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Geography

Rivers and flooding

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Case study: Bocastle

Flooding can cause problems in both developed [developed: Refers to a country that has a lot of wealth or a population that is healthy and well educated. and developing [developing: Refers to a country that has little wealth or a population that lacks healthcare and education. countries.

Boscastle is a small coastal settlement in the south west of England. It flooded in August 2004, washing cars and buildings into the sea and putting peoples' lives in danger.

Causes of flooding in Boscastle:

  • Heavy localised rainfall – 89 mm of rain fell in an hour.

  • Saturated ground from previous rainfall.

  • Topography [topography: The shape of the land. of the land. The landscape upstream of Boscastle, a steep-sided valley, acted as a funnel directing vast volumes of water into the village.

  • Narrow river channels in the village itself.

What has Boscastle done to prevent flooding in the future?

  • £4.5 million has been spent on a flood defence scheme.

  • The scheme stretches along the valley, incorporating drainage, sewerage systems and land re-grading.

  • Boscastle car park has been raised in height, which will stop the river from bursting its banks so easily.

  • New drains allow water to run into the lower section of the river quickly.

  • The river channel has been made deeper and wider so that it can accommodate more water.

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