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Floods Current Events

NASA image.
Monitoring Sacramento River Levees with Radar?
April 10, 2014 | NASA

“In the Sacramento River delta north of San Francisco Bay, islands, agricultural lands and communities below sea level are protected from surrounding water channels by more than 1,100 miles of dirt levees, many of which date back to the California Gold Rush.” NASA now has a method to monitor them using radar. Quote from the NASA press release.

Restricting the Right to Build?
April 3, 2014 | New York Times

An article in the New York Times explores the idea that governments should have the ability to restrict building construction in areas subject to geologic hazards.

Helicopter Videos over the Oso Landslide
March 27, 2014 | Q13Fox

Q13Fox has posted two aerial videos of the landslide and flooding near Oso, Washington.

18 Missing and 3 Dead in Washington Landslide
March 23, 2014 | BaxterBulletin

Three people were killed and at least eighteen are missing after a landslide crashed through six homes, blocked a road and formed a dam across the north fork of the Stillaguamish River.

Upstream Flooding Concerns After Washington Landslide
March 23, 2014 | Seattle Times

After a landslide blocked the north fork of the Stillaguamish River near Oso, Washington there is a concern of upstream flooding as water backs up above the slide debris and a downstream flooding concern if the landslide-created dam is breached.

Keeping Flood Insurance Coverage Below Actual Cost?
March 16, 2014 |

The federal flood insurance program has been providing coverage to property owners at below cost for decades and is $24 billion in debt. Now the Senate has passed a bill to block increases that would slightly move the premiums closer to costs.

Flooding in New Zealand
March 13, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

NASA’s Earth Observatory has an interesting satellite image pair of a coastline in New Zealand. It shows coastal waters discolored by suspended sediment after heavy rains.

Preposterous Flood Clauses?
March 13, 2014 | The Telegraph

Property owners in the UK are displeased because they are not paid by their insurance company if their property suffers damage from a rising water table.

Related: What your homeowners insurance does not cover in the United States.

What Your Homeowner’s Insurance Does Not Cover
March 4, 2014 |

Most homeowners insurance policies have exclusions that make them worthless when the home is damaged by common geologic problems such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, mine subsidence, cavern collapse and expansive soils. When a home is damaged the homeowner often is surprised that his “all perils” policy has these exclusions.

The Seti River Disaster
January 28, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

The first sign of trouble for residents along the upper Seti River in Nepal was the water. In late April and early May 2012, what was usually a roaring river had slowed to a trickle. And the milky-white water—colored by rock flour from glaciers upstream in the Sabche Cirque—had turned blue and clear. Residents regarded the river changes as bizarre, but nobody connected the slowdown to anything dangerous upstream. So it came as a surprise when a slurry of sediment, rock, and water suddenly surged through the valley on May 5, 2012, obliterating dozens of homes and sweeping 72 people to their deaths.

Floods and Landslides in Brazil
January 2, 2014 | NASA Earth Observatory

“Widespread floods are plaguing at least three states in southeast Brazil. Heavy rains lasted throughout December in Minas Gerais, Bahia, and Espirito Santo States, causing floods and mudslides. December rainfall in Espirito Santo has already reached 714 millimeters (28.11 inches), an all-time record monthly rainfall.”

Megafloods in Idaho and on Mars
December 26, 2013 | Caltech

“South-central Idaho and the surface of Mars have an interesting geological feature in common: amphitheater-headed canyons. These U-shaped canyons with tall vertical headwalls are found near the Snake River in Idaho as well as on the surface of Mars. Various explanations for how these canyons formed have been offered—some for Mars, some for Idaho, some for both. [...] Kenneth A. Farley offers a plausible account that all these canyons were created by enormous floods.” Quoted from the Caltech press release.

NASA Hazard Warning Systems
December 12, 2013 | NASA

“Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have enhanced existing GPS technologies to develop new systems for California and elsewhere to warn of hazards from earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

Landslides in Italy
December 8, 2013 | The Telegraph

The Telegraph has a video that shows some of the damage caused by a massive landslide in Italy that occurred during heavy rains and flooding.

Wildfire Areas at Risk for Flash Floods and Debris Flows
November 11, 2013 | USGS

Although USGS does a lot of work related to wildfires, they also have a prominent role in providing information about flash flooding and debris flows in areas that have been burned.

Typhoon Haiyan Kills at Least 10000
November 9, 2013 | Reuters

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines as a Category 5 typhoon, with winds gusting up to 170 miles per hour, swamping coastal areas in storm surge and destroying thousands of buildings that were in its path.

