DredgeFest-Louisiana_Poster_11x17

Geographer Richard Campanella has evocatively described the Mississippi River—which is North America’s largest river, discharging more than three times as much water as the next largest river in the United States—as the “land-making machine”. And, indeed, historically, this is what the Mississippi River did: it made land, building its enormous delta—the southern half of the […]

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["The West Contra Costa County Landfill in North Richmond (above) is one of the largest and oldest continuously active landfills on the Bay. It ceased accepting municipal waste in 2006, although it still serves as a compost and waste processing site and as a transfer station for shipping regional trash farther inland (currently to the […]

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“If the earth were left alone [without human influence] on the order of eight cubic kilometers (10.5 billion cubic yards) of the material of the continents would be swept away by rivers into the ocean every year…By some estimates, about a third of this natural volume is prevented from reaching the oceans as a result […]

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[Map of goose migration routes across North America, from Frank Bellrose's definitive book on the subject: Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America] Migration is typically used to describe the physical movements of organisms.  Accordingly, studies of migratory patterns tend to focus on the movements of birds, fish, butterflies, wolves and other biota.  In vernacular […]

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Anthropogenic Delta of Lake Mills Reservoir, Elwha River, Washington.  Above: inset model on the left shows the valley’s topography as surveyed circa 1917 before the construction of Glines Canyon Dam.  The model on the right shows topographic difference (in vertical feet) between the 1917 survey and 2010 LIDAR and Bathymetric survey data (Bureau of Reclamation), […]

Upper Klamath Lake_Rivers

[Map of Upper Klamath Lake, Southern Oregon.  The lake is approximately 80,000 acres in surface area and is seen here during a summer bloom of cynaobacteria called Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, or 'AFA'.  AFA feed upon copious amounts of phosphorous in the nutrient-laden water, caused in part by extensive landscape transformations and subsequent shifts in water flow […]

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The following piece was published last summer in La Tempestad; given that La Tempestad circulates primarily in Mexico and is published in Spanish, we — Rob Holmes and I, who co-authored the piece — thought that it would be worth re-publishing it on our respective sites for English-language audiences. The article builds on a pair of […]

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Located in the Chesapeake Bay, Poplar Island (above) is a flagship example of the USACE’s “beneficial uses of dredge”. Working with state and federal organizations, the USACE has been placing dredged sediments from The Port of Baltimore’s shipping channels onto the island since the mid-90’s.  This practice meets the Port’s immediate need for a dredge […]

amwaj_arcgis_export

[Aerial view of Amwaj Island, Bahrain, where 2.79 million square meters have been reclaimed from the sea.  The foundation of these islands and its surrounding breakwaters are made of geotubes, sausage-like casings of geotextile fabric that have been pumped full of 12 million cubic meters of dredged ocean sediments recycled from navigation channels and marinas.  […]

Beta-Bridge-Parametric-Slides1

[Beta-Bridge, Fletcher Studio's proposed reinvention of the Bay Bridge, San Francisco.] GROUND UP is a new journal produced by the Dept. of Landscape Architecture at U.C. Berkeley.  Similar to other student-run design journals, such as Kerb and Scapegoat, GROUND UP offers a snap shot of the kinds of things people are processing, refractively, between academia […]

DMC_wall_1.pdf

Above is a sample of British Columbia’s Forest service’s Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) maps, which delineate Canada’s forest types and their geo-spatial patterns.   The incredibly detailed classifications are based on field surveys of assemblies of vegetation, assemblies which are expected to shift in tandem with accelerated climate change.  As they do, these maps will shift in […]

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Saturated by images of inundated New York – via the instagram storm and elsewhere – we wonder how the city’s subways and various other low-lying crevices will be drained of Sandy’s remnant flood waters and how long that process might take.  As it turns out, there is an emerging design specialty just for that purpose being […]

F_merc

[World Magnetic Model maps notating the magnetic field's intensity (top) and inclination lines, or angle of the earth's magnetic field above or below horizontal (bottom)] [Film of a suspension of dissociated cells from trout "olfactory epithelium" (cells extracted from some unfortunate trout's nose) placed under the laboratory influence of a magnetic field rotating at a […]

