Why do floods occur in some places and not others?


Floods, undoubtedly one of the most challenging and significant natural calamities, pose a serious threat not only because of their inherent danger but also because of the extensive human and material devastation they cause. However, many people wonder why flooding occurs in some places and not others. This has its answer in the human being and the ecosystem.

In this article we are going to tell you why flooding occurs in some places and not in others.

Origin of the floods

flooded cars

The origin of this particular disaster, whether natural or caused by human actions, is crucial information to take into account. Additionally, the devastating consequences of a dam or large pipeline failure can also lead to widespread destruction within a specific region.

Floods are natural disasters characterized by the overflow of water onto normally dry lands. When water occupies areas that are normally dry and out of reach, a flood occurs.

When considering the bigger picture, the causes of a flood can be classified into two main groups: natural causes and human causes.

  • When a river experiences an excessive amount of water, an overflow occurs.
  • There is a big downpour
  • Thaw
  • The tides experience a significant increase in elevation.
  • Seaquake
  • The actions and behaviors of humans.
  • The breaking of a dam
  • fracking
  • Beneath the ocean's surface, constant and powerful changes occur in the Earth's tectonic plates.
  • tsunamis
  • Climate Change

Causes of floods


The occurrence of floods can be attributed to two main factors: human causes and natural causes.

Floods caused by natural factors

The occurrence of floods caused by natural factors follows a different pattern, with intervals that can span several centuries. These intervals cover various phenomena such as melting ice, precipitation and subsequent flooding.

The most dangerous floods are those that occur as a result of natural phenomena, as they are usually beyond human control. However, determining its frequency is a challenging task, as reliable historical data is lacking to accurately calculate it.

Acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent these floods is based on first-hand experience, which will ultimately prevent numerous disasters. Meanwhile, It is essential to be aware of the main and most dangerous floods caused by natural phenomena.

Land occupation presents another challenge that we must address. River flow fluctuation is a common occurrence over the years. Typically, communities that have established a permanent presence in a specific location are familiar with areas prone to river flooding. It is of utmost importance to ensure that the channels remain clean to prevent excessive flooding in urban areas caused by an unprecedented rise in river levels.

However, there are cases where this is not true and urban development allows construction in areas susceptible to flooding, endangering the lives of the people who live there. Floods that occur as a result of human activities.

Although natural floods are generally more dangerous due to their destructive capacity, it is still impressive to witness the devastating effects caused by this type of flood.

The greenhouse effect refers to the phenomenon of increasing the temperature of the atmosphere due to the accumulation of gases, particularly carbon dioxide. This causes long-lasting ice melting in several regions. If this process is carried out quickly, we may not be adequately equipped to handle the potential repercussions.

Construction in regions with limited coastal access represents a significant threat to areas located below sea level or built on narrow strips of land, as they are in imminent danger of disappearing.

Rising water levels as a result of thawing conditions are a possible natural flooding risk. Another factor that contributes to the risk of flooding is reservoirs. There are two main reasons for this. One is inadequate maintenance, where a poorly maintained dam can break during periods of heavy rain.

If the modification of the channels is not considered, there is a risk of flooding that can affect the populations, since the water will always find its way back to its natural channel.

Hydraulic stimulation, commonly known as fracking, is a method used to enhance the recovery of oil and gas beneath the Earth's surface. However, it is crucial to recognize that this technique carries important environmental consequences and contributes to increased seismic activity within the region.

In oceanic applications of this method, the resulting intense seismic activity has the potential to trigger fault displacements, leading to the formation of tsunamis, whether minor or significant in magnitude.

How floods are solved

floods in city

In developed countries, defense and prevention systems have reached a very advanced level, incorporating various structures such as gabions, breakwater walls, dikes, motes and metal barriers.

The development of advanced warning systems makes it possible to quickly alert the population about possible risks in dangerous situations, such as tidal waves and tsunamis, through weather forecasting and monitoring of river channels and floods. For example, in the Netherlands, an intricate system of dikes effectively controls the flow of both internal and external waters.

Regulating reservoirs play a vital role in storing water during periods of drought and managing river floods. To combat the problem of flooding, cities such as Valencia and Seville have implemented a strategy known as river channel diversion. It is about redirecting the course of the river bed.

Large river channeling projects, such as those on the Rhine or Segura, have generated significant controversy due to their highly invasive nature in river beds.. Reforestation efforts in the upper and middle river basins play a crucial role in mitigating the impact of heavy rains and subsequent flooding.

The primary purpose of breakwater walls is to provide erosion protection to the entrances and exits of drainage works, as well as to piers, abutments and other structures spanning channels, drainage buttresses, steep slopes or retaining walls.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about why some places flood and others don't.

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