31Mar05: BBC’s R4 Toady this week reported USGS reappraisal of their original record of the Dec event, raising their Richter rating a decimal point but also adding a newly estimated 40ft seabed uplift driven by the quake. Simple sums schematised below (done 26Jan) guestimated by back calculation that the tsunami was likely sourced from an initiating upwelling of 12m covering a 4km patch directly above a seabed uplift. As emphasised here and earlier Meldrewisms, a prerequisite for intense solitons is space-time compactness of the forcing source, maximised in an impulsive vertical displacement of the entire water column. Maybe it was more luck than judgement but 12m=40ft without any give or take and 12m as offered was truly a testable item in old-school spirit, not a computationally contrived retro-combination of the genie genre that has crudely corrupted so much of what was once was the disciplinary dignity unique to physical philosophy. |||| Another Toady this week reported an emergent cooperative initiative for telephonic relay of tsunami warnings to threatened coastal strips around the Bay of Bengal. An obvious post-caution of course but so sadly not the pre-caution that would have contained the catastrophe ~ as observed below also demanding deserved distinction for functionally beneficial preventative precaution as against precautionary prejudice that has been falsely designated principle when postulated in pursuit of political purpose without regard to reality. Present paradigm for this unprincipled practice would be the meaningless mantra for IDism asserted as precautionary policy against terrorism ~ an excuse for yet more wantonly wasted wads on kickback slush made all the more gut-gobbing considering starkly vaster numbers who have died and will continue dying from terrarism.
Channel 4 TV Dispatches / Equinox Specials 8-10PM Mon 24Jan exemplified repulsive realities of telly topicality ~ an hour of busking banter from ad hoc assemblages of charitable cash creationists and then another hour of pulped pontificating from academic amateur activists, and all of it in hot pursuit of audience attention rather than actuality. It was gut-gobbing enough for me to set aside an emergent item on further flawed follies by climate changers so as to foreword this one with minimeldrewismic mention that I saw nothing to suggest my simple sums below are other than plausibly proper perspectives on manipulative mastication of money and meaning. The floodwater footage seemed only to support my simplistic scaling for size, speed and hazardous ingress at remoter ranges as reported ~ namely, at 1000km from source, 3m deep (10m/s) by 30m long on landfall, declining after 20 sec or so to 1m deep (5m/s) by 180m long. Although not explicitly expressed earlier, they now seem satisfactory for the seriously severer scenes nearer to epicentre ~ namely, at 100km from source, 10m deep (30m/s) by 100m long on landfall, declining after 200sec or so to 1m deep (5m/s) by 2000m long. However even if these sorry victims had heard the initiation event they would have needed to react immediately and been exceptionally able-bodied to escape a safe distance of several kilometres in the available twenty minutes or so of tsunami transit across 100km at 100m/s or so ~ many of course, especially young and old and infirmed, sadly simply wouldn’t have been able to do it. Indeed with more like twelve than twenty minutes available after allowing for sonic delay and inevitable hesitation, very few could ever have hoped to escape without prescient intervention ~ which as reported was amazingly forthcoming for a fortunate few who reacted immediately to fearful flight by birds and animals. Saddest of all though is the thought that no warning system in the world would ever have assisted such an escape ~ and leaves me wondering whether its retrospective protagonists have really thought through how many people actually resided in what must always have been a tiny margin of salvation between those that were always doomed and those for whom traditional telephonic response to any Richter7+ would have sufficed in any case ~~ whether utilisation of resource wouldn’t be far better spent on practical improvements even as simple sea defences as would of course been much more likely implemented in earlier eras before computing and communication consumed so much morality money in seizing the high ground of imaginative innovation ~ or do I mean imaginary not imaginative when it comes to actualities of achievements in duly deserved deliverables for pennies provided from public purse?
Perspection Perception Deception Postscription
Massively manipulative mediarisation of the latest terrarist (sic) attack on innocent civilians secured solicited sympathy of course although awareness screamed sensibility that it will not appear an excessive event in the death deeds of our predominantly placid planet. >100K killings from Richter 7-9 tectonics occur triennially or so, their cumulants conceivably comparable to those caused by military machinery of political poseurs predicating policies on profitable prejudices rather than principled prognostication. Undeniably outrageous of course but in the context of >>100Kpa caused by uncured curable complaints in the UK alone, not to mention comparable numbers globally as road victims, all this breast-baring, subscription-seeking obsessive outcry seems symptomatic of societal sickness rather than reasoned response.
