California's Central Valley Levee Failure: Diagnosis, Geology, and Implications for Floodfighting Response.

Stabilization of sea level about 6000 years ago resulted in the formation of deltas and floodplains providing for the first time in 100,000 years conditions suitable for agricultural surplus and highly organized human society. Yet the early years of civilization were marked by unstable behavior of lower river valleys influenced by erratic global climate as well as transition of rivers into their present meandering form. Many human practices and beliefs are rooted in the late fourth millenium (~3200 BC). And many of our most pressing urban and environmental problems today, including floods, arise from these same ancient events. The case is made here that the key to diagnosis and treatmen of the levee failure problem is correct understanding of levee foundation geology.

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News coverage of the 1997 Arboga failure.