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UW 360 October 2010 Edition

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♫♪ Hi, I'm Samantha Rund, and this is UW 360. Today, we'll tell you about a lab that uses lightening strikes to make safer cars, the UW alum who helped bring the farmers market to Seattle neighborhoods, and the new center for pediatric dentistry. We'll show you some amazing ocean research video, introduce you to a second generation Husky Freshman, and say goodbye to President Mark Emmert. Now in our first story we're going to discuss the potentially disastrous results of building homes and businesses along flood prone rivers. UW researchers question our ability as to whether or not we can control flooding in the Puget Sound's low land rivers. . . and te ofer suggestions about what we could do differently. ♫ ♪ ♫ We've seen it too often in the Puget Sound region, rivers flood, property is damaged or destryed, and lives are disrupted. So how do we avaoid future disasters? One would argue, one would hope, that the best policy would be based on the most information. University of Washinton faculty members David Montgomery and Bob Frietag, are experts about rivers and about the communities that line their banks. Dave is a Geomorphologist he studies how Earth's landscapes are formed, and how the change over time. Bob studies hazards, and how humans can withstand those hazards. All rivers flood, um, but when they -- when they do flood we've tried to kind of control them and kind of put them into -- into a box. We've, you know, developed a channel,we build dams,uh, assuming that we really can mange and control them. and we can't. One of the easiness that one would study te historical behavior of rivers and sort of the nature of how they work, is to try to better undersigned the root causes of flooding problems and better design solutions, whether its avoiding the problem or a better design to actually mitigate the problem. Bob's and Dave's research converges in the low lands of Puget Sound, where the Green, and some other rivers,are actally higher than the land surrounding them. One of the things we've learned in studying the rivers around Puget Sound over the last couple decades is that there's two really fundamentally different kinds. We tend to always think of rivers being at the bottom of the valley, cause that's sort of normally what you find when you go out in the mountains and look at a river. but these certain kids of lowland rivers, of which the Green River is an example, tend to be located on high ground near the middle of a valley. It sort of has built it's own wedge of sediment as it's been transporting material down from the uplands down to the Puget Lowland. And a river that sits above it's valley bottom, is a perfect recipe for flooding Land use planning needs to consider the unique, and potentially dagerous nature of our rivers. Perched rivers, when they flood,fill the sorrounding basin with water. In the lowest points of the Green River Valley, flood waters could cover the roof of a home. Picture New rleans after Katrina, or, picture the Green River Valley unitl 1962 In that year the Howard Hanson Dam was completed. To control; flooding, the dam held back excess water in a reservoir. A system of leveys at the river's dge rovided additional flood protection. As a result, over the next 50 years, the Green River Valley transformed from a landscape filled with farms to one filled with business and residential developments. As long as the -- the dam is working, the system worked pretty well. it did not allow high flows to impact the region. A lot of the floods were cut off.

Video Details

Duration: 28 minutes and 26 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Views: 65
Posted by: pyrokidd on Oct 28, 2010

UW October News Atories

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