Glen Canyon Dam High Flow Next Week
November 6, 2013 | Arizona Daily Sun

On Monday, the Glen Canyon Dam is scheduled to start releasing up to 37,200 cubic feet of water per second – that is an Olympic-sized swimming pool worth of water into the Colorado River every two minutes. The goal is to imitate a natural flood that will deliver sand to beaches and refresh river habitats.

Storm Surge and Sea Level Rise Protection for NYC?
November 3, 2013 | PBS

Flood protection experts in the Netherlands are shocked that a vulnerable and important city like New York does not have storm surge and sea level rise protection.

What is a Storm Surge?
November 3, 2013 |

A storm surge is a mound of water produced when a hurricane moves across a large body of water. Driving wind “pushes” the water so quickly that it “piles up” on the water in front of it, producing a mound of water that can be much higher than normal sea level.

Natural Hazard Viewer for Arizona
September 24, 2013 | Arizona Geological Survey

The interactive Natural Hazard Viewer focuses on four hazards common to Arizona — geologic faults and earthquakes, earth fissures, floods and wildfire. Each hazard is described in detail and displayed as a layer on a map. Moreover, the natural hazard information is dynamic; site updates will occur as new or revised hazard data becomes available.

Editor’s Comment: Every state geological survey should have one of these!

Super Typhoon Usagi
September 23, 2013 | NASA Earth Observatory

“This weekend, the most powerful tropical cyclone of 2013 passed between Taiwan and the Philippines, then slammed into the southeastern coast of China on September 22. Dozens of people died in China and the Philippines due to flooding, airborne debris, and collapsed buildings.” Quoted from the NASA Earth Observatory image release.

Most Threatened Cities and Metro Areas
September 23, 2013 | Quartz

Quartz has a summary article that illustrates: “The 10 cities most threatened by a damaging natural disaster” and “The metro areas most threatened by a natural disaster” (data from Swiss Re). The most threatened are in Asia with earthquakes and flooding as the major threats.

Satellite Image of Colorado Flooding
September 19, 2013 | NASA Earth Observatory

“Though water levels on the South Platte River near Greeley, Colorado, were receding, muddy brown floods still spread along the river’s path on September 17, 2013, when [...] the Landsat 8 satellite acquired this image. At the time, the river was more than six feet above flood stage, down from more than eight feet above flood stage.” Quoted from the NASA Earth Observatory image release.

Storms Attack Mexico from East and West
September 17, 2013 |

Two storms, Hurricane Ingrid and tropical storm Manuel poured heavy rain on Mexico causing floods and landslides that have killed at least 21 people.

Linking Colorado Floods to Wildfires and Climate Change?
September 16, 2013 | National Geographic

National Geographic has an article that explores possible links between Colorado’s recent flooding problems, recent wildfires and climate change.

Colorado Flooding Sunday PM Update
September 15, 2013 | Reuters

Hundreds of people are still missing or stranded after last week’s flooding in Colorado. An area the size of Delaware was under water.

NBC News on Colorado Flooding
September 12, 2013 | NBC News

This article includes the nightly NBC News segment on record rain and flooding in Colorado – especially in the Boulder area.

Deadly Flooding in Colorado
September 12, 2013 | CNN

Heavy rains of 6 to 10 inches in 12 to 18 hours have caused impressive floods along the Colorado Rocky Mountains. As of Thursday evening at least three deaths have occurred with millions of dollars in property damage.

Popular for August 2013
September 3, 2013 |

40 Maps that Explain the World

A Spanish Fort in the Appalachians in 1567?

12-Year-Old Finds a 5-Carat Diamond in Arkansas

Sinkhole in Western Kansas

Rare Eruption of Steamboat Geyser

Origin of the Antarctica Ice Sheet?

Frozen Landslides in Alaska

Solar Magnetic Field is about to Flip?

Flash Flooding Near Page, Arizona


Popular Between August 1 and August 15
August 18, 2013 |

Solar Magnetic Field is about to Flip?

A Spanish Fort in the Appalachians in 1567?

Flash Flooding Near Page, Arizona

Recovering 60 Tons of Silver from 3 Miles of Water

Sinkhole in Western Kansas

Debris Flow in Southern Utah

Rare Eruption of Steamboat Geyser

120,000 Tons of Molten Salt as a Heat Sink?

Erosion at the Tsangpo Gorge
August 15, 2013 | University of Washington

“For the first time, scientists have direct geochemical evidence that the 150-mile-long Tsangpo Gorge, possibly the world’s deepest, was the conduit by which megafloods from glacial lakes, perhaps half the volume of Lake Erie, drained catastrophically through the Himalayas when their ice dams failed during the last 2 million years.” Quoted from the University of Washington press release.

