Case Study River Tees

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Case study: The River Tees p4042
Where is the river Tees?
The River Tees is located in northeast England. Its source area is high in the
Pennines in the west and the river flows eastwards into the North Sea.
Describe the main features of the upper course
The source of the River Tees lies on Cross Fell in the Pennines, 893m above
sea level, where rainfall is over 200mm per year. Runoff is high because of the
impermeable rocks and the steep slopes. The valley crosssection is steep
sided and a Vshaped and the long profile has a steep gradient. The river
occupies the whole of the valley floor. The river is turbulent and clear, although
often stained brown by the peat which covers much of the moorlands. The river
bed is rocky and there are many rapids and a waterfall at High Force. Along this
section of the river is one of England's largest waterfalls, with a very deep plunge
pool at its base. The cap rock is made of a very resistant igneous rock called
whinstone. Below the whinstone, there are bands of sandstone and shales as
well as some very thin coal seams.
Why does the river Tees have to be managed?
The River Tees has a long history of flooding. The first documented flood was at
Croft on the lower Tees in 1356. The Tees valley is also home to a large
population and many industries, all requiring a reliable water supply. The river is
managed to provide a water supply and to control flooding. In recent years there
have also been developments to increase its potential for recreation and
Cow Green reservoir was built in 1970 to provide water for the growing
industries on Teesside. It is a regulating reservoir, storing water in times of plenty
and releasing enough for the needs of industry in limes of low flow.
How is the lower Tees Valley managed?
1) The Tees Barragewas completed in 1995 and cost £54 million. The water is
fresher and cleaner and does not mix with the tidal, salt water in the lower
estuary. The barrage also reduces the risk of flooding at very high tides or
during a storm surge.
2) Dredgingthe lower stretches of the Tees estuary periodically improve
navigation by maintaining a deepwater channel
3) Cutting of meandersin 1810, across the neck of the large Mandale loop near
Stockton created a shorted route for the river allowing the water to move faster
along the channel, reducing the flood risk.
4) Yarm's flood defence schemewas built after a serious flood in 1995. It cost
£2.1 million and has been built with:
Reinforced concrete walls with flood gates for access by people and vehicles
Earth embankments
Gabion (baskets filled with stones) to protect the walls and embankments from erosion.
Fishing platforms, street lighting and replanting to improve the environment
Building materials approved by English Heritage to be in keeping with the existing

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Improved flood warning systemsnow have better liaison with the
Meteorological Office, police and other emergency services.…read more


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