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USACE PHOTO

Debris and sediment from post-wildfire flooding in New Mexico has completely filled this massive pond. Researchers at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory are improving numerical models to help better understand and manage post-wildfire flooding.

ERDC RESEARCHERS IMPROVE NUMERICAL MODELING FOR POST-WILDFIRE FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT BY CAROL C. COLEMAN

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ildfires can be extremely destructive, resulting in a massive loss in property and even life. In many instances, post-wildfire flooding can be just as dangerous and damaging, destroying infrastructure and habitats miles away from burned areas. Researchers at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) are improving numerical models to help better understand and manage the impact of debris flows.

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Following a wildfire, flood risk is dramatically increased. Wildfires remove vegetation and alter soils, resulting in increased runoff and sediment transport. Post-wildfire recovery can take decades, posing potential long-term operation and management concerns for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other federal, state, and local agencies. “What we’re trying to do here is take an engineering- and practical-based approach to post-wildfire flood risk management,” said Ian Floyd, a research physical scientist at CHL and principal investigator for the post-wildfire flood risk management team. “We want to get

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Building Strong, Serving the Nation and the Armed Forces, 2020-2021  

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