Flash Flood Near Manitou Springs Colorado
August 13, 2013 | The Denver Channel

A flash flood and mudflows near Manitou Springs, Colorado killed one person and caused significant property damage. The video with this article shows how vehicles were swept away by the flow.

Flash Flooding Near Page, Arizona
August 3, 2013 | RankinStudio

David Rankin has another flash flood video. This one showing flooding that exceeds local drainage capacity and swamps Highway 89 with mud near Page, Arizona.

Video by

Popular Stories for July 15 to July 31
August 3, 2013 |

Sinkhole Photos – Wow!

Debris Flow in Southern Utah

The Strangest Volcanic Landscape

Thousands of Volcanoes in Arizona?

An Embryonic Subduction Zone in the Atlantic?

The Geologist Who Discovered Canadian Diamonds

Missing-Mantle Mystery

Top Diamond Producers

Debris Flow in Southern Utah
July 30, 2013 | David Rankin on

Video of a debris flow that occurred in southern Utah on July 18, 2013 after three inches of rain. You will be surprised!

Video by

$60B in Uninsured Weather Losses So Far This Year
July 29, 2013 | Quartz

An article on Quartz reports on the staggering level of uninsured losses that are attributed to weather so far this year.

Related: Even if you have insurance it does not cover many geologic hazards.

Landslides in Southern Asia
July 18, 2013 | The Landslide Blog

The Landslide Blog has descriptions and photos for a number of recent landslides that have occurred in response to tropical storms in southern Asia. Scan down the homepage and note the diverse locations.

Most Popular: July 1 to July 15
July 17, 2013 |


Caves Discovered by Construction Projects

100 Million Barrel Discovery in the Gulf?

Six Planets – Three in Habitable Zone

Oil Industry Job Profiles

Monsoon Rains and Debris Flows in Arizona

Sky Islands

Yosemite Falls

Photos of Flooding and Erosion in Southern France
June 25, 2013 | Le Nouvel Observateur

A photo gallery on the French website Le Nouvel Observateur show flooding and erosion in southern France. You don’t need to know how to read French to understand these photos.

Floods and Landslides in India
June 20, 2013 | Boston Globe

Floods and landslides in India have killed at least 100 people and stranded thousands.

Lourdes Flooding
June 20, 2013 | New York Times

Spring snow melt in the Pyrenees and heavy rain have caused flooding in southwestern France, damaging famous religious sites in the town of Lourdes.

Damaging Ice on the Yukon River
May 20, 2013 | Alaska Dispatch

Large slabs of ice pushed onto land along the Yukon River have pushed buildings from foundations and a fear of flooding has forced evacuations.

Flooding Around Fargo
May 2, 2013 | NASA

NASA’s Earth Observatory has satellite images that display flooding in the area around Fargo, North Dakota from early and late April 2013. They show waters of the Red River covering farmland around the city.

Impact of Climate Change on U.S. Coasts
February 18, 2013 | USGS

“According to a new technical report, the effects of climate change will continue to threaten the health and vitality of U.S. coastal communities’ social, economic and natural systems. The report, Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: a technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, authored by leading scientists and experts, emphasizes the need for increased coordination and planning to ensure U.S. coastal communities are resilient against the effects of climate change.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

National Climate Assessment
January 25, 2013 | U.S. Global Change Research Program

“Climate change is already affecting the American people. Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting. These changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity.” Quoted from the Executive Summary of the Federal Advisory Committee Draft Climate Assessment Report

2012: Hottest and Second Most Extreme
January 9, 2013 | NOAA

“2012 was a historic year for extreme weather that included drought, wildfires, hurricanes and storms; however, tornado activity was below average. 2012 marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States with the year consisting of a record warm spring, second warmest summer, fourth warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn.” Quoted from the NOAA press release.

2012 Natural Catastrophe Review
January 6, 2013 | Munich Re

Munich Re has posted a 58-minute webinar that reviews natural catastrophe events for the United States and worldwide.

In 2012, insured losses in the United States were about $58 billion – far above average for the 2000-2011 period.

We are constantly looking for interesting items related to geology and general science. When we find something interesting we share it here. Bookmark this page and visit often. You can also receive our news for free by RSS feed or email. We publish updates three or four days per week.

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Green River fossilsSpectacular Fossils of the Green River Formation. Some of the world's best-preserved fossil fish from an intermountain lake.
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NovaruptaMost Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century: People in Juneau heard the volcanic blast - over one hour after it occurred.

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