Hans Albert Einstein and the Art of Dam Removal

July 13, 2007 By: Marshall Cutchin

As the idea of removing dams, rather than repairing and maintaining them, takes hold in the U.S., scientists are using increasingly sophisticated models to envision the impact of freeing up the waters. Interestingly enough, much of the best work in this area was provided by the son of Albert Einstein, who was a specialist in modeling sediment movement. That research is now being put to work as engineers try to figure out what to do with 6 million cubic yards of sediment that will be released on removal of the 60-year-old Matilija Dam on California’s Ventura River, which was once home to an enormous population of the now-endangered southern steelhead trout.