Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Orleans, Louisiana

Hurricane Katrina's landfall on New Orleans in 2005, to this day, is still considered the most costly disaster in U.S. history.  The staggering $133,800,000,000 price tag of it's damages is over three times the amount that Hurricane Andrew caused in 1992.  The death toll was roughly 1200 people, with even more deaths due to indirect effects of the hurricane.  The most damaging and deadly aspect of this storm however was the broken levee that inundated the Ninth Ward.

August 16, 2005

August 30, 2005

September 20, 2005

Landfall NEXRAD Loop:

You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords:      29°58'16.64"N    90°00'58.35"W

Check back next week to see a protest caught on satellite image.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sidoarjo, Indonesia

On May 29, 2006, a natural gas well being drilled in Sidoarjo, Indonesia seemingly caused a mud volcano to erupt some 600 feet away.  There are a few different hypothesis as to how exactly this happened, including the company blaming the volcano on a distant earthquake, but most outside opinions say that a blow-out during drilling caused a fracture in a confining layer that was holding back the mud.

June, 2006

November, 2006

July, 2010

You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords:      07°31'34.16"S   112°42'42.61"E

Check back next week to see the destruction caused by the costliest disaster in US history.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lesterville, Missouri

Taum Sauk is (was?) a reservoir in the St. Francois mountain region in southern Missouri Ozarks.  On December 14, 2005, the wall of the reservoir failed and released one billion gallons of water in 12 minutes. The resulting surge of water tore a path through the mountain leaving it bare down to the bedrock making geologists everywhere very very happy.

August, 2005

August, 2007

You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords:     37°32'07.79"N     90°49'06.80"W

Check back next week to see unstoppable mud.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Doha, Qatar

There's been quite a lot of development in the Middle East over the past decade related to oil wealth.  Countries like the UAE and Qatar in particular have really boomed in development.  Using the time machine feature on any of these country's larger cities shows enormous growth.  One thing in particular that these cities seem to be doing is building artificial islands in the shape of symbols or other designs.  Here is one that popped up in Doha:

October, 2003

September, 2010

You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords:    25°22'03.80"N    51°32'59.83"E

Check back next week to see where 1,000,000,000 gallons of water goes when it breaks free.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Friendswood, Texas

In March 1989 the Brio Industrial site in Friendswood, Texas was listed as a Federal Superfund site, giving Federal authority to come in and clean up hazardous waste that would endanger public health and the environment.
After irresponsible disposal practices of toxic waste, the groundwater became contaminated, resulting in illnesses, elevated miscarriage rates, birth defects, and the deaths of 3 young children. The surrounding neighborhood was quickly cleared out.
During the clean up, a large incinerator was built with the intention of burning the waste, but the San Jacinto South campus Science department was crucial in shutting down the incinerator before it was ever used, as it would endanger the health of people for miles all around.

All the official legal documents for the Brio Superfund site are located in the San Jacinto South campus library across the street, they are open for public viewing.

December, 1989

December, 2002

March, 2011

You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords:     29°34'30.55"N    95°12'33.52"W

Check back next week to see the creation of a man-made island.