SEMINAR: REMINDER - AOML IRR - Oct. 27, 2011 - 10:30a.m. - Dr. David Enfield - “The Mystery of a Closed Basin Lake: An Intersection of,Hydrology, Geology & Climate.”
|Subject:||SEMINAR: REMINDER - AOML IRR - Oct. 27, 2011 - 10:30a.m. - Dr. David Enfield - “The Mystery of a Closed Basin Lake: An Intersection of,Hydrology, Geology & Climate.”|
|Date:||Wed, 26 Oct 2011 08:19:35 -0400|
Informal Research Report
DATE: Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011
TIME: 10:30a.m.– refreshments at
Location: AOML First Floor
SPEAKER: Dr. David Enfield
CIMAS/RSMAS and AOML
TITLE: “The Mystery of a Closed Basin Lake: An Intersection of Hydrology, Geology & Climate.”
Abstract: As a climate researcher in the ivory tower, one is seldom if ever called upon to solve the everyday problems of disasters or engineering, so I thought it would be interesting to share this recent experience with you.
Lake Enriquillo, the largest in the Dominican Republic, is an endorheic (closed basin) lake that has been over 40 m below sea level for the entire 20th century and is the second lowest in the Western Hemisphere after the Salton Sea. Starting in the mid-2000s, the level of Enriquiilo began to rise precipitously by 6-7m to 37-36m below MSL at present, increasing in area by 50% and flooding rich agricultural land and surrounding towns. The cause of the disaster has been poorly understood and many explanations have been offered such as global climate change, an increased number of hurricane strikes, ground filtration from a neighboring lake in Haiti, and seismic fault slips. At the invitation of the Dominican hydrological institute (INDRHI) I went to the DR as a member of a four-person team (along with several hydrologists) organized by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and tasked with advising the Dominican authorities about their problem. We went to the DR to see the lake first hand, learn as much as we could and offer our opinions and suggestions. My role was to assess the impact of climate variability on this unusual phenomenon. In my seminar I will try to lay out for you the panoply of data and hypotheses about the rise, what works in explaining the mystery and what doesn't, what the conclusions of our task force are and what the Dominicans will likely have to do to solve their problem.
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