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Describe and explain the physical and human causes of flooding and the possible solutions that may be undertaken to prevent flooding and to deal with it.

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Introduction

Flooding Essay. Describe and explain the physical and human causes of flooding and the possible solutions that may be undertaken to prevent flooding and to deal with it. There are many factors that contribute to the causes of flooding. These causes can either be human, (things that happen due to human life and civilisation) or physical, (things that happen naturally to cause flooding). Physical causes: The drainage basin is the area of which the river drains its water from. The boundaries are marked by the watershed. There are many different ways of which water can enter the river channel. Some ways are quicker that others. The quickest are examples like surface run-off. This happens when the rate of precipitation exceeds the rate of infiltration, so it flows over the top of the surface and into the river. The slowest ways for water to travel are groundwater flow. Precipitation has to infiltrate through the soil then pass horizontally through permeable rock and into the river. These can increase the risk of flooding as the water is getting to the river quicker.

Middle

Having concrete roads and paths also increase the risk flooding in roads and especially drains if the situation is bad. Concrete does not allow water to pass through it so it just runs off it or stays as a water store on its surface. Building houses and roads over forestry and other vegetation increase the risk of flooding. Plants and trees intercept water and soak up a lot of moisture from the ground so there is less water delivered to the river channel. If houses are built over these plants and trees then there will be no where for the water to go apart from through the drains and straight into the river. Interfering with natural processes will cause major disasters to happen. Flooding is one of them. A flood happened in Lynmouth 1952. In this case there were many causes for the flood, some physical and some human. One human cause was that the river channel had been diverted through the town so that houses could be built. Changing the natural flow path of the river is dangerous as the water wants to flow in a straight line, especially if there is a huge volume of water flowing down the channel.

Conclusion

Also the San Gabriel mountains which surround the basin are very steep and made out of the same high density rock. This means precipitation will rush down the mountains and straight into the basin as it cannot infiltrate into the rock. Vegetation is very scarce in this area so this contributes to the cause of the flood situation. Solutions have been put into action to prevent flooding in this area. Vast spreading grounds have been built for water to build up and evaporate. Many dams have been built to control the main flow of water in the river channels. Also huge concrete channels have been built to take all the excess water all the way to the sea as it cannot infiltrate into the soil. Also planting trees has been done so there is vegetation to soak up the precipitation. The above solutions have been proven to prevent flooding in the Los Angeles area. The only major set back is what all these contraptions look like. The huge concrete channels can be seen for miles. It's a bit of an eyesore but it's a small price to pay to prevent loss of human life.

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