Tiny Changes in Earth's Gravity Can Help Predict Floods Months Away

When the Missouri River spilled over its banks in a catastrophic 2011 flood, we could have seen it coming—from space, that is. There's more to the story than meets the eye: the satellites don't take photos of snowpacks or rivers, but rather, they detect tiny changes in gravity over the Earth's surface to track water. » 7/08/14 3:00pm 7/08/14 3:00pm

How the Colorado River Finally Reached the Sea Again

This week, for the first time in decades, the Colorado River flowed to its natural end in the Gulf of California. But it was the opposite of a natural event. The artificially engineered "pulse flow" that pushed the waters all the way to the Gulf required an unprecedented collaboration between the U.S. and Mexico,… » 5/20/14 12:20pm 5/20/14 12:20pm

The longest rivers and the tallest mountains in one exquisite graphic

It may not be accurate anymore, but I want a hard copy of this beautiful 1854 graphic that shows the longest rivers and the tallest mountains in the world—so I'm definitely taking this high resolution file and printing it. Click here for more information about these charts. » 11/21/13 10:08am 11/21/13 10:08am

A Self-Driving Mini Cooper Submarine for Commuting on the L.A. River

You're late for a meeting in downtown Los Angeles and you're still all the way over in Burbank—13 miles and 45 stop-and-go minutes away by freeway. Instead, you walk a few blocks to the Los Angeles River, where you board a stylish pod-like watercraft. Soon, you're zipping down the river channel, faster than any… » 11/14/13 1:40pm 11/14/13 1:40pm

This Barge Fleet Keeps the Mighty Mississippi in Check and on Course

For as much as we rely on the Mississippi River for trade, transportation, and agricultural irrigation, the world's third-largest tributary system has only recently been tamed. One multiple occasions, the mighty Mississippi has overflown its banks, flooding into the surrounding valley, destroying property and lives. » 10/25/13 11:31am 10/25/13 11:31am

Why We Don't Design Our Cities to Withstand 1,000-Year Floods

The floods in Colorado are being described as "Biblical," and for once that word seems to fit. Boulder, for example, usually gets around 15 inches of precipitation annually. This year, that amount has fallen in the ten days since September 9 alone. On September 12, they received nine inches in one day. » 9/19/13 11:00am 9/19/13 11:00am