IELTS Reading Passage – Airports On Water
Airports On Water
For map creators, river deltas are one of the toughest places to map. Naturally, the river develops them up, whereas the sea ocean drops them down. It leads to a change in boundary. There was a major change in the Pearl River delta, located in China. It has become more challenging than any other natural alterations ever took place. There is an island six kilometres away from the place with a landscape of 1248 hectares. Many civil engineers are excited about the performance of speed and size of that island. This is nothing but the delta they anticipated for a long time. This newly-built island of Chek Lap Kok, at Hong Kong’s new airport is almost complete. 83% of the construction is over. The big dumper trucks that roll across it will have completed their task by the end of this next year, and the most expected airport will be constructed at a breakneck pace similar to the previous one.
Surprisingly, when the Chek Lap Kok island rises above the sea level, it obviously makes another new island in Asia sink deep into the ocean. For those who are new, it is a 550-hectare island built in the famous Osaka Bay, located in Japan, that sets a path for the new Kansai airport in the near future. Chek Lap Kok was constructed in a whole different phase; and thus hoping not to sink like other islands did in the past. The general way to rebuild land is to collect and deposit sand rock onto the seabed and make sure it is not disturbed by any external forces. In case if the seabed changes with mud, this is instead like keeping a notebook on a sponge filled with water: the mass or weight of the book will squeeze the water out, leading both water and sponge to settle down a little lower. This type of arrangement is hardly seen: certain parts sink at certain levels. Thus, components like buildings, roads, rods, etc., might lead to a complete destruction. However, you can fix these issues through engineering or you can remove them permanently. After considering the above situation, Kansai took the first step, and Chek Lap Kok took the second.
There are political and geological distinctions given. Kansai must have been constructed one mile away from the offshore, where you can get a solid surface that ensures stability for a long time. But, the fishing community staged a protest against this initiative, so the place moved five kilometres away from that place. That resulted in deep water (nearly 25 metres) and above the solid surface (seabed) having 25 metres of soft alluvial soil silt and other deposits of mud. Unexpectedly, beneath the surface was an unstable glacial deposit covering nearly hundreds of metres area thickness. The Builders of the Kansai found that settlement was inevitable. Moreover, the sand was moved towards the seabed to enhance it before any natural calamity like a landfill comes and covers the whole landscape. In order to slow the progress, they took this step, but this did not give the outcomes as expected by the civil engineers. However, to manage the arrangements, Kansai’s giant terminal is supported on 900 pillars that reaped good results in the end. Each pillar jacked up separately, making a wide space for wedges to be applied underneath the surface. That is nothing but to keep the building level upfront. But it is not an easy thing to achieve.
Situations are not the same at Chek Lap Kok. Unlike the previous place, there was some land to kick-start, the new little island of Chek Lap Kok, followed by a tiny crop-growing area called Lam Chau. When you compare them these two crop-cultivating areas are hard and featured with thick granite that covers a quarter of the new island. Sadly, when you take two islands on either side, you could notice a thin line of soft mud, 25 metres thick in some areas.
Based on Frans Uiterwijk’s viewpoint, a person from Dutch who is the director of the entire job of reclamation, it must have been possible to keep this mud surface underneath the reclaimed mud or land, and work with the subsequent settlement by the Kansai approach. However, the consortium that achieved the attention-seeking contract for the island delivered a unique approach. It summoned the world’s biggest fleet of dredgers, which has the capacity to dig up l50m cubic metres of clay and mud and deposit it in the other area, where deeper water is located. Meanwhile, sand was removed from the ocean and assembled on top of the stiff clay’s outer layer that the big dredging machine had laid bare. Apart from that, sand was not the only thing that was utilised for this project. The actual granite island, which covered the hill areas of up to 130 metres high, was drilled very hard and destroyed into smaller pieces no bigger than three metres in diameter. It offered nearly 75m cubic metres of granite material to include in the construction of the island’s basement. Because the large pieces of granite do not fill the gaps as expected, this reflects the 105m cubic metres of landfill to support the process.
To build this mega project, most of the rock will be used for the foundations of the airport’s runways, followed by its taxiways. The sand removed from the ocean waters will be put in place to ensure a two-metre greying layer on top of the granite layer. It eventually makes the work lighter for workers to dig deep dredges – where granite is not a good material. Some of the terminal constructions will keep above the existing surface of the island. However, there will be only a small amount of pile-driving required to help the building foundations stay stronger above softer areas. The fully-completed island will be around five to eight metres above sea level. Overall, 370m cubic metres of hard material will be moved in the subsequent planning. Most of it, like the overloads, has to be shifted a plenty of times before visiting its actual destination. For instance, there has to be a motorway that can lift 150-tonne dump-truck loads; similarly there must be an emerging area for the 16,500 construction labourers. These are not permanent; they will be shifted immediately once the airport is ready to take flights.
The unusual airport is here to accommodate flights and perform further. To prevent it from any calamity, the new boundary built at the coastal area is strengthened with twelve kilometres of sea defences that ensures ultimate protection. The immediate outburst of a typhoon will be diverted by the supporting island of Lantau, located in close vicinity; likewise, the sea walls should give protection against the rest of the odds. If we look at normal, but more consistent bad weather – the rainfall of the monsoon during the summer – are also taken into consideration. To overcome these, a mat-like product called geotextile is being used across the boundaries of the island to isolate the rock and sand layers separately. That will guarantee stopping sand from being totally vanished into the rock voids; thus leading to further settlement. Finally, this island is built in such a way it nevers sinks.
Airports On Water Reading Questions
Questions 1 – 7
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
1. Which is the toughest place to map?
- River Deltas
2. The Kansai builders recognized that settlement was?
- None of the above
3. According to Frans Uiterwijk, who is the director of the entire job of reclamation?
4. As Chek Lap Kok island rises, which part of the island sinks?
5. Kansai’s giant terminal is supported by?
- Strong seabed
- Hard rocks
- 900 pillars
6. Which of the following covered the hill areas of up to 130 metres high?
- Granite Island
- Chek Lap Kok
- None of the above
7. Which of the following is a mat-like product?
Questions 8 – 11
Complete the summary below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
The consortium that achieved the attention-seeking contract for the island delivered a unique approach. It summoned the world’s biggest fleet of 8. ___________, which has the capacity to dig up l50m cubic metres of clay and mud and deposit it in the other area, where deeper water is located. Meanwhile, sand was removed from the ocean and 9. ____________ on top of the stiff clay’s outer layer that the big dredging machine had laid bare. Apart from that, sand was not the only thing that was utilised for this project. The actual granite island, which covered the hill areas of up to 130 metres high, was drilled very hard and 10. ___________ into smaller pieces no bigger than three metres in diameter. It offered nearly 75m cubic metres of 11. _____________ to include in the construction of the island’s basement.
Questions 12 – 13
Look at the following items (Questions 12-13) and the list of statements below.
Match each statement with the correct letter A, B or C
12. The general way to rebuild land is to collect and deposit sand rock 13. To prevent from a calamity, the new boundary built at the coastal area is
Airports On Water Reading Answer Key
1. C. River Deltas
2. A. Inevitable
3. C. Dutchman
4. B. Asia
5. D. 900 pillars
6. A. Granite Island
7. B. Geotextile
11. Granite material