2007-2008 Supercomputing Challenge New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge


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    Team Number: 036

    School Name: Shiprock High School

    Area of Science: Environmental Science

    Project Title: Flood Monitoring

Final Report

Flood monitoring, composes a category of Environmental Science. We chose this project because in the past year flooding has occurred more frequently in San Juan County during rain storms. The focus of this project is to predict the volume of rain and the amount of time it will take for a flood to occur in a stream or an arroyo.

Many things contribute to the flooding of streams and arroyos. For instance, unexpected, excessive rainfall causes an arroyo to overflow, which can happen in minutes! Rainfall in its relationship to the floor of a stream or an arroyo, also contributes to flooding. In San Juan County, the soil of a stream bed is dry and sandy, prohibiting the soil from absorbing large amounts of water quickly. Flooding results. Compiling various data distribution systems will help determine the possible flooding of an arroyo. It is necessary to calculate the volume of flow along certain points of a stream. Looking at the base flow runoff and routed flow (the amount of water coming from up stream) will determine flood conditions. The base flow is the amount of water coming from groundwater. The flow of water will fluctuate, increasing during the first rainfall, and decreasing during the next rainfall. Runoff is the amount of water coming from the surface. It comes from two sources: rainfall and snow melt. Some factors that determine the routed flow are viscosity of water, the slope of the riverbed, and the distance between measuring points. These factors also determine if there will be a flood.

Midsummer in San Juan County is the rainy season. During the month of August, there is flooding all over San Juan County. Some of the areas affected by the flooding are Broadway in Farmington, some sections of eastern Kirtland, and low lying areas of Bloomfield.

At the beginning of the project, our original plan was to monitor three choice sites in which to gather data and make the comparison of how much rain and time it would take for a flood to occur in different areas. We had anticipated to do more than we could actually get done. Since the weather has gotten colder, most of the streams and arroyos have frozen. We could not therefore, monitor the streams and arroyos either, because there was no rain. We have now decided to build our own stream or arroyo, and from that we will attempt to get our data or wait until spring and gather data when the snow melts since it has snowed more than usual in the past two years.

We have researched the Internet where we have found most of our information. Unfortunately, our progress in the field has been slow due to cold weather.

Ultimately, the results we expect are to find more effective ways to warn people to evacuate a potential flood area.

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