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Tuesday, July 26 • 11:15am - 11:50am
Jai (James) Syvitski: From politics to remote sensing: The Indus Flood of 2010 – unfolding of a disaster

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The Pakistan flooding, July-November 2010, caused ~2000 fatalities, displaced 20,000,000 inhabitants for weeks to many months, and was 7.5 on a duration-area affected-intensity scale that compares flood magnitudes on a global basis. Exceptional damage was inflicted on crops and cropland and on agriculture support systems such as canals and levees. Total economic impact reached 43 billion USD; 4,500,000 mainly agricultural workers lost their employment for 2010-2011. The catastrophic flood was associated with unusually intense but not unprecedented rainfall in the upland catchment. Most damage was caused by multiple failures of irrigation system levees, and by barrage-related backwater effects that initiated failures and led to avulsions (sudden changes in flow location). The meteorological events did not cause the catastrophe. Instead, the lack of planned accommodation to the river's high sediment load set the stage for super-elevation of the Indus above the surrounding terrain, dangerous levee failures, and channel avulsions. The dynamics of this remarkable event demonstrate that planning for major flow diversions is a necessary component of effective flood control along this and other avulsion-prone rivers. This disaster will serve as an example to discuss the ‘lessons learnt’ for all stakeholders.

avatar for Gerhard Chroust

Gerhard Chroust

Prof. Emeritus, Systems Engineering, Johannes Kepler Univ. Linz
Gerhard Chroust is an Austrian systems scientist, and Professor Emeritus for Systems Engineering and Automationat the Institute of System Sciences at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria. Chroust is an authority in the fields of formal programming languages and interdisciplinary information management.

avatar for Jai (James) Syvitski

Jai (James) Syvitski

Professor / Director, International Geosphere-Biosphere Program, University of Colorado, INSTAAR
Professor James “Jai” Syvitski received doctorate degrees (Oceanography & Geological Science) from the University of British Columbia in 1978, where he developed a quantitative understanding of particle dynamics across the land-sea boundary. He held a variety of appointments within Canadian universities (1978-1995: U. Calgary, Dalhousie U., U. Laval, Memorial U., and INRS-oceanologie) and was a Senior Research Scientist within the... Read More →

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International Society for the Systems Sciences

Tuesday July 26, 2016 11:15am - 11:50am
MATH 100* Math Academic Building, University of Colorado

Attendees (6)