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

Boscastle Floods; A Natural Disaster?

Extracts from this document...


Boscastle Floods; A Natural Disaster? Heavy seasonal rainfall is a common feature of the climate of South West England and has been documented many times, sometimes it has little affect on the landscape and just drains away but very occasionally it has far more destructive effects. On the 16th of August this year, massive amounts of rainfall over the North Cornish coast caused a disaster on a scale that has not been seen since 1952. A flash flood devastated the small coastal town of Boscastle, this investigation will highlight the causes, effects and responses seen in the event. Heavy Rainfall The root cause of the flood is heavy rainfall; to understand all the effects of this we must examine the cause of the heavy rainfall. Thunderstorms are common in Britain, they are usually small and short and while they may generate a lot of rainfall in a short time it is not normally a problem. The thunderstorm over Boscastle was slightly different, it is a phenomenon only seen roughly once a decade and very rarely with such devastating results. Thunderstorms are caused by huge masses of warm, wet air rising high into the atmosphere to form cumulonimbus clouds. The updraft that is generated by the air being heated near the ground causes the air to rise taking the moisture with it, it then cools and condenses causing a downdraft that carries a lot of precipitation. ...read more.


In a similar way to the thin soil and impermeable rock a reduction in vegetation on hillsides decreases lag time because of the reduction in water stores allowing through flow and overland flow rates to increase. It also leads to instability of the soil so mudflows can be more common as the soil reaches saturation point. The solution to this problem would be to stop felling trees and possibly re-plant some of the hillsides. When the water reached the town it arrived very quickly, a 3m wall of water rushing down the bottom of the valley at great speed due to the steepness of the riverbed as well as the valley. When the water reached the town it was funnelled through the narrow streets of the town, this increased the velocity of the water giving it more force to destroy building and move cars. A bridge across the river in the centre of the town clogged up with debris causing a debris dam to form, this causes the water to back up and it can no longer flow in the river bed, this increased the amount of water that was pushed through the streets. The fact that the streets were tarmaced and there was very little open space meant that water could not dissipate into the soil, the only way for the water to get to the sea was through the village. ...read more.


This can be attributed to our sophisticated emergency services. The use of seven emergency helicopters to airlift people out of areas where land forces could not reach them was vital to lowering the number of fatalities. The police, fire, ambulance and army forces were all called to the scene to help with the rescue effort and their combined efforts managed to rescue all the stranded victims. From here it was then down to the less high profile secondary responses. All the rescued and homeless people were taken to a village hall 10 miles south of Boscastle where they were given clean dry cloths, food and a place to stay for the night. This response is just as vital is the primary ones as people would be highly susceptible to thirst, hunger and the cold if they were left to fend for themselves. After the floodwaters subsided it was down to contractors bought in by the government and insurance companies to clean up the area of all the soil and debris deposited by the floodwaters and then begin to rebuild the houses. Due to the event being quite high profile there has been a big response form the British public to help the victims, charities have been set up by companies such as the BBC to help out the victims. The current BBC sum is around 100thousand pounds raised to help out the most needy people. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Green Plants as Organisms 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 GCSE Green Plants as Organisms essays

  1. Mangrove Soil Analysis

    Conclusion: Not only does Humus provide gaps for water to be absorbed into but it also provides extra nutrients for plants. The percentage of Humus depends on the amount of vegetation growing in the soil and also the tendencies for those plants to deposit leaves and other debris.

  2. The Waste Land by Eliot emphasises the themes of dystopia and apocalypse.

    A current under sea Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell He passed the stages of his age and youth Entering the whirlpool. Gentile or Jew O you who turn the wheel and look to windward, Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

  1. The effects of organic effluent from the seweage on the biodiversty in a freshwater ...

    --- Water current also had an effect on the number of organisms in a given area. The water current was reduced in areas of high organic effluent and was high in the areas with low organic effluent. This may also have had an impact on the number of species caught in the net.

  2. Temperature regulation in mammals & birds.

    would have shown an inaccurate measurement on the thermometer. Also, the accuracy of the recordings obtained was hindered by the fact that the thermometers were not digital, but were analogue, and prone to inaccuracies. * Furthermore, each test tube was held upright in a test tube rack. This was in order to measure the temperature of the water at

  1. Cromford Village and Mills, Derbyshire

    that it was a quiet, small town with the main industries being lead mining and smelting. The Cromford Sough and The Sough Dam were in place and they were used in the lead smelting process. Sources 3 and 4 both show similar images to what Cromford looked like before the arrival of Arkwright.

  2. How did Leamington develop into a typical spa town of the mid nineteenth century?

    In Bath there are the only hot springs in Britain at the constant temperature of 46�C providing Bath with 240,000 gallons of hot sulphurous water everyday. The Romans founded the first spring before their empire collapsed leaving everything in ruins.

  1. Why Insulate Houses?

    78 74.25 75.5 77.6 73.5 75 77.25 72.75 Walls Test1 Test2 Test3 90 90 90 88 87.75 89 87 86.6 88.25 86 85.75 87.75 85 84.75 86.6 84.75 84 86 84 83.3 84.75 83.25 82.25 84 82.5 81.5 83.3 81.6 79.5 82.75 81 79 82 80.5 78.5 81.5 80 78.25

  2. Teas Farming in India

    In various tea-producing countries where tea is grown on smallholdings, co-operatives are formed to build a tea-processing factory, central to a group of smallholders. The owners of the smallholdings sell their plucked leaf to the factories for processing. An estate is a self-contained unit often hundreds of hectares in size,

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