Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cubic Miles per Hour

Awhile back I used the unit "cubic miles per hour" in relation to the Missoula Floods, and John Fleck tweeted that it was his new favorite measure.

It turns out that it's nearly identical to the standard scientific unit for large flows of water, the Sverdrup, which equals a million cubic meters per second.

1 mi3/hr = 1.16 Sv

Anyway, those floods (there were more than 40 of them, from 12,800 to 15,000 years ago) covered Portland, Oregon to a depth of about 400 ft. The energy of the floods was about 1.9 × 1019 Joules (compare here).

Map of the Missoula Flood that Formed the Columbia Valley

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