/ Modified jun 22, 2017 4:23 p.m.

Episode 62: Flood Risks in the Southwest

The science of superfloods.

Arizona Science spot Arizona Science, Fridays on NPR 89.1


Once flowing year round, Tucson's Rillito River now runs primarily during the monsoon season. In 1983, the biggest flood in the last 100 year's hit Tucson and ripped out stream banks along the Rillito, the Santa Cruz and many of the region's washes. Vic Baker is considered a leading expert and pioneer in the field of flood research and has spent much of his career studying superfloods. He says superfloods aren't just bigger versions of small scale floods - they behave differently. They release huge amounts of energy in a brief period of time, leading to turbulence that causes erosion and sediment transport that are vastly different from that experienced in small scale floods.


Vic Baker, Professor of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences at the UA
Tim Swindle, Ph.D., Director and Head of the UA's Lunar and Planetary Lab

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