By Michael Allaby, Richard Garratt
Provides info on those so much harmful of all ordinary mess ups from the viewpoint of simple meterology and environmental technological know-how, together with floodplains, aquifers, tsunamis, the price of floods, and prevention
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There is also another attractive force. This acts between the electric charge on water molecules (positive at the hydrogen end of the molecule and negative at the oxygen end) and the opposite charge on molecules at the surface of a solid. The figure’s four diagrams illustrate the consequence of these two forces for water in a very narrow tube. Molecules are attracted to the sides of the tube and some of them are drawn up it. This gives the surface a concave shape (diagram A). Surface tension then restores the more economical spherical shape (diagram B), making the surface bulge upward (convexly).
As air approaches the mountain it is forced to rise in order to cross the high ground. This is called “orographic lifting” (from the Greek words oros, A meaning “mountain,” and graphos, meaning “writing” or “written”). The air is dry until it is lifted above the lifting condensation level (diagram B), when cloud starts to form and precipitation begins to fall on the mountainside. The air continues to rise (diagram C) and more cloud forms. This intensifies the precipitation, but only on the mountainside; fine weather continues over the low ground.
Water fills all the spaces between its particles. Such a layer lies below all soils, even in deserts, although there it may be far below the surface. The water it contains is known as groundwater. Layers of rock or other impermeable material are rarely horizontal, so the groundwater flows downhill. It flows very slowly, because it is moving between and around soil particles. Its speed depends on the structure of the soil through which it moves. Fast-flowing groundwater might travel a few feet in a day, but through denser material or down a shallower gradient, it might move only a few feet in a month.
Floods by Michael Allaby, Richard Garratt