Nearly 200,000 kilometers of earthen levees and 100,000 earthen dams in the U.S. collectively provide
flood protection, water supply and renewable energy for hundreds of millions of Americans. This vast
network of earth dams and levees (EDL) in the U.S. and worldwide (e.g., Netherlands is protected by
17,000 km of levees, aka dikes) is human-made; we have re-shaped the earth to permit our way of life.
The role of EDLs in society grows with time as people continue to urbanize to cities and coastal areas
protected by human-made earthen structures, as storm events increase and as sea levels rise. This
presentation will summarize an integrative, interdisciplinary approach to characterizing the health,
behavior and risk of this vast network of EDLs through an intelligent geosystems approach. Students and
faculty from 6 disciplines: civil engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, geophysics,
geology and public policy are working in collaborative research teams to advance global (via satellite
remote sensing) to local (via laboratory ultrasonic imaging of grains) monitoring of earth dam and levee
behavior. Researchers are working across these disciplines to identify signs of weakness across

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