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In this practical you are to (i) analyse, compare and contrast recorded flow data from two catchments and (ii) use a range of other techniques to characterise the flood hydrology for a range of design specifications. One catchment is located in Cornwall in the west and the other is in the south to the east of Southampton.


Imagine that you are a consultant preparing this for a committee within the Environment Agency, for the purposes of reviewing the hydrology of the catchments to (i) develop an understanding of the water resources of the catchments (with a view to considering the feasibility of constructing impoundments to create more storage) and (ii) evaluate flood risks. The investigation is of a very preliminary nature and is not intended as a pre-feasibility study, but rather just an intelligent use of existing data and desktop techniques.
a. First go to the National River Flow Archive and locate the Thrushel at Tinhay station (047008). Print out the station and catchment details and save the pdf of the long term hydrograph for this station and save the 'Long-term data file' as a csv (comma separated value format) file. Repeat this step for the Wallington at North Fareham (042001).
b. Now read through the station and catchment details for both, noting the location of the stations and their respective catchment areas and record lengths. Visually compare the two long term hydrographs; look carefully at the scale of their axes and hydrograph shapes. By reading through the catchment descriptions and your knowledge of the UK climate you should already be able to think of reasons why they are so different, despite having the same catchment area of about 112km2.
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