Movie:Sand Boil behind Levee


Information Page: Sand Boil behind Levee

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Sand Boil near Levee

Key Attributes

Domain: terrestrial, hydrology
Keywords: levee
Keywords: groundwater
Keywords: seepage
Keywords: flood risk
Model name: Animation model name
Name: Chris, Lee fish
Where: Bennington Levee
When: March 2011

Short Description

Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), Under graduate (13-16), Graduate / Professional

Statement: sand boil results from seepage under levee

Abstract: This show the bubbling of sand near a levee in the lowlying farmlands, the sand seepage results from the pressure gradient that is caused by high river stage in flood conditions. This example is near Bennington Levee, Indiana, where the White River was at flood stage in March 2011. The sand boil was an indicator of the underminng of the levee and a 25 ft breach did happen during this same flood.


High river water that does not overtop a levee yet, can still create a tremendous water pressure. This pressure creates a potential for groundwater seepage of the water, through the underlying, permeable aquifer into the lowlands that are protected from direct flooding by an largely impermeable levee. Sand and water start bubbling up on the floodplain; usually indicating that undermining of the levee is going on.



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