Tag Archives: flooding

Weird Parameters, Weird Model.

I’m currently in the middle of testing random parameter sets in the CAESAR-Lisflood model – this is to try and recreate the 2007 flash flood in Thinhope Burn, the geomorphic change during it and since. I’m using a nested approach, trying 1000 sets of parameters on the whole catchment, those which seems to work I will take and apply to a higher resolution reach scale simulation.

As the video below shows, appearances can be deceiving!

I should point out that the digital elevation model (DEM) I’m using here is a bit rough (to put it diplomatically). There is no in-channel lateral erosion rate in this parameter set, so channel movements are due to lateral erosion by the model. Stills are taken every ten days of the simulation.

Despite it’s obvious weak points, the behaviour of the river very clearly alters after the flooding which is what I am trying to reproduce.IMAG0197Thinhope Burn in 2014.

The Future for Spurn Point – Revisited

Recent high tides have taken their toll on Spurn, washing away the beach across the breach, leaving only a bed of loose gravel. It is now impassable even to the off-road 4×4’s used to ferry staff to and from ABP’s signalling station.


It has led to discussion in the local media over whether Spurn is still a spit, or is it more accurate now to call it an island. I don’t think we’re there yet, but the direction it’s heading it probably isn’t going to be long.

BBC Look North’s coverage

Now is a good time to revisit my blog post from the GEESology blog back in March this year. It was Part Four in a four-part blog looking back over the year since the December 5th 2013 storm surge.

Storm Surge 2013 : One Year On – Part Four : Spurn

by @cloudskinner

This is the fourth and final installment of our mini-series looking back over the year since the 5 December 2013 storm surge, which flooded many areas in the Humber Estuary and along the east coast of the UK…

National Trust’s Shifting Shores and the Humber Region

Today the National Trust released their report – “Shifting Shores : Playing our part at the coast” – you can read the BBC’s coverage of it here. The main message from the report is stark – the UK is ignoring the risk of coastal erosion and flooding, and the threat of rising sea levels. They also advocate for increased investment in soft, or natural, coastal defences, and highlight successful schemes.

For the Holderness Coast this is particularly acute, with it often claimed to be “Europe’s fastest eroding coastline”. Whether enough is being done to protect it is a matter of opinion – to protect the whole length from any erosion just isn’t practical, but this is little comfort to those who live in view of the North Sea. With this area beyond the realms of my previous study, I am unsure of the plans and policies in place to address future coastal erosion and flooding along this stretch of coast.

South of Withernsea

End of hard defences on the Holderness Coast and the erosion beyond

Further down, the breach in Spurn Point is a sharp reminder of just what the sea can do to hard defences we have put in place. Some would argue that the natural environment is being restored here by the sea, but the long-term impact of leaving Spurn to its fate is simply not known – it isn’t, however, being ignored.

In the Humber Estuary itself, probably beyond the intended scope of the National Trust report, the risk of coastal flooding became all too apparent on December 5th 2013. Before then the Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy had already been put in place by the Environment Agency, and work is under way to review this based on the lessons learnt on that night. This plan details the steps to be taken to ensure the Humber’s defences are improved and keep pace with raising sea levels, and rightly involves a sensible mix of soft and hard defences.

If you want to learn more about flood risk and sea level rise in the Humber Estuary, try Humber in a Box here.

To learn more about your flood risk and to sign up for flood warnings, visit the #FloodAware website, here.

American Geoscience Union’s Fall Meeting – My Contributions

So, the many thousands of abstracts for the American Geoscience Union’s Fall Meeting have been judged, and I have been handed a Poster and an Oral Presentation spots. If you’re in San Francisco for the meeting and would like to chat about my research, just hunt me down.

Poster Presentation – 

“The Role of Spatio-Temporal Resolution of Rainfall Inputs on a Landscape Evolution Model”

Wednesday 16 December 2015 – 08:00-12:20

EP31B: Landscape Evolution from a Critical Zone Science Perspective I Posters

Moscone South, Poster Hall

Oral Presentation –

“Humber-in-a-Box : Gamification to Communicate Coastal Flood Risk in the Face of Rising Seas”

Friday 18 December 2015 – 14:10-14:25

ED53F: Amazing Games and Superb Simulations for Science Education II

Moscone South, 303

I’m really looking forward to getting out there and showing off my research to the biggest event in our circles. I’m also really excited about talking about Humber-in-a-Box for the first time too, and seeing all of the other presentations in the Amazing Games session.

Hope to see you there!

The “in the Boxes” at @FreedomFestHull via @SeriousGeoGames

I’m very excited to let you know that Humber in a Box and River in a Box will both be part of the University’s Science Corner, part of Hull’s Freedom Festival 2015*.

Humber in a Box

This year, the University of Hull will have a Science Corner in Queen’s Gardens on the 5th and 6th of September, from 12 til 6 – it is free. As well as in the Boxes, their will be plenty more including Lab on a Chip and Angry Birds Physics, as well as the ever popular Battle of the Slime. More details here.

Hope to see you there!

*The Freedom Festival began as part of the 2007 celebrations to commemorate Hull born William Wilberforce. Wilberforce was instrumental in the abolition of the slave trade by the UK through his work as an MP, first with the passing of the Slave Trade Act in 1807 and with the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833, shortly before his death.