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Flood trends and river engineering on the Mississippi River system

Geophysical Research Letters

By:
, , , ,
DOI: 10.1029/2008GL035987

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Abstract

Along >4000 km of the Mississippi River system, we document that climate, land-use change, and river engineering have contributed to statistically significant increases in flooding over the past 100-150 years. Trends were tested using a database of >8 million hydrological measurements. A geospatial database of historical engineering construction was used to quantify the response of flood levels to each unit of engineering infrastructure. Significant climate- and/or land use-driven increases in flow were detected, but the largest and most pervasive contributors to increased flooding on the Mississippi River system were wing dikes and related navigational structures, followed by progressive levee construction. In the area of the 2008 Upper Mississippi flood, for example, about 2 m of the flood crest is linked to navigational and flood-control engineering. Systemwide, large increases in flood levels were documented at locations and at times of wing-dike and levee construction. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Flood trends and river engineering on the Mississippi River system
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
DOI:
10.1029/2008GL035987
Volume
35
Issue:
23
Year Published:
2008
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geophysical Research Letters