The Eden Basin - Water and Carbon Cycle Case Study

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  • The Eden Basin - Water & Carbon Cycle Case Study
    • Facts
      • Eden drainage basin = Northwest England
        • Between mountains Lake District & Pennines
      • Source = Pennine Hills, South Cumbria
      • Mouth =  Solway Firth (Scottish Border)
      • Flows through Appleby- in - Westmoreland & Carlisle
      • Basin is rural but flows through Carlisle (City)
      • River drains North-east Lake District & North-west Pennines
      • Upland areas = extreme weather = downstream flooding
        • Carlisle = particularly vulnerable because at confluence of Eden, Petteril & Caldew rivers & city is fairly low lying
    • Characteristics of Eden Basin affect the water cycle
      • Rainfall = higher because relief is mountainous = orographic rainfall = lots rainfall enters channels
        • Orographic rainfall =  when warm air meets. mountains= forced to rise = cooling
      • Basin = long, narrow = increased lag time
        • However, slopes in basin = steep = reduced lag time, increased peak discharge
      • Igneous rock = west of basin = impermeable = slow infiltration, high surface run off = reduced lag time
      • Limestone & Sandstone= much of the basin = permeable= quick infiltration = little surface run off = increased lag time = increased groundwater storage
    • Changes in water cycle have affected the risk of flooding
      • Farming
        • Intense farming = more cattle trampling = compacted soils
          • 2000-2009 = 30% cattle increase in Eden Valley
          • Compaction = reduced infiltration = high surface run off = river water levels rise quick = increased risk of flooding
        • Hill farming of sheep = reduced vegetation = reduced interception = more water reaching rivers
      • Construction
        • Built up areas in Eden basin = increased = new impermeable surfaces = increases size & speed run off flows
          • E.g. Eden Gate Development,'Garden village', 10000 new homes
        • Some new developments built on floodplains = flood defences = more floods downstream
      • Deforestation
        • (Forest removed) Trees increase infiltration & decrease runoff so fewer trees = more run off, flashier flood hydrographs & greater risk of flooding
      • Climate change = 35% more winter rainfall by 2080 = increase runoff and flood risk
    • Storm Desmond
      • Dec 2015 flooding in Cumbria
      • Village of Shap 262.6mm rain in 48 hours, 4th-6th Dec (50mm more than average rainfall for whole of Dec)
      • Appleby -in - westmoreland & Carlisle badly affected = 2000 properties flooded = people homeless

Comments

CHardman007

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Detailed and accurate thanks

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