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Urban development reduces flash flooding chances in arid West

Phys.org/news (NOVEMBER 13, 2019)

Titre : Urban development reduces flash flooding chances in arid West

Urban development in the eastern United States results in an increase in flash flooding in nearby streams, but in the arid West, urbanization has just the opposite effect, according to a Penn State researcher, who suggests there may be lessons to be learned from the sharp contrast.

Phys.org/news (NOVEMBER 13, 2019)

Présentation
Researchers analyzed 14 years of flow records from U.S. Geological Survey stream gauges and similar data from the Flood Control District of Maricopa County to determine how hydrologic characteristics varied with urban development. The study looked at 19 watersheds that drained areas ranging in size from less than a square mile to 175 square miles.

Similar to wetter systems, researchers observed more high-flow events in the urban desert streams compared to nonurban desert streams, she explained. However, this was only at the lower flood threshold—there was no increase in larger floods with urban development.

The research findings, recently published in Water Resources Research, were unique because they documented for the first time the reduced flashiness of arid urban streams in the West and showed what a big role so-called "dry weather flows" are playing in overall streamflow patterns, fed by air conditioner condensate, turfgrass irrigation, wastewater treatment plant effluent and other more obscure sources.

Source  : Jeff Mulhollem, Pennsylvania State University

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

Page publiée le 25 juin 2021