As meaningful metric of this madness consider that CO2ism alone continues to gobble globally gargantuan £Bpa, much of it for junketing on pointless prognostications predicated on meaningless modelling whilst idiotically intrusive ineffectual IDism seems set to even exceed this extravagance. Tsunamics emerged especially during the past decade as a branded beano courtesy of vox pop portrayals by parapoliticos pandering pseudoscientce in such as the Beeb’s epic scifi Horizon on an imaginary megamonster contrived as Canarian conveyance of transatlantic inundation into the US heartland, at least swamp a substantial swathe all along its eastern seaboard. Nonsense of course as almost reflexed by anyone with an iota of the second law, also that shallow water initiation of solitons sources thermoclinically dispersive / dissipative modes that were entirely excluded from the equations announcing an Atlantic Armageddon.
Traditional tsunamis triggered by deep-water detonations are an entirely separate species, long since extensively documented and dating back before books by Lamb in 1930s, Stoker in 1950s and Lighthill’ in 1970s, with this sound science even incorporated as an early warning platform for the Pacific in place since the 1980s! I’d be surprised if any of the of the pop pundits ever heard of these major monographs and amazed if they ever read any of their relevant bits never mind digested their entireties before presuming to pontificate courtesy of fanciful fartaries anchoring these blandly bantered bananas.
Corollary of course is to ask just how much has been splashed on all this unavoidable endless uninformed extemporisation ~ considering that advertising comes in at anything from £K10-100 per minute and for maybe 10 minutes hourly, might plausibly assign equivalence of £M100-1000pa per channel which would not be wildly inconsistent with Beebs’ licence loot of perhaps £B4pa from 30M or so households. With daily coverage of surely >10 hours equivalent summed over principal UK channels (ie upper-end hourly cost), I’m tempted to suggest maybe £M50 has been squandered on this sad silliness, all the more so for its voyeuristically looped footage offensively dominated by dreadful death. A similar amount can be attributed to parallel exploitation in say 20M daily papers grossing say £M20pd with 40% “story” assignment over 10 days. Together then percy public paid out £M100 for this “privilege” on top of directly donating £M50, so arguably then an overhead of 200% has been deflected from frontline functionality. Percy public’s further £M50 pledged by HMG on their behalf (though not exactly emphasised in posturing pronouncements) was probably penalised in pretty much similar proportion, maybe more because other recent initiatives exploded overhead inflation to more like 300% and maybe as much as 400% meaning merely 20% residual recovery. So much for the collection collectives trumpeted 99% delivery ~ their long term average achievement can’t be any better than industrial standards of 40-60% whilst those with careerist captains converting charity into campaigning via retail pop style advertising are quite possibly burning another 20% on their motivational messages, meaning again only 20-30% fraction for frontline functionality.
I’m undeniably a going-on geriatric grumpy old git so maybe that’s why I can’t see sense in all this squandered silliness, likewise the opportunistic putrefying poppers endlessly bandwagonning their dotages on the back of emotional good-doing to financially blackmail their blindly bland bands of boppers. Doesn’t matter if what they say makes no sense, not when it’s all about converting kids into conviction carriers. Doesn’t matter when the good (god?) Sir (soon Lord?) Bob G says (Toady BBC-R4 4Jan05) that the Asian tsunami killings were an unavoidable catastrophe unlike the African famine ones ~ doesn’t matter that his truth economy was so economical as to absolutely opposed to it ~ doesn’t matter because the studio fartaries didn’t question his lie despite it’s manifest contradiction of reality truth that has been known for 50+ years, reality truth that has been Pacific lifesaving since the 80s. In sum, it doesn’t matter because McLuhan’s medium really has long since become the only message that vox pop can perceive and sod the Titanic of exhaustively texted and extensively tested reality truth that sadly sunk without trace soon after science was sacrificed to post-scientific pressure-group politico populism and crucified in the cause of cultural correctness coercion.
