Compare the Physical and Human Causes of Flooding for Two Contrasting Case Studies You Have Studied.

Topics: Drainage basin, Water, Flood Pages: 1 (320 words) Published: April 10, 2012
I am going to compare the physical and human flooding causes for an MEDC; the UK and an LEDC; Bangladesh. The Boscastle Floods, in Cornwall occurred on August 16th 2004. Between July and September of 1998, Bangladesh also incurred large amounts of flooding. There were a number of physical factors causing the Boscastle floods. The village suffered from heavy rainfall. Over 2 hours, 0.05mm of rainfall fell per minute. In total, over 3 million tonnes of water was added to the small drainage basin which it simply couldn’t hold. Both Boscastle and Bangladesh were at the foot of steep slopes. Steep slopes mean that rainwater will run straight off the surface. Additionally, in both these places, there were converging rivers. In Boscastle there were three; the Valency, Jordan and Paradise. Similarly in Bangladesh, large amounts of water pass through due to the 2 major rivers which run through; the Ganges and the Brahmaputra. These rivers have large drainage basins which automatically increase the flooding risk. Over half of Bangladesh is less than 1m above sea level and around 80% of land is flood plain making it extremely susceptible to flooding. Additionally, snow melt from the Himalayas, increasing run off which adds to the amount of water at the source of the river. There are also a number of human causes for both floods. In Bangladesh, mass deforestation occurred to populate the increasing number of people. This means less interception from vegetation, increasing the amount of water entering the rivers. In contrast to this, urbanisation of Boscastle increased the likelihood of flooding. Before the flooding occurred, they were allowed to develop on a narrow flood plain where rainfall was often high. Whereas the UK is an MEDC and can afford to develop flood management, Bangladesh is an MEDC and has little money to spend on ways of protecting against floods. Its defences are limited, openly exposing it to flooding.
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