Environmental Geology lecture outline - Fluvial systems: floods and more.

How are rivers used by people?

Note that some of the multiple 'users' will be in natural conflict. You might explore the tensions between various users. Kansas and Nebraska are now engaged in a legal contest over the Republican River.


What factors influence fluvial behavior (including flood behavior)?

A long list! A complex system.


Can floods be predicted/forecast and how? This involves the development of flood recurrence interval estimates - e.g. the proverbial hundred year flood.

Basis of estimating recurrence interval? Analyze for pattern in historical data. If one exists extrapolate it into the future.

Methodology of stimation of flood recurrence intervals (can be easily done in Excel, or a variety of other spread sheets):

Uses recurrence intervals put to?

What is the basic assumption in this type of analysis?

How may this assumption be violated?

Is there a better way?


Flood control structures and their effects:


How do dams pertubate the fluvial system?

What will determine how fast a dam silts up and how do you predict how long that will take for a specific proposed dam?

Relevant factoids:

Dam safety considerations: Johnstown, Pennsylvania story.


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