commonly referred to by Filipinos as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". This is no surprise if you see the pictures below:

There are many other rice terraces in the Philipinne Cordilleras. Like here near Batad:

Agriculture terraces are common in whole South-East Asia and especially in southern China.
The rice terraces built by the Hani nationality in Yuanyang County in China are a little known scenic wonder in South-West China's Yunnan province. Dropping from near the summits of the 2500 metre Ailao Mountain Range to the deep cleft of the Red River, they are among the world's most spectacular and extensive terraces:

Here near the town of Longshen in the Guanxi province in China another large area of rice terraces is situated:

In Vietnam there are also many big rice terrace projects. Here near Sa Pa in Vietnam for example:

In Peru, the Inca made use of otherwise unusable slopes by drystone walling to create terraces. The most famous they made are at the site of Inca town of Machu Picchu. These are really steep terraces:

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