Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Concepts for Houston, Texas flood barrier

Date:
September 15, 2013
Source:
Delft University of Technology
Summary:
This month it will be exactly five years ago that Hurricane Ike caused enormous damage in and around Houston and Galveston in the US state of Texas. With more than $38 billion in damage and over 100 deaths, Ike ranks third in the list of the costliest hurricanes in US history. But it could have been a lot worse. With more than two million inhabitants, Houston is not only the fourth largest city in the United States, it is also the centre of the oil and gas industry. The Port of Houston fulfils a crucial economic role and generates around $178 million in revenues each year. Given the vulnerability of the area, it is a question of when rather than whether the city will again be hit by a major hurricane.

Texas surge barrier.
Credit: Image courtesy of Delft University of Technology

This month it will be exactly five years ago that Hurricane Ike caused enormous damage in and around Houston and Galveston in the US state of Texas. With more than $38 billion in damage and over 100 deaths, Ike ranks third in the list of the costliest hurricanes in US history. But it could have been a lot worse. With more than two million inhabitants, Houston is not only the fourth largest city in the United States, it is also the centre of the oil and gas industry. The Port of Houston fulfils a crucial economic role and generates around $178 million in revenues each year. Given the vulnerability of the area, it is a question of when rather than whether the city will again be hit by a major hurricane.

This makes good coastal defences essential. Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands), Royal HaskoningDHV and Iv Infra are exploring possible designs for a flood barrier off the coast of Houston.

The Ike Dike concept

Immediately after Hurricane Ike, Professor Bill Merrell of the Texas A&M University developed and unveiled the 'Ike Dike' concept. A key element of the concept is a movable flood barrier that can seal off the bay near Galveston and Houston during a hurricane. Under normal conditions the bay provides a passage to the Port of Houston, so it must remain accessible for shipping. Another matter of great importance is the preservation of the ecosystems in the bay. Which types of flood barriers are buildable to protect the Houston/Galveston area optimally against storm surges? This is the question that the Delft University of Technology, Royal HaskoningDHV and Iv-Infra are currently examining on behalf of principals in Texas.

Detailing of preferred variants

Over the past months the Delft University of Technology, Royal HaskoningDHV and Iv-Infra have worked out some flood defence concepts for closing off the approximately three kilometres long opening and have presented them to Bill Merrell and his team. In terms of their dimensions the barriers are similar to the Maeslant and Eastern Scheldt storm surge barriers in the Netherlands. The various concepts were compared with each other in respect of criteria like reliability, makeability, maintainability and life-cycle costs. The three parties will elaborate the preferred variants in greater detail in the coming period. A joint research programme will also be set up between the Delft University of Technology and the Texan universities.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Delft University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Delft University of Technology. "Concepts for Houston, Texas flood barrier." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130915131228.htm>.
Delft University of Technology. (2013, September 15). Concepts for Houston, Texas flood barrier. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130915131228.htm
Delft University of Technology. "Concepts for Houston, Texas flood barrier." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130915131228.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) Greenpeace's ship Arctic Sunrise, held in custody by the Russian authorities since September last year, has departed the Russian city of Murmansk en route for its home port of Amsterdam. Duration: 01:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins