Rivers Case Studies

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  • Created on: 08-05-15 11:48
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Rivers Case Studies
High Force waterfall
River Tees
22m high
Resistant caprock = whin sill
Soft rock = limestone and sandstone
500m long gorge
Carlisle 2005 ­ MEDC
Carlisle is located in the north of Cumbria in the flat land north of Keswick and Ambleside which
are areas of high relief.
It is found downstream of the confluence of 5 main rivers including the River Irthing and the
River Eden. It is in the lower course near the mouth so the land is flat.
The worst affected areas were found in the east of the town near the River Peterril.
Physical causes of flooding
Rainfall Intense rainfall caused soil compaction leading to increased surface run-off ( 73%
Vegetation Mixed arable and grassland in valley meant that the ground was bare because the
flooding took place in winter months. This led to decreased interception and
increased surface run-off. Rough hill pasture on uplands so grass grazed by sheep
causing the vegetation to be short, also leading to decreased interception.
Geology Impermeable slate and volcanic/igneous rocks in the Skiddaw area (upland areas)
causing orographic precipitation and reduced ground water stores.
Soils Thin soils in the upland areas mean little soil moisture storage so the deeper
lowland soils are relied upon meaning they are easily saturated since all the water is
transferred here.
Relief Significant areas of upland with steep slopes in much of the upper basin area. There
is rapid surface run-off because of high relief. There are much lower gradients
around Carlisle meaning the water cannot move out quickly.
Basin Lots of tributaries ­ high drainage density . Flashy hydrograph as water is collected
morphology quickly and transferred downstream.
History Significant flooding over the last 100 years and three major floods over four years,
including January 2005 ( high return period, frequency and magnitude ).
Human causes of flooding
Urbanisation - Limited in upland regions, increasing spread of towns and villages in valley areas. This
results in the water not being able to move out of Carlisle because of the impermeable surfaces laid
(concrete/tar mac).
Short term impacts
Deaths of 3 people and 120 flood-related injuries
Schools, hospitals and the police station were cut off and subsequently closed in some cases

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People and their vehicles left stranded as roads became impassable
1865 properties flooded, most of which were residential
300 business premises flooded and they were unable to open because their stock was damaged
Communications affected as waters spread over the flood plain
Long term impacts
Some families were not insured while others are now effectively uninsurable and their homes
worth considerably less
People were still waiting to move back into their homes 2 years after the floods
Final estimated repair bill of £250 million
Many…read more

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Pakistan 2010 ­ LEDC
The total course of the River Indus was flooded from Chilas in the north east and the flooding
continues all the way down to the south west where the river enters the sea.…read more

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The UN criticised the international community for responding slowly, despite the ferocity and
magnitude of the disaster.
International relations between Pakistan and the USA improved due to the USAID given.
Management strategies:
Short-term Long-term
Emergency evacuation began using the Pakistani Pakistan Government created the Federal Flood
Army. The success was limited as, in many cases, Commission in 1977 to create a long term strategy
there was no where safe to evacuate to. to reduce flood risks.…read more

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Quaggy Waterways Action Group (QWAG) came up with the solution to:
Bring the river back to ground level, making a new channel running through Sutcliffe Park
The culvert remained to take some of the discharge underground during spate
A new lake was created to store water when the culvert became full
Park now has a flood storage capacity of 35 Olympic swimming pools
Reduced risk of flooding for 600 homes and businesses
Created a d iverse environment for wildlife…read more


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