River flooding and management issues
The likelihood of a river bursting its banks and flooding is determined by factors in the surrounding landscape, such as steepness of the river valley, the amount of vegetation and the prevailing rock-type. The short-term impact of floods can be catastrophic, but they can have positive long-term effects as well.
A flood occurs when a river bursts its banks and the water spills onto the floodplain. Flooding tends to be caused by heavy rain: the faster the rainwater reaches the river channel [river channel: The part of the river that holds the water. ], the more likely it is to flood. The nature of the landscape around a river will influence how quickly rainwater reaches the channel.
The following factors may encourage flooding:
Flood management techniques include river engineering, afforestation [afforestation: The deliberate planting of trees on otherwise bare land. Afforestation can create new habitats for wildlife, stabilise soils and prevent surface run-off. ] and planning controls to restrict urban development on floodplains.