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Jeff Mount, U.C. Davis

Flooding in the West: Lessons Learned...

Yet Again?


(Webmaster's notes:) The Peninsula Geological Society didn't plan it this way, honest. However, our speaker for Tuesday evening, Jeff Mount, picked a good week to give his talk. His book titled "California Rivers and Streams, The Conflict Between Fluvial Process And Land Use" (U.C. Press, 1995), has a particularly relevant chapter under "Learning The Lessons" titled "The Urbanization of California Rivers."

Here are some of my favorite lines:

"The reduced infiltration capacities of most urban areas and increases in drainage density and magnitude lead to sharp decreases in lag times and increases in peak discharge and runoff volume."

"Where a channel is straightened, the stream power will increase, often leading to channel and bank scouring as the river attempts to reestablish a meandering or braided pattern."

and my favorite:

"From the point of view of this geologist, it appears that the nation's civil engineers are incapable of accepting the natural design of rivers as an adequate engineering solution. In the engineering literature the modifications of rivers is routinely referred to as 'river improvement,' as if nature just didn't quite get it right the first time."


  • DINNER MEETING - Tuesday, February 10, 1998
  • Location: Stanford University

  • 5:30 PM-Wine Tasting: Mitchell Bldg., first floor
  • 6:00 PM-Dinner: . . . Mitchell Bldg., first floor
  • 7:30 PM-Meeting: Geology Corner on the Quad, Room 105 (formerly Room 320)
    see map

    Anyone wishing to attend the tour and lecture only is welcome at no cost.

    This will be the 310th meeting since 1954.


    Stanford faculty and students: Please make dinner reservations by Wednesday, February 4. Contact Dr. Gary Ernst via his mailbox (and leave check), Geological and Environmental Sciences Office, Green Earth Sciences Bldg (room 209). Make checks out to "PGS."

    All others, including faculty and students from other Bay Area universities and colleges and USGS: Please make dinner reservations by Wednesday, February 4. Contact Willie Lee, at USGS, MS-977, 345 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025, phone 650-329-4781. Send check made out to "PGS" to Willie.

    Note the dinner cost for non students has finally gone up a buck

    Dinner is $23.00. Includes wine (5:30 to 6:00 PM.), dinner (6:00-7:30 PM.), tax, and tip.

  • Please note: Because dinners are contracted with our caterer, no-shows will be billed.

    For students from all universities and colleges, the dinner, including the social half-hour, is $8.00 and is partially subsidized thanks to the Associates of School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University

    Dues for Academic Year 1997-98 ($5.00) should be sent to Willie Lee, USGS, MS-977, 345 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025. Willie's phone: 650-329-4781.

    Officers: Gary Ernst, President; Mike Diggles, Vice President; Vicki Langenheim, Secretary; Willie Lee, Treasurer


    Date created: 01/15/1998
    Last modified: 1/14/2014
    Created by: Mike Diggles, Vice President, PGS.

    c/o U.S. Geological Survey, MS-910, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 329-5404 email to

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