River Rhine Information sheet

Cover Lesson Monday 13 June 2011
River Rhine Flooding

Read at this booklet:

Interesting historical animated map showing the Rhine flood in 1805

Flooding in 2003

Also read this:
River flooding and flood management

The River Rhine - MEDC

What caused the floods?
In January 1995 rivers flooded all over Europe. The floods caused millions of pounds worth of damage and caused a quarter of a million people to be evacuated. The floods were caused by excess rainfall in the Alps at the source of the Rhine. Warm wet weather melted the snow, ice and glaciers filling streams and rivers. All over Europe it was raining. At first the soil soaked up the rain. The water percolated through the soil and was transferred via ground water into watercourses. As it continued to rain, the ground became saturated and surface run-off increased. It took the river a few days to peak due to the initial percolation.
By January the 27th, the water level in Cologne on the banks of the Rhine had risen 10.2 metres. The Army was brought in to help protect the city. They built up walls of sandbags. 11,000 were moved in 4 to 5 days.
Humans have changed the environment in several ways, which speeds up the rate at which rain runs off and into rivers. Rain in cities rushes straight into rivers. Three times more of the area is built up than in 1900. Land has been intensively cultivated. As a result it becomes compact and can't absorb as much water. Meadows allow water to be absorbed, as the ground is more porous. There are more ploughed fields than there used to be.
In January 3 times more water fell in Switzerland than normal. In Cologne, barriers were built to try and protect property. The River Maas was overflowing in France, Belgium and Holland. In Well temporary dykes were constructed to protect homes and businesses. The school had to be evacuated and moved to temporary accommodation. People were evacuated from their homes. 50,000 people were evacuated along the River Maas. Some went to specially arranged evacuation centres.

How has river management made floods worse?
The natural river was a meandering braided channel. The river was straightened and narrowed to accommodate barges and enable dykes to be built to protect the towns on the bank. As a result the river flowed quicker. The river is now 50 km shorter than it used to be. When there is a flood surge the water flows quicker and reaches the areas downstream sooner. Previously it took 5 days to reach the areas downstream, now it takes just 2 days, consequently the same amount of water is being squeezed into a smaller area resulting in higher flood levels. When the evacuation took place roads became congested, farmers had to move large numbers of cattle. The farmers and other businesses lost a lot of money. Compensation was hard to come by due to the amount of damage caused by the flood.

What can be done by local people to reduce the risk of flooding?
People in the village of Well on the River Maas can protect themselves and reduce the effects by doing a number of things: Cupboards and units can be hung on the wall rather than placed on the floor so that the water doesn't reach them. Tiles on the floor to reduce the cleaning up operation can replace carpets. Furniture can be moved upstairs once a warning has been issued.
People still live in these areas despite the risks as they enjoy the freedom, countryside, canal for fishing and open spaces for various recreational activities.
Local businesses can protect themselves. One café has installed concrete columns which have grooves cut into them. When it floods barriers are slotted in to stop the floodwater. Gaps in windows can be filled with foam, which expands when in contact with water. Old homes have been built above ground level with steps up to them.

Other strategies.
3 km of dyke now surrounds the village of Well. Most are simple earth dykes made of sand and soil pilled up. Some are lined with stones to protect them from scouring by the floodwater. Others have been strengthened by steel so they can be built higher and thinner.
More forest gives more time for excess rain to be absorbed before it enters the river; therefore management must begin upstream. As the river basin covers 9 countries this management must be co-ordinated internationally. Forested areas need protecting as people demand more land for building, industry and farming on the floodplain.
In cities such as Strasbourg, the area is covered by impermeable surfaces. The river is confined in a narrow channel. A dyke and retention basin has been built which allows water to be siphoned off for 10 - 12 hours when water levels get too high. Another option is to build in areas between the river and dyke which is allowed to flood. This enables the area to hold more water without flooding the settlement behind. Trenches can also be dug into the foreland to hold more water. The mud removed can be used to build dykes and make bricks for building.

D.Drake 2008

If there is time over, do your own research on the Rhine's floods. Can you find out which years the river has flooded, and how big the floods were each year?

Over the last couple of days I have noticed that some boys are still struggling with their data analysis, so I have just built a help booklet which might also be useful for you. It will end up on my website, but here it is for now.

Regarding Projects 4 May 2011
I have looked at a number of boys projects and here are some comments that might be useful to you all.

1) Write captions in a small font beneath photographs (see how they are done in a book).
2) Spread writing out so that it is not all bunched together.
3) Make sure a map, diagram or graph is referred to in your text, and preferably is on the same page.
4) It is probably best to say an hypothesis is proven or disproven rather than accepted.
5) Make sure your conclusion is clear and states categorically that your hypotheses were proven or disproven and why. It does restate, a little what is in your data analysis, but it ties it up neatly together.
6) Make sure graphs are not too cluttered and they tell the story clearly. Where appropriate, annotate them so that an arrow points to the interesting bits and explains why it is so.

Lake District Map imaged with help from WS. It could be better, I will try to have it scanned ... I improved it ; ).


Notes on Due Dates etc from Mr Howe

Prep Wednesday 16 March 2011
Work on your geography projects. Use the documents below. You can make a start and email it to your school account. We will be in Bewsher's next lesson.

Information on Stream Order


Clearer version of documentation for site 3



Further information from Tors.


Work sheet

external image pdf.png castle2010.pdf

KMZ File

external image x-zip.png Colet Court.kmz

Photos are here: Photos are here: http://tinyurl.com/castlehead11


54°15'20.77"N 2°56'24.60"W

Scanned Sheets from Castle Head (for those boys who haven't got them/need data)

See Project Tips and Lucid Geography on the thinkingeography.com website:

Prep Wednesday 23 February 2011

We will shortly be visiting the Lake District. For Prep, I would like you to have a look at the location using the following resources.

