Mississippi Flood 1993: Case Study

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                              Mississippi Flood 1993: Case Study

Background information :

Within the USA 8% of the surface area is at risk of flooding and 35 million people live on flood plains which means that one sixth of floodplains in the USA are now urbanised however this has its problem every year between 47.6 and 89 people die due to flooding. This means that obviously the US government spends a considerable amount of money on flood defences $9000 is spent on flood control every year and $300 is spent on forecasting alone.

This brings me to my case study on the Mississippi floodplain; it is the fifth largest in the world and is 3,211,000 km2 in area. The river alone drains over 585 million tones of sediment per year. The Mississippi lies just above the Mississippi river delta in the gulf on Mexico and has many meanders; now like many floodplains it also has a large “corridor” of development down the bottom of the valley when urbanisation has occurred. Before this urbanisation had occurred the floodplains mainly consisted of fertile silt, which was deposited by heavy times of flooding.

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Bellow is a diagram of he exact location of the Mississippi:


Cause of the flood in 1993:

Like many floods this flood was caused by large amounts of precipitation over a long period of time, in June and July of 1993 much of the area experienced over 150% of normal rainfall and parts of North Dakota, Kansas and Iowa (see diagram bellow) experienced more than double their normal rainfall.

On top of this individual storms frequently dumped large volumes of rain that could not be accommodated along with the other precipitation, the ground ...

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