Applied Geography: Principles and Practice: an Introduction to Useful Research in Physical, Environmental and Human Geography

By Michael Pacione | Go to book overview

7

Floods

Edmund Penning-Rowsell


INTRODUCTION

Of all the ‘natural’ hazards to which humans are exposed, floods are probably the most widespread and account for most damage and loss of life (Alexander 1993). Floods also appear to have a special impact on their victims, instilling a fear of the consequences that often exceeds their actual impacts (Green and Penning-Rowsell 1989). They also can have serious secondary impacts on the economy of the regions affected, and they can markedly influence agriculture in disaster-affected areas for some time after the event has passed, by affecting cropping patterns and yields, as dramatically is the case in Bangladesh (Alexander 1993).

Geographers have studied the complexity of such flood hazards for many years and have made significant contributions to their understanding, not least by tackling the interface between physical geography and human geography that is highlighted in the flood situation by the complex relationships between human behaviour and extreme geophysical events.

The foundation of such research was in the ‘Chicago’ school of hazard geography pioneered by White and others (Burton et al. 1978; 1993). This has been followed by the work of Hewitt (1997) and Mitchell (e.g. Mitchell et al. 1989) and elsewhere in the world in Australia (Smith 1999), New Zealand (Eriksen 1986), the UK (Penning-Rowsell et al. 1986; Arnell et al. 1984) and elsewhere (Chan and Parker 1996; Kanti Paul 1997, Pelling 1998).

In addition, geographers have contributed to the hydrology of floods, mainly by evaluating the impact of humans on flood regimes (Hollis 1988), through evaluating spatial flood patterns (Newson 1989) or understanding the geomorphology of floodplain processes (Anderson et al. 1996).

From other disciplines has come the sociology of human group interaction in floods and other extreme events (Torry 1979), the psychology of behaviour under risk circumstances and of risk communication (Handmer and Penning-Rowsell 1990), and the configuration of institutions to tackle such hazard phenomena (Hood and Jones 1996). Many of the key debates centre on whether flood and other risk is socially determined rather than physically based, and whether risk is socially divisive (Beck 1992).


THE NATURE OF FLOODING AND FLOOD HAZARDS

Flood types and mechanisms

Floods can be classified into fluvial, coastal and those that result from deficiencies in urban drainage. Fluvial floods occur when river discharge exceeds its bankfull capacity. The return period of out-of-bank flood flow is generally 2.3 years (Newson 1989), and the magnitude of floods and their probability of occurrence are strongly connected, although these relationships are regionally specific and depend on climatic conditions and river catchment character (ibid.).

Coastal flooding occurs where tide levels exceed land levels, exacerbated by extreme wave

-95-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Applied Geography: Principles and Practice: an Introduction to Useful Research in Physical, Environmental and Human Geography
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 634

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.