Geography - Somerset Levels

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  • Somerset Levels
    • Causes
      • Physical Factors
        • Flat land (only few meters above sea level)
        • Strong tidal surges swept seawater in river, contributing to flood
        • Wet winter (12 major storms pushed over atlantic by powerful jet streams)
        • Saturated ground (surface run-off adds to river)
      • Human factors
        • River Parrat not dredged for 20- years (had silted up)
        • Building on floodplain (impermeable surface = surface run-off increase)
        • Drainage ditches sug (speeded water getting in river)
        • Few coastal defences
    • Effects
      • Social
        • 600 damaged homes
        • Villages (MORLAND) cut off for weeks
        • Blocked roads (inconvenience - longer journeys)
      • Economic
        • Over £100m damage
        • Farm animals moved/sold
        • Local businesses lost money
      • Environmental
        • 7000 hectares land flooded several weeks
        • Flood water contained raw sewage (polluted land)
        • Water deoxygenated (killed wildlife)

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