Red River Rising

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by kmguru, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    They did and do ...on a regular basis. Any and all areas in such situations have FEMA caclulated "Flood Plain Zones". But the rules and regulations of FEMA are not enforced by the police or any other agency ...they're basically warnings of what might happen. Many cities adopt the designs of levees, but sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

    Water in a river is going to seek its own level regardless of how deep the bottoom of the river is! Even if the water has to flow backwards up the river from the sea, the water level will remain the same (without dams, of course)!

    Baron Max
     
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  3. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Nope, it wouldn't solve the problem ...unless you dug out all of the rivers and streams that ran into and out of that river ...in addition to digging out the ocean into which the water once flowed.

    Water will always seek it's own level, which is, of course, the very principle by which rivers run toward the sea ....which is lower than the river water!

    If you dig out a river sufficiently deep, for example, the water from the ocean would run back up the river and fill it up to the level of the ocean! Surely you don't want that, do you?

    Baron Max
     
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  5. John99 Banned Banned

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    and that is the basic principal:

    Water seeks its own levle.
     
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The Red River valley is almost entirely a floodplain of sorts - it's mostly flat. It's mostly an old lake bed formerly in front of a glacial wall, which these days of vanished glaciers has a river running through it. When that river floods, the flood water stretches to the horizon - might be inches deep and miles wide in places. Find the high ground in this photo , say.

    Two reasons that river floods as it does:

    it flows north, so its headwater drainage melts while the downstream end is still frozen - the influx of meltwater upstream meets the later melting stuff downstream, piles up against ice jamming the riverbed, and overflows into the surrounding fields.

    and the headwater farmlands have been ditched and drain tiled and so forth, so that the former wide expanses of ephemeral swamp have been converted into well-drained topsoil fertility. But the increased speed of runoff piles all the meltwater into the river in a few days, rather than feeding only some of it and gradually over many weeks.

    After the '97 flood, which would have been a sort of small Katrina except that FEMA and the National Guard were still under competent management, a great deal was done to protect Grand Forks and other towns - it's possible that they can ride even this record flood out with only moderate damage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  8. kmguru Staff Member

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    Does that mean a 50 gallon bath tub will overflow with 40 gallons?
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    As far as dredging the Red:

    1) It would silt up in a couple of years - dredging the Mississippi and Minnesota, just for barge depth in a narrow channel, is an ongoing project with a large yearly budget. And the Mississippi is a strong river flowing through limestone with a reasonable grade much of the time. The silt problem in the Red would be much worse.

    2) You would have to dredge quite a bit more than you think - the increase in volume represented by these floods is a large multiple of the normal flow. Simply deepening the current channel in the Red a couple of feet wouldn't begin to address the problem.

    3) You would destroy the normal ecology, including the water table (wells, irrigation, etc) and so forth, of an area the size of a State. The region is mostly dry most of the time.

    4) You would be creating a sort of culvert that ends at a wall along the Canadian border - your odds of getting permission to pipe a major flood full of silt and runoff many miles into Canada are poor.

    5) The talk of sea level is misplaced - The upper Red River is in the middle of a continent, 800 feet above the sea level at Hudson Bay, which would be in any case frozen.
     
  10. Slacker47 Paint it Black Registered Senior Member

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    Agreed to first two posts by cosmictraveller and BaronMax.
    People should not live there, and digging a deeper channel would be 'better.' However, a deeper channel will not stop flooding in a downpour. It will stop flooding that occurs from an overflowed channel due to storms upstream, but not when rain falls in the area of point.

    People with property, for the most part, do not understand landscape design and implications, and because of this, suffer the results. Still, if you live in a floodplain.... what did you think was going to happen??? ----> New Orleans, for example.
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    "There" is anywhere within three miles of the entire course of the Red River. Again - it's very, very flat. The river is only a few thousand years old. Miles of the entire surrounding topography is the floodplain. Some cities in the region have to dike all the way around - they would flood from the backside, otherwise. Digging a deep enough channel for bad flood control would be a damaging waste of money, and would do nothing of long term value except piss off the Canadians.

    Winnipeg, which has the advantage of having a lake rather than more river cities downstream, and a "downhill" to link to, dug a huge bypass channel after a bad flood in the 50s - but the river only uses it during high water. And even with the buypass they had to sandbag dike a couple of bad floods -the water was coming overland from miles upstream, not even in the channel.
     
  12. kmguru Staff Member

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  13. milkweed Valued Senior Member

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    The thing that bothers me is how few people have flood insurance in this area.

    http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/235776/

    Something like 42,000 households in that area.

    I wish the 'experts' would quit using terms like "100 year flood" or "500 year flood". Its soooo misleading.
     
  14. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Cost is too high ....because they live in a designated flood zone! It's just like in New Orleans or the gulf coastal areas ...flood insurance is high as a kite for the very reason that they need flood insurance.

    People on top of the Rocky Mountains don't need flood insurance, so the premiums would be quite low.

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    Well, they were and are trying to get it changed and/or dropped, but it's wide-spread, with maps all over the place, and age-old calculations are based on those designations. Dropping something like the designation isn't so simple ...even tho' they've been trying to do it for over 20 years.

    Baron Max
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    I'm sure the citizens of whatever city disappeared under the backed up water would be forever grateful. Permanent flood!
     
  16. Diode-Man Awesome User Title Registered Senior Member

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    Those idiots! I think your idea is supreme!

    If done properly, they could compress the water out of that soil and use it to make sand bags...
     
  17. scorpius a realist Valued Senior Member

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    maybe people should live in houseboats,problem solved.

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    or build a house from concrete,water shouldnt hurt that
    www.monolithic.com
     

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