I blame Bill Gates because it was his Powerpointless product that empowered primeval plods to produce promo pap to the extent that PPTlessness is now a universal vox pop pulpit for all virtual truths regardless of absence of any anchoring in reality truths. Even more I blame Bill Gates and Walt Disney taken together as the terrible twins of PPTless cartooning that iconised virtualised motion imagery thereby McLuhanising false into true for everyone apart from handfuls of going-on geriatric grumpies who remembered reality truth only ever emerged after exhaustively tested verification, never merely intoned against a backdrop of superficially asserted prettification. Although this diatribe is generic philosophical criticism of vast real resources squandered on specious virtual e-science as cheapskate substitute, it’s particularly pertinent in the current context because tsunami terrarism provided a paradigm for the idiocies of imaged ignorance manifested in not just the Beeb’s Megatsunami Horizon (criticised above; repeated BBC-TV2 11May04 with amplified hysteria about impending doom) but also that Hollywood blockbuster unseen by me but am told portrayed a comparably ill-conjectured CO2istic catastrophe which was extraordinarily eagerly endorsed by HMG Chief Scientist (Independent 13May04) as educational enlightenment ~ especially astonishing for not conceding his expertise in chemistry was substantially overstretched in scoping to tsunami stuff, also even more for not declaring his original UK academic residence had been UEA, one of the founding anti-CO2 crusade hotbeds campaigning ever since in pursuit of percy’s pennies to play apocalyptic pastimes.
Anyhow, recollection of these sillies compounding my irritation with unabated mediarised inundation (ongoing idiocies like the one in today’s Toady reporting apparent surprise that a fisherman at sea hadn’t even noticed passage of the tsunami), I thought to do some simple sums for myself ~ nothing new for sure but to content myself these things really were as envelope-back do-able as I had always assumed since doing the basic books decades ago. Sure enough seemed so, so I decided to summarise them here because they seem entirely consistent with was had been reported (including a Toady remark that injuries were comparable with road accidents) ~ as well as leading me to wonder yet again why no arrangement had been put in place providing for rudimentary relay by telephone and / or internet from any of the major earthquake centres to any of the local communities allowing alarms to be raised by flags and / or sirens in the several hours elapsed between any R7+ event and arrival of any tsunami triggered by seabed displacement.
It never needed any expensive systems such as have been mooted even as modernisations of the Pacific ones ~ all it ever needed was awareness of the potential hazard (well known of course), willingness to swap names and / or numbers and apparatchiks charged with clearing communities away from the shoreline ~ and not very far at that, well less than a kilometre sufficing for dispersive dissipation even over uninterrupted stretches of flat shoreline. Clearing people, carrying even, to a kilometre inland from beaches doesn’t need more than an hour warning ~ so seems a pity of monumental proportions that Blair-Bush bullshit bluster on antiterrorism apparently never paused even to recognise that war on terrarism would always be immensely more effective in terms of lives saved per penny spent from percy’s purse. Indeed, the sickest and saddest irony here is that the need could have been met from petty cash of just one of the vast arrays of agency offices now staffed by hordes of apparatchiks paid to plan and produce policies purporting to provide net positive public benefit On the other hand no-one with a sliver of sense surely ever expected anything worthwhile from any authorities associated with intensely intoned imposition of IDism as paramount priority when only obvious beneficiaries will be purveyors profiting from imposition of yet another correctness kickback culdesac!
Old-fashioned textbooks always started with “consider” ~ so we consider simple sums associated with solitons and shoalers as follows. As explained in basic books like those indicated above, solitons arise from depth-derived dispersivity of otherwise undispersive shallow water waves. For simplicity select steepest soliton whose amplitude h as elevation above ambient is not more than 10% or so of its length L which in deep water is supposed similar to ambient depth H. A compact deepwater source thus supposedly excites a circular soliton of expanding radius R conveying excess volume V of about 10R(Lh) where 10RL approximates (ie pi=5 say) averaged area of a circumferential ring wave carrying averaged excess elevation h. O-level clever-clogs know this ring approximation is adequate when R>>L.
Better, to minimise confusion let’s use as numbers an excess volume V of 1km^3 (cubic kilometre; ^ means exponentiation), that is one billion cubic metres (= tonnes) or one trillion litres (=kilograms). Loads of water then but then loads are needed to get a soliton excited on deep water with representative depth of a km or so ~ 5km^3 (pi=5 say) is needed to fill a cylinder with radius matching 1km depth. Deepwater solitons travel with celerity (speed) C about root (gH) where g=10m^2/s is gravitational acceleration ~ about 100 m/s when H=1000m ~ about 200mph which is where the jumbo jet mediarisation came from (400mph = 200 m/s needs 4000m depth). When excess volume V of 1km^3 has reached a radius R of 100km (taking 20 mins at 100m/s) with wavelength L=10H on same ambient depth 1km, its amplitude (excess depth) h=V/10RL is only ‘0.1m (10 cm) or so. If radius reaches 1000km before the ambient depth diminishes shoreward, the soliton’s amplitude by then has declined to just 1cm, no more than a ripple or rather a long swell albeit an express one travelling at 100m/s but conveying so little impulse as to be barely betrayed by its 100 second transit beneath any boat or even a swimmer ~ so the wonder expressed by Beeby fartaries in response to the fisherman’s tale must be down to impressionable susceptibility to Hollywood / Horizon hype born of brutally indolent ignorance as to how virtuality might be gauged against reality in judgements on plausibility of true truths.
