Salter Sink: a device to weaken the destructive power of storms

Every year tropical storms and hurricanes cause large amounts of damages and victims. In many cases people are forced to live in devastated areas without access to basic needs such as healthcare, clean water and food supplies, facing a hard and long recovery.

Aware of this recurrent issue, Stephen Salter, emeritus professor at the School of Engineering and one of Britain’s leading marine engineer developed a concept to weaken hurricanes and storms from the moment they form in the ocean.

Cyclonic storms develop mainly by the presence of hot moist air near the surface of warm ocean waters. Therefore, by mixing them with colder water from below would decrease the power of a potential storm or hurricane. The system only requires a descent of 1 – 2 °C at the water’s surface to succeed.

Salter Sink (as this concept is known) consist of a floating ring (50 – 100 metres diameter) manufactured from old tyres and attached to a funnel-like tube. "Like a siphon, exploiting gravity to create a 'drain' through which warm surface water flows" Stephen says.

Salter has patented his idea with Microsoft billionaires Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold, having potential to be applied for eutrophication and dead spots in rivers and the sea as well.

Further Information

Professor Stephen Salter
Professor Stephen Salter