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Thames Barrier System - Case Study Example

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Summary
For along time in the history of the world, there have been many incidences of conflicts between the environment and humans. In most of those cases it is the human being who suffers because the nature comes in uncontrollable forces. From the historical point of view, there are many incidences where human have suffered from storms, floods, and other water related calamities…
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Thames Barrier System
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Thames Barrier System

Download file to see previous pages... The development of an estuary at this site was chosen for the simple reason that there was more danger that was posed by the flooding every year in the city of London. In this regard, it is estimated that around 500,000 properties which houses more that 1.25 million people in London face a danger of losing their lives and property due to flooding. It has also been found out that a good proportion of London's essential infrastructure were also at a risk from the floods. This area is a habitat to a variety of species owing to its tidal salt march and extensive mudflats which are exposed at low water. (Soh and Tran, 2008)
The Thames Barrier and other existing defenses have been providing a high level of protection against the risk of flooding but it has been predicted that this level of protection will decrease with time. It has been shown that there is an increasing risk of floods in London due to the failure of the existing defense mechanism. The character of flooding in the estuary changes from fluvial dominance at the upper side which reaches to the hazards that are caused by storms as they surge, and which are also caused by waves as they travel downstream. It has also been shown that the estuary has a dynamic sediment regime which comes with sequences of erosion from the upstream and deposition in the down streams every time there is a tide in the estuary.
Development of Thames Barrier System
The main idea behind the development of Thames Barrier was due to the risk that has been posed by floods. There was an increasing risk that was posed by the changes that were taking place in the environment which saw an increased level of sea water. As the ocean warm the level of the seas in the British coast, there has been increasing rise of the coast and intense rainfall coupled with stormy conditions poses more risk. There has also been land level lowering especially in the south-east of England which is slowly sinking to the sea. The flood defense that had been put in place has been aging with time. The existing barrier has become ineffective and costly to maintain as well. There has also been increasing development of new homes within the tidal flood plain which has increased the risk of many live. (Richard, 2003)
Thames Barrier was first developed after the 1953 flood in London which killed approximately 300 people. The government then saw the importance of creating such a barrier that would protect the inhabitants of London from floods and was designed to protect the city till 2030 which was based on the estimates of the rising sea levels. It was designed in order to protect the surge of tides in the land. The first barrier was constructed at Woolwich Reach between 1974 and 1984. This is the largest world movable barrier.
But since then there has been risks of flooding again posed by the changes that we have described above. There has been a review of the whole barrier and there is an agreement that there is need to upgrade the barrier or construct a new barriers altogether.
Therefore the Thames Barrier 2100 had been proposed as the best method that can be used to protect the city of London for the next 100 years and over.
Monitoring integrity and height of defenses along Grater Thames estuary
The barrier is made up of 10 separate movable ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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