Flooding of the Somme valley at Abbeville, April 2001 picture: MEDD (Ministère de l’Ecologie et du Développement Durable)
Flooding of the Patcham area, Brighton, November-December 2000. Picture: John Ellis, Environment Agency.
During 2000-2001 large floods occurred in northern France, Belgium and southern United Kingdom. These floods occurred in valleys predominantly developed on Chalk. In many of these regions, a sudden rise in groundwater level was recorded prior to the flood event and the duration of the flooding was weeks or months. Floods in chalk catchments were, until recently, considered to result primarily from surface runoff.Current flood prediction tools are based on this assumption, and are used over a time scale of 48 hours. These recent flood events, however, have shown that groundwater played the principal role and time periods from weeks to months were involved.
FLOOD 1 Aims and Objectives
FLOOD 1 is an EU INTERREG IIIA funded collaborative project between the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), the University of Brighton, and the British Geological Survey (BGS) that aims to investigate the role of groundwater in flooding on Chalk catchments by providing a more detailed understanding of processes in the undersaturated zone of the Chalk aquifer of southern England and Northern France, to develop monitoring techniques for groundwater in the saturated and undersaturated zones, and to produce more appropriate methodologies and tools for forecasting groundwater flood events over longer timescales than is currently possible.