Welcome to the first installment of Sequoia’s Fun Fact Series!
Irregularly, we’ll post interesting facts about sediments in this Fun Fact Series. To kick it off, we’ll go all the way back to the beginning – the very first known measurement of sediment anywhere in the world.
Incredibly, the very first known measurement of sediment within the earth sciences was a measurement of the suspended sediment concentration by a Chinese scholar / hydraulic engineer named Chang Jung in approximately 1 B.C! He recorded 60% by volume (also supported by modern measurements) in the Ching River, a tributary to the Yellow River in China. The fact that efforts were made more than 2000 years ago to measure particles in water testifies to the importance of understanding particle dynamics. With this knowledge in mind, it is very appropriate that China is Sequoia’s largest export market, supported by our outstanding distributor in Qingdao, CHORES!
It is worth noticing that Chang Jung 2000 years ago also had some astute observations about the conflicting interests of controlling rivers for irrigation (i.e. farming) vs letting the river run its course: “But when the rains come the water rushes violently down so that there are floods and breaks in the dykes. And then the government and the people go on building dykes until the level (of the rivers) becomes slightly higher than the surrounding country. It is like building (ever higher) dams to store up water. It would be better to follow the nature of water, and not (permit so much) irrigation; then the hundred rivers would flow freely and the water-ways would keep themselves in order, and there would be much less danger from floods breaking through, with all the harm that they bring about.”
The flooding in the US mid-west in the spring of 2019 shows that more than 2000 years later we are no closer to a solution on this issue!