The BSG has written to the Times to highlight the important role of geomorphology in understanding the current storms and floods (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/ behind a paywall). The text of that correspondence follows here:
‘Sir, your vivid front page aerial image of the Thames flooding (“water world’, Feb 11) shows the severity of the situation and the consequences of the recent weather. However, to say that “the Thames burst its banks” is not correct. Rivers do occasionally burst through embankments but in British rivers when there is too much water for the channel to contain, the channel is overtopped and water spills onto the floodplain.
This is not just semantics but rather, as geomorphologists know, it is key to understanding what solutions to the problem will eventually be needed, because dredging cannot provide channels large enough to contain the amount of water being rained upon us.
Ken Gregory, Heather Viles, David Sear, Steve Darby and Tom Spencer
British Society for Geomorphology
The BSG is currently exploring, through its research, how to better understand the response of the UK landscape to extreme events and thus to add a geomorphological perspective to the intense debate on increasing social and economic resilience to such events.
Visit the British Society for Geomorphology website for more information on their research.