Category water

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DredgeFest Louisiana

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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A Megacity, with a Big Wet Hole in the Middle

[“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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Massively Redistributed in Space and Time

“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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Suites of New Elemental Landscapes

[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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Soft Systems: Bracket 2

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 […]

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Making the Geologic Now

[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.  […]

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How to Unwater

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 […]

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