Development of the Continental Shelf

by William S. Gaither, (F.ASCE), Dean and Prof.; College of Marine Studies, Univ. of Delaware, Newark, Del.,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 2, Pg. 99-104

Document Type: Journal Paper


Only a few decades ago, the engineer's only concern was to accurately assess the physical force at work in the ocean and to design a structure that would serve its required purpose. In recent years, man's technological advances, coupled with his increasing need for new sources of raw materials, has made offshore development more economically attractive in several areas. This has, in turn, led to multiuse conflicts so that now a shelf area like that of the upper-mid Atlantic faces the real danger of being unable to accomodate the competing demands of a large onshore population and a variety of public and commercial offshore uses. Of particular concern is the overloading of the natural system in the shelf area where unexpected and undesirable situations will develop quickly. The need is for well conceived resource development planning and straightforward management policies that will encourage industry to invest with confidence.

Subject Headings: Ocean engineering | Structural design | Coupling | Economic factors | Overloads | Resource management | Industrial facilities | Industries

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