Nueva forma de adjuicarse territorio
21.01.2008 @ 19:17 \07\Mon, 21 Jan 2008 19:17:21 +0000\21 +0000 UTC
En este artículo de Wired presentan una nueva técnica para re-mapear el océano. Por medio de tecnología están construyendo un mapa detallado del fondo del océano. Dicho mapa podría redefinir las fronteras de los países a tal grado que el Golfo de México (y no es Juan Gabriel o Fabiruchis) podría dejar de ser en gran parte de…. México!
Todo esto por supuesto tiene como objetivo adueniarse de territorio rico en petróleo y demás recursos.
To assert sovereignty over its submerged continental shelf, a nation has to map multiple off-shore points. Among them: the area where the ocean depth drops to 2,500 meters, and the place where a country’s land mass drops off to become seafloor, a spot called the foot of the continental slope. If these points are farther out than current boundaries, there may be a case for extending the oceanic property line. But the foot of the slope can be tricky to locate. Think of a continent as a big rock sitting in a bathtub, and imagine that a chunk of it rises out of the water. The question for scientists is, where does the rock end and the acrylic tub begin? It sounds simple enough, but imagine now that your tub is also made of rock, and that smaller rocks are piled up all over the place.
Because new territory could mean new natural resources, CCOM researchers, tapped by the US government and led by Gardner, have been silently scanning for six years now — mapping the frozen north as well as the Bering Sea, the gulfs of Alaska and Mexico, the Atlantic Margin off the East Coast, and the Marianas in the Pacific. They’re racing to prove the US controls more territory than anyone thought. Alaska, for example, could extend 150 miles farther into the Arctic Ocean than today’s maps show. And the country’s sovereignty may not end off the shore of the Gulf Coast; it’s really more like the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.
Of course, if everyone’s territory extends an extra 150 miles, then a lot of countries are going to be planting their colors in the same ground. Britain, which claimed a certain chunk of Antarctica a century ago, has already gotten into a scuffle with Argentina and Chile about overlapping claims near the South Pole. The same thing will almost certainly happen in the Arctic, with a big battle brewing between Russia, Denmark, and Canada over the Lomonosov Ridge.
Conservative estimates suggest that a new set of boundaries could cause the US to “grow” by at least 386,000 square miles, and the oil, gas, and other resources contained in that area could be worth about $1.3 trillion. With so much money at stake, Gardner’s job is to collect the data that will allow his country to extend its fence line as far as the science can justify.
… Now, faced with the possibility that the country could outgrow those drawings, Gardner has put off retirement. He’s commanding a 247-foot research ship that passes over places where the exact topography of the continental shelf is unknown, shooting down sound waves and then figuring out what the seafloor looks like by how the signals bounce back up. His boat crosses back and forth in a process he compares to “mowing a giant lawn.”