Artificial Islands

by Frank P. Robertson, Sr. Vice Pres.; Morrison Knudsen Constr. Co., Boise, Idaho,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1983, Vol. 53, Issue 8, Pg. 38-41

Document Type: Feature article


Artificial islands constructed from gravel fill have become a preferred approach to drilling for oil in hostile Arctic environments. These man-made islands are being built to serve as both drilling platforms in the search for new oil fields and production platforms once reserves are discovered. At last count, 17 such islands have been built in the Beaufort Sea, off the coast of Alaska, and at least 20 more are in the planning stages. The tremendous pressures created by moving sheets of ice are the main reason why artificial islands are being employed; they can be designed to resist such forces more economically than could conventional drilling platforms or ships. The article describes the construction of such islands and discusses various strategies for slope protection being used and under development.

Subject Headings: Islands | Offshore platforms | Drilling | Slopes | Ships | Sheets | Seas and oceans

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