Say you were stranded on an island with no shelter whatsoever, but for some odd reason you had all the supplies and water necessary to construct a laminar flow water dome as a shelter. Keep in mind -- you have unlimited fountain creating supplies. You could make the most badass laminar water dome to ever exist. Would it protect against rain? Wind? UV Light?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site Kimbo Saki, when you have a few minutes, please take the tour and read up in our help center about how we work: How to Ask. $\endgroup$ – 011358 smell May 10 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding.SE! We're glad you could join us! When you have a moment, please click here to learn more about our culture and take our tour. Our help center explains that questions must be specific and answerable, must include context, must include restrictions/requirements, and should include research. The Q is missing details (nature of laminate water, e.g. thickness, size of area protected, etc) and it is primarily opinion-based. (*Cont.*) $\endgroup$ – JBH May 10 at 23:29
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    $\begingroup$ If you think about it, houses today are not impervious to wind, and I would expect laminar water to be less so. Laminar water is transparent - unless the water is imbued with UV-protecting chemicals, which might ruin the laminar effect. There's all kinds of possibilities and potential problems here, but you've provided no means of judging a best answer, no limits/restrictions, and have provided no insight into what your own research has revealed (SE strongly recommends research). $\endgroup$ – JBH May 10 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ What is laminar flow water? And how is building something badass not you asking us for story ideas? As for protection... that's personal preference though most houses protect against wind and UV and provide some low-light spaces too. $\endgroup$ – Cyn May 11 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ Is it even possible to make a hemisphere flow like that? Half-pipe tunnel, sure, but hemispheres would require the intersection of many different vectors of water moving at different speeds. Surely that takes it out if the laminar flow regime and back into regular ol’ splashy territory? $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs May 11 at 9:18

The laminar water flow dome would provide shelter from UV since water is opaque to UV. And it would provide shelter against wind as long as the wind force was less than the surface tension of the water wall. Once it exceeds that, then when the wind start to over come the inertia of the water it would blow the wall into particles of water. A similar argument applies to rain, sleet, and hail.

If you can create concentric hemispheres, then their strength with be additive. With outer shells dissipating some energy of disrupting forces like wind, rain, sleet, and hail.

And, if the wind came from a specific direction, then water walls and jets could be pulsed to sap energy before it reached the shelter.

I would expect the shelter to be the same temperature as the water, and to be humid and maybe misty at times since brownean motion would cause water molecules to collide and knock themselves out of the walls.

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    $\begingroup$ Sounds about right +1. Only thing I'd add is that if you can build and run this, you almost certainly can also add some ventilation system to control airflow inside the dome to manage humidity and some basic heating. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi May 11 at 9:31
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    $\begingroup$ yes, @nemi, i forgot about ventilation. I wonder if one could suffocate under this kind of doorless, windowless shelter. $\endgroup$ – EDL May 12 at 0:01

My first thought was if you had all the equipment to build such a dome, why not apply it in other ways to provide a more complete survival strategy? But the truth is that it doesn't take much to generate laminar flow.

The ultimate problem with this is that fluid dynamics preclude portal style entries and ventilation. Also, I'm not convinced that we fully understand the impact of UV on things like photosynthesis. To elaborate, about a decade ago I bought my sons some solar powered science experiments for Christmas (no, I'm not a normal Dad, but then I don't have normal sons either). We build them together over the school holidays (remember that the summer break coincides with the Christmas break in antipodean climes) and something very interesting happened. While they were under the Solar-Tuff UV screening covering of our outdoor patio, they wouldn't work. At first I thought we had collectively missed a step in building them, but the moment I took them outside the cover they went wild with activity.

My point being, that if plants at least partially rely on UV for photosynthesis, the dome you intend to create is going to cause some difficulties in crop growth, not to mention the fact that you have no way of making a 'natural door' to your dome, meaning that atmospheric exchange is also going to be problematic.

This is not to say the idea in isolation isn't sound; it's just that when considering new environments, it's not good to consider each element in isolation because the individual parts tend to generate a synergy that isn't evident by summing the parts - you can only observe the whole to understand the actual impact. In this instance, the opacity of water to UV radiation, and the lack of an obvious portal solution for atmospheric exchange in your water dome is still going to make life difficult under your dome from a food and air perspective.

The good news is that your subjects aren't going to die of thirst, unless of course the amount of water needed precludes potable reserves for drinking and cooking. Which of course brings up another small point. Ideally, you'd make your dome out of grey water on grounds that it is the most environmentally sustainable model because you want all the potable water you can get your hands on for drinking and for crops. But, that also means that you want to remove any detergents and the like because they can disrupt the cohesion of water and potentially disrupt the laminar flow of your doem.

All of a sudden, a plastic dome, particularly a recycled plastic dome, may make better sense for your population given the relative short-term biological needs of your population as far as water is concerned.


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