Report: “Why do rivers flood?” Dr. Chris Parker UWE 19th Sep 2013

Audience builds in the Peel Lecture Theatre, School of Geographical Sciences for talk on floods

Audience builds in the Peel Lecture Theatre, School of Geographical Sciences for talk on floods

Not shy of presenting a few equations to give a feel for lectures at University level, Dr. Chris Parker (UWE) delivered a clear and well-illustrated talk on the factors associated with flooding in river catchments. Chris encouraged the audience of 120+ Year 12 and 13 students to list the major factors involved, including soil saturation levels, precipitation intensity, channel slope, morphology and roughness, and then presented the theory with illustrative examples from a range of catchments.

Recording the answers from the audience

Recording the answers from the audience

Among the highlights was a video illustrating the power of rivers to recover their ‘equilibrium’ morphology after intervention from the US engineers. Also figuring amongst the case studies were floods in Porlock, 1960, Cockermouth, 2009, and comparative flood frequency plots from similar catchments with different land use in Mid Wales.

(Precipitation minus Evapotranspiration) minus Change in Storage equals Discharge

(Precipitation minus Evapotranspiration) minus Change in Storage equals Discharge

A pdf of the talk and question sheet is provided for your use in the Resources section. Sincere thanks to Chris on behalf of the members of the GA for an excellent start to the series of lectures.

School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol.

Posted in Lectures