AQA AS Geography - Rivers, Floods and Management - Soft and Hard Engineering

Hey all,

Everything on these A3 printouts have the information regarding Soft and Hard Engineering advantages and disadvantages. Please note that these are not all of them, but the main ones that will be helpful to remember :)

Resources used: 

1. CGP AS-Level Geography Complete Revision Guide


3. AQA Geography AS Student Book by Simon Ross, Bob Digby, Russell Chapmen and Dan Crowling.

4. My Revision notes - AQA AS Geography by Michael Raw

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  • Created by: Joe
  • Created on: 26-04-13 10:54
Preview of AQA AS Geography - Rivers, Floods and Management - Soft and Hard Engineering

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Scheme How it works Advantages Disadvantages
Embankments/levees Embankments on either side of the channels They allow a flood plain to be built on. Alternative measures involving b
to increase capacity. Dretching, raises the height of structures are more expensive.
Therefore the river can hold more water riverbanks can be done quite easily and Potentially hazardous if the water leve
without overflowing so it floods less often. cheaply ­ which is sustainable. above the floodplain.
Alternative measures involving built Unless set back from the channel, lev
structures are more-effect forms of raise water levels and cause a severe flo
defence risk.
Channelisation Removing meanders steepens the average It takes less time to navigate the river The problem is pushed downstre
gradient. Increasing flow velocity. because it has been made shorter. ­flooding will happen in other areas wh
Water drains downstream quickly and Channelisation improves the rate of the river flows faster.
doesn't build up to a point where the flow and also benfefits transportation. More erosion occurs downstream becau
channel overflows. of increased velocity.
Damages wetland and wildlife habitats.
Diversion Spillways Diversion spillways divert water if the base Spillways can have vegatation built on An increase in discharge when the diver
level is too high. them, which has a positive impact on water joins another river (or rejoins w
Water is normally diverted around an the environment ­ creating new the same one) could cause flooding furt
important area wetlands. downstream of that point.
During high-flow conditions sluice gates are Popular for recreational activities, like If spillways are over-whelmed, water
opened to allow the excess water to flow walking or fishing. flood areas that are not used to floodi
along the new channel. which could cause even big
Dam construction Storage of floodwaters in reservoirs or Dams are multi-purpose, which means They're very expensive.
flood storage basins. they can perform several functions (e.g. Usable land is flooded (farmland) o
A reservoir (artificial lake) is formed behind water supply, hydroelectric power, resulting in people being forcibly moved)
the dam, which prevents flooding recreational use). They affect wildlife (e.g. they can prev
downstream. It is the only hard engineering salmon migrating upstream for breeding.
Water is released slowly during low-flow technique that acts as a basin Sediment that is normally transported

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Allowing a steady flow of water management - natural processes across deposited and trapped ­ causing the da
to be maintained throughout the year. the basin are not affected. to fail.
Scheme How it works Advantages Disadvantages
Wetlands store flood water and slow it. Reduces There are no new buildings or roads on the Less land is available for flooding ­ this is especi
Wetland and River
flooding downstream.…read more

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River restoration involves restoring a river that has If done properly it allows the river to take its When it comes to building over land that i
River Restoration
undergone hard engineering back to its original natural course which prevents and reverts any valuable the decision comes down to the lo
course. environmental and ecological damage caused environmental agency. A wrong decision can
This can involve un-straightening a channel, by hard engineering.…read more

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