CSE 401 Assignment 1

Robert R. Henry

3. Experiment with the Google search engine OneBox for units conversion.  Visit https://www.google.com/ and type in the search term “1 acre in hectare”, for example.
4. Read about the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter mission http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter and if you want http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msp98/news/mco991110.html
5. Read and understand the factor label method for dimensional analysis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Units_conversion_by_factor-label

Problem

In 1983 the snowpack in upper Colorado River basin melted out rapidly.  The data given to the computer models, and the computer models themselves, did not predict the melt out.  Consequently, the Glen Canyon dam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Canyon_Dam that impounds Lake Powell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_powell on the Colorado River was put under duress, and almost failed; the top of the dam was temporarily extended upward with plywood barricades to impound even more water!

• Assume that the lake evaporates 9.0e+8 cubic meters/year of water.
• Assume that there is no seepage into the sandstone rock underneath the lake.
• The lake has a surface area of 254 square miles.
• At the peak of the flood, 90.0e+03 cubic feet per second of water was being dumped.
• At the peak of the flood, the water on the plywood barricades rose 2 inches per day.

How much water, in cubic meters per second, was flowing into Lake Powell at the peak of the flood?  Show your work, one conversion at a time, using the factor label method.  (Your answer may not agree with what Wikipedia says)

(The best book I read last year is titled “The Emerald Mile” by Kevin Fedarko.)