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Andrew McKenzie: Groundwater flooding on Chalk aquifers; rare events or short memories?
April 21 @ 19:00 - 20:00
A Chalk Aquifer Alliance presentation, hosted by Bury Water Meadows Group
Water levels in the Chalk naturally vary seasonally, and when levels rise high enough water will start to flow in ‘bournes’ and ephemeral streams that are often a characteristic of the Chalk landscape. In particularly wet conditions high groundwater levels can cause more widespread flooding and may cause damage or disruption to local communities. Significant groundwater flooding events occurred in 2000/2001 and 2013/2014 and triggered widespread interest from researchers, stakeholders and the affected communities. But why is the Chalk prone to groundwater flooding, and do the events of the last decades represent something new, or are we just describing something, that has always happened, in a new way? Variability in climate and rainfall in past decades may have given us a false impression of how rare or common groundwater flooding is, and long intervals between flood events mean that the purpose of landscape and infrastructure adaptations can be easily forgotten.
Andy McKenzie is a hydrogeologist with the British Geological Survey based in Wallingford. Although often (pre-COVID) to be found working on BGS projects outside of the UK his responsibilities in the UK include managing BGS’ collection of hydrogeological information, including data on water wells and boreholes and groundwater levels. The data BGS hold are often used to study hydrogeological extremes, such as drought and flood. BGS hydrogeologists publish monthly hydrogeological summaries and forecasts of short and medium trends in water level and have been involved in researching, monitoring and mapping groundwater floods.
Free, all welcome. Register in advance here.