As you might have noticed, I'm fascinated by floods.
|Flooding in Texas, 2021. P/C NSF|
We've investigated floods before in this blog. See SRS in 2016 when we asked "what's common between these floods?" or this SRS from 2020 when we discussed flood and debris basins near Los Angeles.
But, as always, I'm interested in even BIGGER floods that have reshaped the land at large.
I've heard about such things: Epic floods that created canyons and seas, changing the very shape of the countryside, but I don't know the details of when and where such floods have taken place. Can you find out?
So this week's Challenge is about really big floods...
1. Can you find the 3 largest floods of all time? What are they? We're not counting life or property loss here, we're just interested in size--especially total water movement. Hint: they all have to do with geology rather than human-made causes.
2. What causes these gigantic floods? That is, how would such things occur? What's the underlying root causes?
3. Where are the biggest risks of giant floods today? Sure, every dam in the world can cause flooding, but are there other places that might have a giant flood today? Where? And how bad are the risks?
I love these kinds of SRS Challenges because they make me look for information in resources that I don't normally visit. They make me think on time-scales and sizes that are much larger than myself. I hope you enjoy these Challenges for the same reason. I hope they pique your curiosity and inspire further research on your part.
Speaking of "further research," my plan for the next two weeks is to visit Bonaire on a scuba diving trip with a few good friends. I HOPE I'll be able to post an answer next week, but if I'm not able to do so, you'll know why. Not to worry--I'll return shortly.
With any luck, I'll come back with more SRS Challenges having to do with marine biology, cultural anthropology, or geopolitics. In any case, I'll be indulging my curiosity with a bit of field investigation.