Hard and soft engineering- analysis

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  • Created by: Lina
  • Created on: 08-04-14 15:00
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  • Engineering techniques
    • Soft
      • Afforestation
        • Trees planted in the catchment area of the river to intercept the rainfall+ slow down the flow of water to the river
        • Cheap
        • Improves the quality of the environment
        • Soil erosion is avoided- trees prevent rapid run off after heavy rainfall
        • Sustainable
        • Conifers that are planted make the soil acidic
        • Dense tree plantations spoil the natural look of the landscape
        • Increases fire risks because of leisure activities in the forest
      • Warning systems
        • A network of sirens- give people early warning of possible flooding+ the EA communicates it to the public
        • Cheap
        • El. communication is an effective way of informing people
        • People can prepare in advance+ move their belongings
        • Sirens could be vandalised- tested annually
        • Might not be enough time for residents to prepare
      • Floodplain Zoning
        • Introduction of policies to control urban development close to the floodplain
        • Cheap way of reducing the risk to damage property
        • Sustainable- reduces the impact of flooding+ building is limited
        • The floodplain isn't built on- surface runoff is less likely- flooding is less likely
        • Resistance to restricting developments in areas with a shortage of housing
        • Enforcing planning regulations+ controls- harder in LICs
    • Hard
      • Embankments
        • Raised banks along the river
        • Can be used as a path for pedestrians
        • Concrete ones are effective at stopping bank erosion
        • Earth ones provide a habitat for animals
        • Often not built high enough
        • Concrete- ugly+ spoil the view
      • Dams
        • Built along the course of a river to control the amount of discharge- water is held back by the dam+ released in a controlled way
        • Water that is stored in a reservoir can be used for hydroelectric power or recreation purposes
        • Expensive- building costs
        • Sediment trapped behind the wall of the dam- leads to further erosion downstream
        • Settlements+ agricultural land lost when the river valley is flooded to form a reservoir
      • Channelisation
        • The river channel is widened/ deepened to carry more water-> water in the river travels faster
        • Effectively protects immediate area- water is moved away quickly
        • Long-lasting
        • Greater risk of flooding downstream-> water is carried faster
        • Unnatural+ visually obtrusive


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