Groundwater flooding within an urbanised flood plain

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Abstract

In Europe in recent years, there has been recognition of the need to better understand the risk from groundwater flooding. This recognition has been due both to the occurrence of major flooding events clearly attributable to groundwater and the inclusion of groundwater flooding in European and national legislation. The case study of the city of Oxford on the River Thames flood plain in UK is used to examine the mechanisms for groundwater flooding in urbanised flood plain settings. Reference is made to an extensive data set gathered during a major flood event in 2007. Groundwater flooding of a significant number of properties is shown to occur in areas isolated from fluvial flooding because of high ground created historically to protect property and the transport network from flood inundation. The options for mitigating this form of flooding are discussed; measures to increase the rate of conveyance of flood waters through Oxford, designed to reduce fluvial flood risk, have also been recognised as a means for reducing groundwater flood risk within the city.

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