Okay so now to the shoaling stuff, old hat for old-fashioned analysts and contemporary computerists (for former also usually instinctive insights, for latter often only cartooned caricatures). Under the long wave approximation excluding vertical accelerations as negligible compared with gravity, both solitons and shoalers sustain their approaching amplitudes, exhibiting their awareness of decreasing depth in stosses steepened to extent of becoming vertically fronted shocks / bores trailed by declining slower lees, with the frontal shocks located so as to conserve excess volume.
The details may be almost trivial for aficionados but pretty indigestible for the uninformed so as simplistic simplification I’ll suppose the wave selects a effective transition depth at which it ceases being a seaward shoaler and becomes a landward intrusion. This notion appears naturally from flatness of response of celerity scaled on perturbed height to the ratio of ambient and excess depths ~ unlike its response to the ratio of ambient and perturbed depths as usually formulated in books on mathematical hydraulics. Symbolically then (see eg Stoker) with C proportional to root (gh) the celerity coefficient (H/h+½)(1+h/H) equals 3 for both h/H=1 and h/H=2, indeed pretty much 3 for all in between (viz 35/12 for h/H=3/2). The differences are immaterial for present point-making purpose but note that L scaling shifts from H to h once the wave becomes an intrusion so with L now 10h the intrusion height h = root (V/100R) or root (10)m, say 3m or so for our illustration (remember pi=5 say) with V=1km^3 (=10^9m^3)) and R=1000km (=10^6m). With this set-up located where ambient depth was anywhere from ½ to 1 times h we are talking about a wall of water apparently (ie H+h, 3 times ambient H) 5m or so with the excess volume (height h=3m, length L=30m) travelling at celerity C = root (3gh) = 10m/s or so for the 3 sec or so of its passage past the transition station.
Awesome assuredly and devastating definitely ~ 100m^3 per metre span equals 100 tonnes per metre span, equating to somewhere between trucks and trains ten foot tall all arrayed in an unbroken line abreast along the entire coastline and freewheeling landwards from starting speeds of 10m/s (20,mph). No surprise then the injured were said to look like road accident victims for that was pretty much their exposure. So happens as a kid in Eastbourne I had firsthand familiarity dicing with danger in red flagged waves even to extremities of 10 footers that more than once nearly squashed me whilst surfing in scary stuff sheeting to 30 foot on Splash Point’s seawall ~ but otherwise doing no damage apart from the salty mist rapidly rusting old-fashioned Brit cars. And there’s the nub ~ in those days we still sturdily supported Victorian protection policies and readies were released to repair and rebuild even these sensible survival / safety solutions, not merely prevaricate on Powerpointless promotional prettifications.
As easy extension we can even estimate the distance of damaging / dangerous displacement ~ at least as phenomenological forecast if not exactly physically principled. Supposing the waterwall travels initially as a 3x30m solid block at sustained speed of 10m/s then 3 seconds after landfall it becomes beached with its front 30m inland. Supposing thereafter its front continues at the same speed but its backend bottom stops so its section deforms into an area-conserving stretched triangle trailing a shrunken rectangular frontend with maintained frontal height and speed. After another 30m (3 sec) the rectangle has been gobbled up into a triangle 60m long with 3m tall front tapering to zero at its backend. In the spirit of rudimentary but well-documented box modelling the front would then be supposed to sustain its shallow-water speed root (3gh) whilst slowing so that area-conserving height h declines eventually to zero.
