• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How may knowledge of the hydrological cycle and its components assist in devising flood prevention measures?

Extracts from this document...


How may knowledge of the hydrological cycle and its components assist in devising flood prevention measures? The hydrological cycle is responsible for the circulation of water around the Earth, between the different systems in the planet. The knowledge of the entire cycle and its components, including precipitation, the different flows and stores involved in the cycle, one is able to gain insights into the movement of water and thus devise means to prevent floods. The key aspect of the hydrological cycle is that of the water input on land, which is precipitation. Understanding the seasonal variations in the inputs would allow us to gain insights into the seasonality of flooding and possibly even the frequency of flooding in a given area. As such, water at dams can be released at appropriate times so that the lakes can subsequently be used to hold back floodwaters when the high intense precipitation sets in. ...read more.


Both of these activities would result in shortened lag time within the drainage basin. Thus, understanding these features in the hydrologic cycle would allow us to reverse these developments and take actions to prevent flooding that may result because of increased surface run-off due to lack of exposed land area to capture water in the groundwater stores. Afforestation projects may be undertaken to raise interception storage in barren areas so that precipitation is intercepted and do not reach the channels that quickly. Large urban areas can be planned with more parkland so that there are spaces between covered ground that can accommodate the precipitation and would allow percolation so that groundwater stores are utilized efficiently. This would also provide the opportunities for groundwater recharge. Urban drainage systems can also be designed to allow water to seep into the ground rather than to deliver water efficiently to a central channel. ...read more.


While this essay has broken down the hydrological cycle into parts where knowledge of certain components of the cycle can be used to devise flood prevention measures, in reality, the entire hydrological cycle must be taken into consideration as the relations between the precipitation, flows and stores are complex and these variables and interdependent. The precipitation would influence the flows and this in turn can change the natural capacity of the rivers. At the same time, the knowledge of infiltration capacity of the area inferred from local geology needs to be combined with knowledge of precipitation patterns to assess the flows in the area and thus work out the necessary measures to prevent flooding. 1 Effect of this method unknown because I made it up 1 Effect of this method unknown because I made it up 2 Not directly addressing the question of flood prevention (this is a mitigation measure) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hydrology & Fluvial Geomorphology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hydrology & Fluvial Geomorphology essays

  1. Hydrology and Fluvial geomorphology. (Q&A)

    The input of precipitation is stored and transferred between different places in the drainage basin system. The stores are like sponges that can hold a set amount of water. Once they are full, they release the water in them, which then flows into other stores, eventually leaving the drainage basin

  2. Explain how human activity can modify the hydrological cycle.

    It means that ice can hold less water, and so this excess water is no longer held as storage, but enters the cycle in oceans and lakes. This water can then evaporate and condense to become precipitation, and so rainfall may increase.

  1. To what extent the flood alleviation scheme has had on the environment and people ...

    took the angel measurement of the inclination of the beach, recording each result. We then repeated this at every noticeable inclination of the beach until we reached the beach wall. This was then repeated on the South side of the beach.

  2. Do the Characteristics of a river change downstream?

    and the other to a bench (North Bank.) The reason for this was ensure that the rope was kept taught making the results more reliable. The measurement for the width of the River Wharfe was done by beginning at the start of the south bank where the water touched the ground and ending at the same place at the north bank.

  1. "The Hydrological Study Of the River Conwy"

    This is unusual for this type of location, and is due to solifluction. Solifluction begins in the ice age where the soil freezes, then later melts and slumps into a valley and it becomes shallow and so meanders form. There is turbulence in the water as the pools and riffles show.

  2. Hard & Soft Engineering

    Levees. Used to hold and contain water, so that the floodplains can, be developed. (A side view of a levee - Picture obtained from http://www.publicaffairs.water.ca.gov/newsreleases/2006/03-22-06levee.jpg) Weirs. These are built to slow the velocity of water down in order to stop erosion of the river banks.

  1. To assess whether the modified channel of the river ash is effective in reducing ...

    They are called impermeable rocks and soils. If the rocks and soils in the river basin are impermeable there is an increase in the risk of flooding as there is less infiltration and more surface run-off. Vegetation can decrease the risk of flooding. Rivers with forested river basins are at less risk of flooding.

  2. China’s headlong rush into the modern world may involve a heavy price in terms ...

    This switch to hydroelectric power will have the effect of cutting 100 million tons of carbon dioxide, up to two million of sulphur dioxide, ten thousand tons of carbon monoxide, 370,000 tons of nitrogen oxide and 150,000 tons of dust annually from the atmosphere.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work