During an 8-mile journey from the Columbia Bottom conservation area over the Chain of Rocks in a canoe, Bob Criss in Arts & Sciences talks about Lewis and Clark, navigation and the relevance of rivers today.
Why was the New Year’s flood in Missouri so bad? Most news reports blamed it on the heavy rain, but Robert Criss, PhD, professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis says analysis of the flood data shows much of the damage was due to recent modifications to the river.
As floodwaters surge along major rivers in the midwestern United States, a new study from Washington University in St. Louis suggests federal agencies are underestimating historic 100-year flood levels on these rivers by as much as five feet, a miscalculation that has serious implications for future flood risks, flood insurance, and business development in an expanding floodplain.
A widespread pattern of human-caused environmental degradation and related flood-mitigation efforts began changing the natural flow of China’s Yellow River nearly 3,000 years ago, setting the stage for massive floods that toppled the Western Han Dynasty, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.
Humans today struggle with environmental problems such as a depleted ozone layer and global warming — influences of humans on the environment that put our own existence at risk. But humans altering their environment with disastrous results is nothing new. Just ask archeologist T.R. Kidder, PhD, professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences, who has spent the past four summers excavating the Han Dynasty village of Sanyangzhuang.