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[a stereoscopic terrain map of Mars, prepared by the USGS.  "Use red-blue glasses (red lens over left eye) to view this three-dimensional image of a canyon eroded into strata, interpreted as sulfate beds on the flanks of Aeolis Mons in Gale crater."] In order to chart a feasible path for the wanderings of the Curiosity […]

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[Section and model rendering of the pv150 PowerBuoy, by Ocean Power Technologies] The U.S.’s first federally approved commercial wave energy infrastructure is readying for deployment off the coast of Oregon.  In an ocean array 2 miles from shore, each energy producing buoy will measure 150 feet tall by 40 feet wide, and weigh 200 tons: As interesting […]

manahatta cut and fill history

[Left: The British Headquarters Map, circa 1782, considered one of the most detailed surveys of Mannahatta's early topography and ecology. Right: Mannahatta map illustrating the differences in the island's elevation between 1609 and today. Grays and blacks indicate increases in elevation, mainly waterways that have been filled in, while browns indicate decreases in elevation, such […]

drought monitor

The map above comes from the USDA and NOAA’s Drought Monitor, where they publish a new version of the map every Thursday.  The site provides animated compilations of its compiled findings, showing the lead up to the current situation in which more than 1,000 counties in 26 U.S. states have been declared disaster areas by […]

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[Top image: Sediment-thickness map, showing thickness of the sand deposit at Hewes Point, north of the Chandeleur Island chain. Sand used to construct the E-4 berm was excavated from the side of the deposit, about 3 kilometers north of the islands. Bottom: Photograph taken on April 13, 2011, of the completed E-4 berm, detached from […]

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["Flames and smoke from a backfire dwarf a firefighter along U.S. 95 in southeastern Oregon just north of McDermitt, Nev. Fire crews set backfires like this in an effort to block the spread of the fast-moving Long Draw fire that scorched 871 square miles earlier this month."  The agency behind the fire - weather, weeds, […]

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[a hand-crafted steel cutterhead of the Dredge Oregon.  The specular silver sheen on the backside (click on image for detail) is a nickel plating added to extend the life of the cutter as it rips and churns through the shifting sediments of the Columbia River.] Back in February of this year I  had the opportunity […]

Canal Works

[In process earthworks (new locks) as part of the Panama Canal Expansion] “There is neither a single issue nor solution to how to prepare for future maritime transportation infrastructure needs… There is a plethora of studies, opinions and prognostications about what the effects of the new [Panama Canal] locks will be on trade flows, ship […]

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[View from the Econo Lodge balcony, just off I-5, Ashland OR] “If you go into the hardcore urban or the hardcore rural, it is quite simple to define it, but that is not so relevant.  It is more significant to talk about the condition in between.  And this condition is extremely difficult to define.”  – […]

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Near Olympic National Park, just off of highway 112, the National Park Service has set up a public viewing station facing what was formerly the Elwha Dam.  The platform is equipped with a high magnification spotting scope which one can use to peer into the various accelerated anthro-geologic  events happening there.  The series of images […]

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[Lyn Cassady, former secret U.S. military psychic soldier (...or was he?) tests his interrogative prowess by attempting to stare a goat to death.  His successful attempt is authentically recorded by the video camera at his side.  We, as viewer, see this as filtered through memories created prior to Cassady's transformative 'Jedi' training, in which his […]

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[Map of Aquatic Dead Zones and human population density (altered), courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory] The irony of peak phosphorous is that while there is a perceived shortage, there is an excess amount of phosphorous found throughout the human-influenced environment, exactly where we don’t want it and which we mostly don’t know what to do […]

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The U.S. Geological Survey recently posted a LIDAR fly-through of what the Lower Elwha River looked like as of September 2011.  The composite of 97 on-the-ground LIDAR scans were made less than a week before the start of dismantling the Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams upstream.  The 34,131,100 georeferenced points of light will serve as […]

wind map

These maps, still screen saves from Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg’s animated windmap, show U.S. wind patterns and their velocity at approximately 2pm eastern standard time today. The stream of near real-time maps are constructed with data from NOAA’s National Digital Forecast Database.  Similar to drawing water, agencies of algorithms have been deployed, collating and […]

Figure4_invert

“In considering novel urbanisms, it is important not only to investigate new urban processes and kinds of organization, but also to re-evaluate the methodologies by which we intervene in urban systems and spaces.  The traditional tools of the urbanist are the capital project and the contract document; the capital project originates with a major initial […]

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