Curious Methods: re: a “Theory of Mud”

Collage of various living and non-living actors on the mud, a study of vectors and trajectories. [Karen Lutsky and Sean Burkholder]

On the need for “grounded reports“. The difference between a Proving vs Probing praxis. Not “Methodolatry“, but perhaps a small “p“, pedagogy? Which seeks to ask/answer the “loveliest“, not the “best” questions.

Via Karen Lutsky and Sean Burkholder, over at Places Journal


Restoration sedimentology and synthetic Bayou Urbanism

As illustrated here by a hypothetical diversion of the Mississippi River, growth rate of land in the domain is determined by the balance of sources and sinks, including contributions from organic and inorganic processes and the interactions between them.

Over at Nature Geoscience Douglas A Edmonds, reviewed the topic of Restoration sedimentology.

Specifically, how “River regulation and sea-level rise have damaged deltaic ecosystems as well as the sedimentological processes that support them“. He then argues “rapid advances in the developing field of restoration sedimentology are crucial to protecting the world’s river deltas“.

On a related, note Brian Davis speculated on the possibilities of ‘Land Making Machines‘ in the recent publication Making the Geologic Now, available digitally here. He proposes a future synthetic Bayou Urbanism, characterized by a New Orleans in which “new urban landforms-constructed from timber pilings harvested from the provisional urban forest and sediments deposited in the Bonnet Carre Spillways would provide high ground where social, economic, and educational resources could be clustered. The cellular nature of the constructions would allow them to spread and agglomerate over time as more forest matures and the Land Making Machine deposits more sediment“.

Parking above the flood waters…

Getty Images

Cars sit parked on an elevated road way over flooded streets on October 25 in a northern suburb of Bangkok, Thailand. Around 350 people have died in flood-related incidents around the country since July, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

Graphic: Bangkok on the edge of a flood via Der Spiegel

More here via Der Speigel

I wonder if it was planned and orderly… And this line is perhaps the most concerning/eye opening “And he doesn’t think the drama will be over anytime soon. “The water won’t drain away before Christmas,” he predicts“.

It makes clear the fact that the citizens even just on a short term basis will need to learn how live in flooded conditions. The scale(s) in both time and urban geography are quite clarifying. Similar to the Fukushima disaster this isn’t quick and easy. Once this has happened once policy, plans and land usage will adjust to a new reality.