Ancient Records Reveal California’s Regular Super Floods

A 2013 article in Scientific America is getting fresh attention after the Oroville dam crisis. The article, written by USGS hydrologist Michael Dettinger and UC Berkeley paleoclimatologist B. Lynn Ingram examines California’s paleo-flood record. What the pair found, by looking far enough back, was that super floods are more common in California than originally thought. The findings, combined with the near failure of one of California’s major pieces of water infrastructure, are raising questions about general preparedness for the next big flood.

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Photo credit: Department of Water Resources

A 2013 article in Scientific America is getting fresh attention after the Oroville dam crisis. The article, written by USGS hydrologist Michael Dettinger and UC Berkeley paleoclimatologist B. Lynn Ingram examines California’s paleo-flood record. What the pair found, by looking far enough back, was that super floods are more common in California than originally thought. The findings, combined with the near failure of one of California’s major pieces of water infrastructure, are raising questions about general preparedness for the next big flood.

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