1. http://www.field-studies-council.org/centres/castlehead/outdoorclassroom.aspx See the virtual tour.

2. Find the postcode of the centre, and put this into Google Maps or Google Earth and look around the area of the Field Centre.
This is the location link for Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=54.2111,-2.8886&spn=0.01,0.01&t=m&lci=org.wikipedia.en&q=54.2111,-2.8886

3. Look at the location of the River Eea, which we will be studying. Can you find the source and the mouth? Use Google Maps and or Google Earth.

4. Read this on Windermere: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windermere

You don't have to write anything for this prep, but we might have a quick 10 easy question quiz to see if you've done your prep!

If you've got time left look at the video below


On Friday June 5, 2009 Yann Arthus Bertrand released internationally the new movie, Home, a movie about the dangers human activities create to planet earth. Beautiful aerial photography, an omnipresent music score and great post-production make this movie more emotional than most previous movies about the subject.

Geography Prep 2 Feb 2011

Read p 36 to p 38 (1-4) in your textbook, and draw diagrams that illustrate these processes in your exercise books.

Geography Prep 26 January 2011
Revise Weather and Climate Chapter for a Unit test.

Geography Prep 19 Janurary 2011
In the dark blue geography text book, read:

Factors Affecting Singapore's Climate on page 83 - 85
Climate Change and Hurricane Frances on pages 91 - 96
Read the glossary on page 101 and come to class with questions about any concept you don't understand.

In your books create a summary of the Hurricane Frances Case Study, setting it out in such a way that the key facts are recorded and it is a useful tool for revision, when you come to exams.

Geography Prep set 8 December 2010

This is an animated diagram of the water cycle. It lasts for 1 minute 21 seconds.
I want you to create a soundtrack for the video. It only needs to be voice, or a transcript (written version) if you do not have a computer that does this easily. Take some time, so you explain what is happening.

You need to get the timings right. Here is some information to help you.

00 Overview
01 Clouds
03 Focuses on Sun
12 Shows evaporation
17 Shows movement of clouds
20 Precipitation
24 Focuses on ice on the ice cap (storage)
25 Infiltration leading to the water table
38 Evaporation from storages
40 Run off
45 Water returning to the sea
50 The movie shows the process without moving the camera, this allows you to add any other information you were unable to fit in before.

Use the information from your diagram in class.


If you do have a computer that will do this then bring your sound file into school on a memory stick. Otherwise type or write your transcript out.

If you are using a Mac, this is best done on GarageBand. When you save the sound file, don't save it at the highest quality.

You can upload any sound/video files to aklgg.wikispaces.com if you like, and if you can work out how to do it.
If there is a problem of any kind with this page please email me explaining the problem: akl@stpaulsschool.org.uk


Prep sheets for boys who lost or did not collect them uploaded 3 December 2010

external image pdf.png TG ONLINE Air Masses RS.pdf

external image pdf.png CC10 Eyewitness Weather Prep 4th Year.pdf

Interesting Video Clip from BBC about the cold weather 26 November 2010

Please watch this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11851728

Geography Prep set 24 November 2010

Read the following sheet and try to answer the questions at the end that ask you about wind direction. You can always look at the latest synoptic chart on the Met Office website and then look for the wind direction in each of the location to see if you can explain which way it is going. Don't worry if you find it difficult, it will make a good talking point for the next lesson. This is not a marked prep!

You can find the most up to date synoptic chart here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/surface_pressure.html

If you want to find the wind direction for a place at the moment enter weather helsinki or whatever city you choose, and it will tell you the temperature, but also the wind speed and direction.

Geography Prep set 10 November 2010

Using your computer at home, look do some searching around in YouTube for information relating to National Parks. You should look at footage which relates to National Parks in MEDCs and LEDCs. See if you can find footage that shows the landscape, the environmental issues, the special landscapes of a given park and the conflicts that are in national park. Do some creative searches using combinations of keywords such as: National Park / UK / USA / Africa / Kenya / Sustainability / Conflict / KS3 / Mining / Problems / Poaching / Relocation / etc.

Be selective with what you list. Don't list a video if it does not provide information that is particularly relevant to the topics we have been covering. We want videos that highlight conflict, sustainability, biodiversity etc and which has good images.

Create a Word Document and copy and paste links into the page like this one >>>

(8:48) This video is about Tsavo National Park and highlights the threats facing protected animals in Kenya. It goes through the plan that is being undertaken to protect the park; it also explains why the part was established. It is a clear and pacy video with a lot of useful information. (5 Stars)

Email the Word document to me. akl@stpaulsschool.org.uk
ie 4AO PREP 101110 SmithJohn (This is your Last name and First name capitalised and not spaced) (The number is the date, use 101110 because this is the date that the prep was set.)

If you can't access a computer, then you will need to use resources you have at home in your home library, magazines and information that is in your textbook and write up what you can.

Geography Prep set 3 November 2010

Revision for National Parks Test

You should revise the chapter in your textbook on National Parks
The sheets you have been given on Tsavo National Park
The sheets you were given on National Parks generally
Your exercise book and the sheets you have been given for prep

A copy of these sheets can be found below.

The test will be a straightforward test which will include terms (words) and case studies. You should know general principles and not
a large amount of unimportant statistics.

Geography Prep Set Wednesday 13 October 2010

You have been given a worksheet in class. If you lost it, can't find it, didn't collect it, or the dog ate it. Here it is.


Work for lesson 4 October 2010