Myth vs Reality: Floods and Levees
This short video addresses the misconception that levees and spillways might lessen flood damage.
Floods: Video Segments
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory.
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA except:
· Illustration of northwestern U.S. based on illustration from NOVA/WGBH “Mystery of the Megaflood” website
· Glacial Lake Missoula painting courtesy of Byron Pickering
· Dry Falls photo ©2004 Teri J. Pieper, www.byways.org
· Palouse Hills photo courtesy of Lynn Suckow
· Sea creature illustration copyright The National Library of Israel, Shapell Family Digitization Project _and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Geography – Historic Cities Research Project
· Photos of Mississippi River with debris courtesy of Thomas R. Machnitzki
· Video of clouds over eastern U.S. courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
· Snow-to-rain animation by Marc Lussier, STScI
· Satellite images of flooding in Birds Point–New Madrid Floodway courtesy of MODIS Today,
· Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
· Morganza Spillway video and photos courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
· Photo of Mississippi River sediment plume entering Gulf of Mexico courtesy of Nancy Rabalais/Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
· Algae bloom photo courtesy of National Ocean Service/NOAA
· Photo of fish kill on Grand Isle, Louisiana, courtesy of Kerry St. Pé
· Mississippi River dead zone animation courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
· Photo of flooded farm near Vicksburg, Mississippi, courtesy of the National Weather Service
· Map of Mississippi River course changes courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Music courtesy of Associated Production Music
Written by Andrea Gianopoulos
Designed by Marc Lussier
[UPBEAT JAZZ MUSIC]
A banner is outlined in blue for the title, Myth vs Reality and it is split into two sections. An illustration with sea serpents surrounding a ship is above Myth. A row of trees standing in a flooded area is above reality. A dark, rotating planet floats in the background at the bottom. The Myth side is highlighted. Text, Levees and spillways always reduce damage from flooding.
The reality side is highlighted. Text, Constraining a river's natural flow pattern with levees will make a swollen river flow faster. The high, fast-moving water can eat away at levees, causing a breach. Floodwaters that break through a levee travel faster and with more force than a slowly rising river in its natural channel.