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Both Bioshock and Bioshock 2 take place in a city that's built on the bottom of the ocean. In both games there is at least one audio diary pointing out the extreme danger of water leaking into the city from outside. However, by the time you arrive in Rapture the structural integrity of the city is long-since compromised and water is leaking in all over the place. There are waterfalls, drips, and puddles everywhere.

After nearly a decade of this (by the time of Bioshock 2), how is the city not flooded and collapsed under the weight of the water? When a Big Sister cracks open a window near the start of Bioshock 2 it takes only a few seconds for the entire building to be flooded.

Are there any indications in-game, or in any other related material, that explains how the city is being maintained and kept intact after the massive amount of destruction that has occurred?

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A number of the Big Daddies still patrol the city and do much of the maintenance on the outer structure of the buildings. While you don't see any of them do this in the first game, you do see them doing this in the second game.

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    Actually, the very first Big Daddy you see when inside the first bathysphere (in the intro to Rapture) is seen doing some maintenance in one of the corridors that connect separate buildings.
    – bitmask
    Jan 15 '13 at 21:47
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Let's see, at the bottom of the ocean, let's call it 14,000 feet, the water pressure there is about 8 tons per square inch. Any disruption of the surface, any crack, or hole, would cause catastrophic damage.

You couldn't do maintenance fast enough to prevent a major - and I mean major - water incursion, we're talking thousands of gallons per minute, and any type of glass would disintegrate once the surface integrity by a crack was compromised. Concrete could probably hold some, but even concrete disintegrates when the pressure on a crack is too high; dams fail all the time and when they do, the concrete collapses. In the case of glass, not a chance it would remain.

Now, if this is concrete having leaks it might last a while, but at that pressure any water coming through the hole would be like a sandblaster or a drill bit, grinding away to make the hole larger. Plus the pressure of the water coming out of even the tiniest crack would be stupendous. Maybe some equipment could get in to seal leaks, but at that kind of pressure water can punch through thick steel; they use water jets all the time to do precision steel cutting up to I think 1/2" thick. It's nearly as powerful as a laser cutting torch.

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    do they ever tell us how deep Rapture was? I don't recall any such info from the games. as far as I knew, rapture was about 6000-7000 feed under the surface.
    – acolyte
    Sep 3 '13 at 18:25
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    +1 for the detail, but really doesn't answer the question.
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 8 '14 at 12:39

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