APES: Levees
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APES: Levees
The Pros and Cons of Levees
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USGS Scientists Investigate New Orleans Levees Broken by Hurricane Katrina

USGS Scientists Investigate New Orleans Levees Broken by Hurricane Katrina | APES: Levees | Scoop.it

A monthly newsletter covering coastal and marine science in the U.S. Geological Survey.

 

During Hurricane Katrina, the levees surrounding New Orleans failed in many areas. This was caused by water overtopping, or flowing over the top of the levees. This then eroded the soil behind the levee causing the levee to fail even more. Some levees just broke completely and were crumbled by the waves. 

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Slurry walls for levees FAQ | Portland Cement Association (PCA)

Slurry walls for levees FAQ | Portland Cement Association (PCA) | APES: Levees | Scoop.it

 

This diagram shows you how a levee works and how it is built.

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Floods inquiry hears the pros and cons of levees

Floods inquiry hears the pros and cons of levees | APES: Levees | Scoop.it

Queensland's floods inquiry is being asked to make recommendatons on an issue that pitted farmer against farmer as the disaster unfolded last summer.

This article is about the pros and cons of levees. People on the Balonne River said the first year they acquired a levee there farm, home, and property was destroyed. This flood that happened in Queensland in September of 2011 destroyed many of the populations agricultural products.  

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My Scoop on the Pros and Cons of Levees

My Scoop on the Pros and Cons of Levees | APES: Levees | Scoop.it

Before the invention of levees, most rivers would periodically over flow there banks. Occasionally the water that overflowed would provide farmers with nutrient-rich water which would get into there crops and would help the growing. Now that farmers don't need as much land, people are trying to build levees to stop rivers from overflowing to build residential areas. Sometimes levees fail, but most the time they hold up and provide a dry land to live on.

 

A levee is an enlarged bank built up on each side of the river. The Mississippi River has the largest system of levees in the wrold. This river has more then 1,500 miles of levees that offer flood pretection more many people. The levee has produced many challenges though, natrual floodwaters can no longer add fertility and nurtrients to soil, so the fertility of these lands decrease. The sediments that do not leave the river are carried downstream, then the sediments seettle where the river enters the ocean. Lastly, levees may prevent flooding at another location, this forces floodwater father downstream, where it can cause worse flooding in a city or town down river. If floodwaters become too high or there is a big storm levees can collapse due to a large amount of pressure. The most famous incident was in New Orlean in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina. The high winds and rain caused the overflowing of 50 levees that then raced into the city of New Orleans.

 

With many negatives about levees, there are also many positives. Levees help out millions of people that live in residential areas by rivers. If levees did not exist many residential towns would flood and decrease the population around the river. Another example of how levees protect towns and cities is during a hurricane, if there weren't levees in rivers where hurricanes happen, the water would overflow and ruin the habitat for the whole community. Levees are helpful but can also be a challenge in our society today.

 

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HowStuffWorks "What is a levee?"

HowStuffWorks "What is a levee?" | APES: Levees | Scoop.it

A levee is a critical safety feature for low-lying areas, such as New Orleans. When a levee breaks, surrounding land faces massive destruction.

 

 A levee is a man made structure used to keep rivers from overflowing. It also stops oceans from flooding below sea level areas like New Orleans. Levees can range in length and height it just depends on the area. Along the Mississippi River levees range from 10-20 feet tall. In Netherlands they are up to 30 feet tall.

 

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Hurricane Katrina flooded more than 80 percent of New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina flooded more than 80 percent of New Orleans | APES: Levees | Scoop.it

In this photo you can see the water flowing right over the top of the levees surrounding New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

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Current Levee Solutions - Strong Levees

Current Levee Solutions - Strong Levees | APES: Levees | Scoop.it

They are good at channeling and holding back water under relatively constant hydrostatic pressure where the height of the water is not rapidly changing. Clay levees that are built are one of the safest ways that a levee can be built. With a clay levee the cost is enourmous due to the size of the structure. Another form of levee is an I-Wall. The I-Wall does not work because it relies on the passive pressure of the soil.

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