That’s a trivial exercise in modelling mathsturbation but for present purpose it suffices to see that a frontal residual of 1m travels at root (30) say 5 m/s (10mph) or so and that’s pretty much the same condition as “safer-speed” roadies regard as threshold for injury inception ~ not saying I’m a supporter (indeed not: see my meldrewisms on these mantra merchants), simply saying it’s an adequate analogy for present purpose ~~ and more on this bit below. By the time its front has shrunken to 1m, 1/3rd of its initial height, area-conservation (90m^2 or so, initially 3mx30m rectangular) means this triangular thing’s length stretches to 180m and that’s exactly what we wanted as indicator of the risk range ~ not 20m, nor 2km but something like 200m because it (astonishingly?) accords almost exactly with what the victims reported and with what the telly coverage has recovered ad nauseam.
Moreover the time it took crudely estimated from the implied average above of about 8m/s (10 dropping to 5) for its final 120m phase (ie 180m total less 30m initial block motion less 30m triangular transition), that is 15 sec, added to the initial 3 In block motion plus 3 in triangular transition in all is about 20 seconds meaning only Olympian sprinters could have matched its motion, and then only just! On the other hand most able-bodied people might manage 200m in 30 sec, certainly 40, and that means anyone who spotted this thing 10-20 sec before landfall, that is when it was 100-200m out to sea ~ and moreover recognised and responded by running the right way in response to its signal of impending doom for all who didn’t.
All of this tallies pretty precisely with the events as portrayed and all of it so simple and so well documented in the learned literature ~ not to say done a deal more dutifully although maybe it was scientific sophistication that proved to be the overwhelming obstacle against any anticipatory actions by any politico pontificators anywhere. Politicians and apparatchiks have increasingly sought to shed responsibility by increasingly asserting it’s for scientists to make their methodologies more mundanely meaningful and this time there’s been exactly the same old bluster from them and their mediarisation mates. As ever they denied self-evident truth that whilst science still possesses an overarching imperative to reflect realities as realistically as intellectually attainable, its role as has ever been remains to reflect and report ~~ but its responsibility stops a million miles short of self-destructive sacrificial striving to stimulate sufficient cerebral cachet in these intellectually lazy loonies who may manage to mouth mantras but not a lot more, indeed increasingly it seems exactly no more than that!
The truth was out there since a century ago and any alleged denial of understandable accessibility was down to self-serving self-denial. I was gobsmacked to hear a Toady host even dare to suggest that the USGS earthquake guys were to blame for not notifying anyone as soon as they had registered a Richter 9 ~ like the man said ~ “Who? Where? How? Boxing Day?” No: the blame (as ever) sits squarely on the shoulders of those charged with safekeeping yet (as ever) chose to ignore the moral imperatives incumbent of their offices ~ or even worse shut their eyes and ears to everything apart from “expert advisers” advocating economising expediency. Now of course it’s too late after the event so they’re all vying to outbid each other on fulsomely futile gestures of generosity ~ and yes, of course, an early warning system (ugh! Hate that word) must be put in place pronto as paramount priority even though it’ll likely be only an exorbitantly expensive extravaganza (excellent kickbacker though and all of it pinched from percy public’s purse!) considering that with hours available everywhere for everyone that could conceivably have escaped, trivial telephony or internetony in precautionary response to >Richter7s say would more than suffice for alarms to be raised rudimentarily but still sufficiently as red flags perhaps supplemented by simple sirens.
Flagging at local costs of £K per kilometre would be / have been costing only a few £M or so to cover all populated parts of the entire coastline and local officials would be / have been vying for to take charge from sense of service never mind gain or more realistically from sense of gainful service. Wouldn’t that have put refreshing reality meaning into the precautionary principle sadly so discredited from its abusive misuse by opportunistically conniving politicos across the board in pursuit of their ponderously preposterous propaganda on CO2ism and IDism, indeed endless IDIOTisms. But no ~ in return for all of the massive amounts of soundly scientific gestation on tsunami terrarism their responses have only ever been somewhere in a spectrum from gesticulation to gesturation. The EC alone must have splashed well over £M100 on deep blue stuff over the past 25 years, doubling it might include national budgets and then trebling the double might reflect worldwide willingness to have whittled away percy’s purses on wanton woolliness ~ yet all of it in the end purchased just 3 minutes righteous remembrance! Commercials of course are queuing up to capture chunks of charity carcass on superficially sophisticated systemics that’ll be set to be stay silent for a century or more and were never needed in any case, not with phones and flags sufficing when hours will always be available to raise alarms.
