A dike, also known as a levee or flood wall, is a natural or man-made flood-control structure usually consisting of a wall or mound of earth (sometimes rock or stone) running generally parallel to a river or other drainage channel, or along ocean frontage. Dikes help to contain floods within the channel by raising the height of the riverbank, thereby allowing the channel to hold a greater volume of water before flooding begins. Dikes are also used to protect low-lying land near the ocean that has been reclaimed by pumping and dredging and developed, as in the coastal areas of Louisiana (United States) or the Netherlands.
Added: Fri Jan 06 2006
Last Modified: Tue Jun 24 2008