[Coral-List] Saving Venice etc.

Bill Allison allison.billiam at gmail.com
Sun Nov 21 10:46:21 EST 2010

Thomas J. Goreaugoreau at bestweb.net
Nature 468, 377 18 November 2010) doi: 10.1038/468377d
Published online 17 November 2010

Rachel Armstrong and Neil Spiller suggest that Venice's sinking
foundations might be supported by an artificial reef grown using
'protocells' that precipitate limestone from sea water (Nature 467,
916–918; 2010). The technology already exists to grow structures
rapidly from sea water, and this could be applied in Venice

'Biorock' electrolysis of sea water has been used for nearly 35 years
in more than 20 countries to grow limestone structures of any size and
shape in sea water and brackish water (W. Hilbertz IEEE J. Oceanic
Eng. 4, 94–113; 1979).

Biorock products have a load-bearing strength of up to 80 newtons per
square millimetre (80 megapascals), around three times higher than
concrete made from ordinary Portland cement. Corals and oysters grow
faster and survive environmental stress better on Biorock structures.
These have helped to restore severely eroding beaches on atoll islands
within just a few years (for example, see

"reality leaves a lot to the imagination..."  John Lennon

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