Talking technical again, another awesome analogy as follows. 10m/s of 3m depth water conveys energy at >100KW/m so every 10km fetch briefly rated the power equivalent of a large GW electricity generating station, indeed on areal basis of 30ha (10kmx30m) delivered it even at comparable intensity. Tempting also to wonder about extremities of the earthquake’s epicentric source zone. Well, a minimum initial elevation can be guestimated assuming conservation of excess energy as well as volume ~ that is, equivalent to gravitational collapse of a stationary column. Supposing (as deduced above) the shoreline bore travels as solid body at excess speed C, height h then it possesses kinetic and potential energies summing to 2Vgh corresponding to an equivalent initial excess column height of about 12m (=4h) with radius (from volume conservation) about 4km, both plausible and consistent with assumed compactness. In reality detonative drivers are exceedingly dissipative with perhaps no more than 10% converted into coherent solitons but then the disordered initiation sequence would also have engaged a substantially bigger volume than the excess residual adopted here so we might envisage no more than twice the presently deduced height and radius ~ even so, an explosive eruption 12 to 24m tall and 8 to 16km wide (diameter) would approximate Armageddon to anyone unfortunately around at the time!
Of course inland intrusions are also lossy, this aspect also of their detailed behaviours well documented ad nauseam in learned literature extending to descriptions incorporating role of bottom slope in reversal of energy via fractional reflection into seaward bores not to mention design procedures dating almost from Victorian times for sea walls, steps, groynes and beaches as reflectors, impactors and roughness dissipators. All this has been known and had been widely utilised until relatively recent reversals arising from almost universal intergovernmental opportunism on economising moratoria that suspended strategic solutions sourced from soundly scienced industrial engineering for sake of service sector solipsism that soon spread into ecosim, naturalism, organiscism, wildlifeism etc ~ pretty much purveyed for purpose of personal politico promotion by a plethora of noNGO poseurs and their equally uninformed manipulative mediarisation mates in alliance to exploit susceptibilities of gullible goons in the chattering classes simply to bolster their burgeoning bandwagons of blandly bantered brickbats against anything purveying profoundly principled purpose for profitable practicality.
Not so long ago the flooding fruits of these futilities were endured on our own doorstep in the inundation endured by Boscastle, at substantially smaller scale of course but still a scary story as seen in Beeb’s recent rerun. Boscastle’s fate was equally attributable to abject abdication by agencies abandoning their provision of preventative precautions even to extent of simple stuff such as clearing culverts that inevitably become choked, more by nature than by man ~ ironically of course always in the name of allowing nature free run to reclaim what it once ruled. It’s not just the elementary avoidability of these calamities that really rankles with those who endured them at first hand but even more the highhanded haughtiness of the people holding public office nowadays more often than not pompously presuming power as graced favours from their friends in London Luvvyland and seldom suggesting any sense of service as reciprocal requirement for their substantial salaries and pension perks,
I had firsthand familiarity with this damaging disdain in the despair of a then recently bereaved elderly relative who was irreversibly inundated by the millennial floods, meaning only option was to sell for a song his house that had been his happy family home for 25 years or more. It doesn’t take real risk of death during these events to destroy love of life, ~ knowing it was avoidably down to institutional inertness can be enough, especially when none of the supposed support sources shows even slightest suspicions of sensitivities for the plight of people pointlessly persecuted by their pomposity. Saying sorry isn’t any substitute for solution ~ not with adequate answers already on the books for a century or so and especially not when their application was abandoned for economic expediency covertly cloaked in the name of nature as god! Indeed, god only knows what’ll happen in East Anglia when the woolly wetlanders have had their way and abandoned all those sea defences for the sake of wildlife whimsies ~ oh yes and save substantially from the suspended spend. It’s only 50 years since that calamitous 100-year inundation and North Sea offshore records have repeatedly shows these things have never really been persuaded to comply with expert opinion on full term returns!
It’s been a similarly sad silly story in the Bengal Basin ~ ask the Bangladeshis about internationally promised millennial sorting of their annual monsoon swamping! It’s been 20 years since Reagan-Thatcher revolutions swept away senses as well as sensibilities and I can’t see any hint even on the horizon of any escape from the now internationalised ignorant inquisitions by corporate and cultural correctness cowboys criminally commanding coercive compliance that has long since driven to despair grumpy old gits recalling that true realities existed before false virtualities, in a world where highest individual factors dictated decisions not lowest common denominators! I imagine bagfuls of bad news were buried beneath the barrels of blustered bureaucratic boloney about this latest “natural disaster” as if it had somehow been inevitably unavoidable. Enough said ~ far and away far too much indeed!
