Physical causes of flooding

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  • Physical Causes
    • The releif
      • A steep-sided valley means water will enter the river more quickly
    • Precipitation
      • Excessive levels occurring over a prolonged period of time leads to the saturation of soil
      • Intensive rainfall over a short period of time cannot infiltrate the ground quickly enough
    • Drainage Basin Size and Shape
      • A large Drainage basin means more water is collected, increasing discharge
      • A circular shape will produce a shorter lag time with high peak discharge (which van lead to flash floods)
    • Melt Water
      • Melting of snow, particularly when the ground is still frozen
    • Soil and rock type
      • Saturated soil Impermeable and non-pourous rocks will not infiltrate ,increasing overland flow and run off
    • Size of River Channel
      • More Tributaries leads to a higher discharge
      • A narrower shallower channel increases the the chances of flooding
    • Storms
      • Abnormally large amounts of precipitation increasing discharge.
    • Vegatation
      • Sparse vegataion cover reduces interception so more water will enter the river
      • No vegetation means the soil is likely to be eroded and enter the river reducing its capacity
    • Natural causes from the natural enviroment


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