The role of historic flood events in assessing flood risk in the Derwent Catchment, Cumbria
Nicholson, Megan Elizabeth
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In light of recent work published in the UK’s Climate Change Risk Assessment report, severe flood events are forecasted to continue. Therefore, it has never been more important to review current flood defences across the country to provide adequate flood protection for the future. The Derwent Catchment was the chosen study area for this research as it has suffered the effects of two devastating flood events just six years apart, despite major planning and engineering works trying to reduce flood risk here. The Derwent Catchment in Cumbria is a hot spot for flooding due to its geographical location and underlying soil and geology. The aim of this project was to assess how scenarios of flooding would affect flood risk in the catchments and whether the measures in place are effective to handle such events. The use of Land Cover Change Detection Analysis and the HEC-RAS hydraulic model software were used to achieve the aim of the project. The results reveal that land cover change but the role of this on influencing flood magnitude needs to be further investigated. Also in both rural and urban areas of the catchment, the floods in the winter of 2015 had a greater magnitude than that flood event in 2009. Woodland plantation on floodplains would be effective at reducing flood risk in rural areas but in urban environments further work is required to protect communities here.