Carlisle’s calamity so closely coincided with prognostications as portrayed for gloomy doom on our own doorstep that an additional envelope-backer was inevitable! As elementary aid to setting scales consider that mm raindrops plausibly fluxing as one per cm^2 every 10 seconds dump about 1cm depth every 3 hours (10Ksec) and 10^-4cm^3/s/cm^2 (cc per second per square cm) equates exactly to 1m^3/s/km^2 (or cumecs per 100ha). Maybe typical of urban rivers would be 30m wide by 3m deep, say 100m^2 or so sectional area, with maximum speed perhaps 10m/s (20mph) or so (Boscastlean-style extremis) meaning maximum urban capacity 1000m^3/s (cumecs) ~ consistent with mediarisers mundanely mentioning flows filling Olympian swimming pools (50mx20mx2m=2000m^3) in a couple of seconds.
Three hours of rain is almost trivial in NW England’s Lakes region, indeed anywhere near Manchester as I recall from my excellent residential decade in the sixties. Ten hours though would surely have driven doubts as to whether it was set to be monsoon misery whilst 30 hours unabated would be more a Bangladeshian big-banger than Mancunian plas-maccer! Loads of water, then, indeed as reported some 30cm rainfall or about thrice the raindrops basis suggested above and in the event enough to submerge the city and immediate surrounds (maybe 10km^2) under a metre of the stuff ~ meaning maybe 10km^2 was inundated to that depth from the 100Ksec (30 hours) of accumulated overload from all deposits dumped over the complete catchment (as the floodists say).
How does our simplistic (10cm) sum square with Carlisle’s sad situation from its 30cm stuffing? Well with presumed Kcumec capacity the river should notionally accommodate a catchment equivalent of a Kkm^2 (100Kha; 100ha/km^2), equivalent to a 20 mile radius which perhaps seems plausible as operational factor in flood formulations. If so, the 3-fold higher rainfall reality as reported would mean that 2Kcumecs accumulated over the 100Ksec (30hour) event, comprising an undrained volume of 200Mcumecs, equivalent to 200m/km^2 or 20cm when averaged over the presumed Kkm^2 catchment. Given variable elevation especially in vicinity of Lakes terrain, a metre of so settling in the top 10% risk strip along the riverfront is must be deemed absolutely entirely as expected ~ and the essential point here being expected on basis of just twenty lines (and twenty minutes) of simplistically simplified sums without any recourse to any of the navel-glazed inconsequentialia manifested from megamoney masticated on maybe marginally more mathematically meaningful megamodelling (maybe because conjectured characterisation of complexity delivers abruptly diminished dividends) and its Powerpointless prettifications portrayed in webbed wonderland. Sadly, not a lot of it has been spent sensibly on actually actioned protection rather than promo papped pontification ~ just a sliver say £M10 (few £K per home) would surely have slashed the top 10% risk strip to no more than maybe 1% and thereby almost entirely eliminated Carlisle’s crucifixion on the altar of EA’s ecosim etc.
One wonders how much dispersive ditch drainage was dumped over past few decades in the name of good-doing for nature so as to conceal covert cost-cutting campaigns ~ abandoning pre-mediaeval precautions for short-term saving whilst so readily risking human wellbeing has been about as abject dereliction of duty as anything on any administrative agenda. Just thirty ditches 3mx1m equate cross-sectionally to our biggish urban river, maybe 50 to match in-spate capacity so 100 or so would have accommodated the 2-fold overload. 100 Is definitely not a lot when spread around our 100Kha conceptual catchment: indeed at 1 per Kha probably pretty much aligned with what was once sensibly deemed judiciously precautionary ~ not that pejorative principle but in the proper sense of reducing risk actuarially assessed against quantifiable quantities, not notionally knobbled numbers produced purely for politico / political purposes. If civil construction costs of £M200 (70s figure: £B2 now) plus dredged drainage at £M20pa can be charged without contemplative comment for London Luvvies to stay safe, then surely population pro rata 10% of these sums should have been assigned without any assignations even to protect Carlisle’s people. After all, both cities even have historically similar status ~ the difference as ever resides in denial of demographic democracy to provincials perceived as plodders by our precious politicians, not least regional quislings queuing up to collect any chance of a decamping call to the centralised collective of careerist cowboys.