In Natural Disaster Situations, Mobile Flood Gates Are Advantageous
Flood gates are used throughout the world. They are distinct and unique in their purpose and design. Some of the gates are used to control small amounts of water using mitered barriers. Other gates are used to control massive volumes of water and protect property and people.
The most common barriers used on dams and major waterways are radial or fuse gates. The radial gates are controlled both mechanically and manually. The flood gates open and close in response to the level of water in a dam. When the sensors rise to a certain level, the valve opens and releases water. Some radial gates are connected to hydro-energy plants and water is released to the plant then returned to the dam from the plant.
The stationery pilings that are seen on top of many dams and high levees are called fuse gates. These gates are used to slow the flow of water when it spills over the dam or waterway. The fuse gates do not provide a means for water to be controlled and are often used as a stopgap measure when other barriers are not sufficient for slowing water.
The improvement and development of mobile flood gates has grown to include protection of major cities. These gates are versatile and functional. When water is encroaching from the ocean, the gates are lowered on a feeder river or major waterway to block the flow of water into the city.
Towers located near the installation area activate the gates. The gates lower to a specific water level. When water reaches above that level, the barrier stops it. These barriers protect the city from being flooded as ocean water rises.
Since 1982 there have been mobile barriers designed and built in some major cities. The construction of barriers continues on cities that have been encroached upon for centuries and are threatened with disastrous flooding.
Research and studies have been done on this type of protection for several years. Scientists are concerned about the effects on the oceanic eco-system when the exchange of water from the feeder rivers to the ocean is disrupted. Some studies have shown that there is a significant impact to important nutrients for ocean life when there is a disruption in water exchange.
The mobile barriers stop the flow of water, but do not have the ability to utilize the water for hydro-energy. This has caused some concern as cities that require the use of the mobile gates often have a tremendous need for fuel.
The first major mobile barriers were built on feeder rivers that fed into the ocean. These barriers are housed on the docks of major shipping lanes, which impacts the revenue of the docks in those cities.
The barriers are activated on a daily basis in some cities where they are anchored in the ocean. These cities are endangered due to encroachment of rising water levels in the ocean. When the tide rises, the barriers are activated via a radio transmission. This action is resulting in further research on the effects to micro-organisms and sea life in the ocean surrounding the cities.
Mobile flood gates will continue to be planned and built as the ocean water levels rise. More cities are endangered and require some protection from the rising water. However, the average length of time to complete the gates can be as long as twenty years. The general consensus is that the gates are outdated before they can be activated.
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