Floodplain catastrophes in the UK Holocene: messages for managing climate change
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 24, Issue 20, pages 2900–2911, 30 September 2010
How to Cite
Lewin, J. and Macklin, M. G. (2010), Floodplain catastrophes in the UK Holocene: messages for managing climate change. Hydrol. Process., 24: 2900–2911. doi: 10.1002/hyp.7704
- Issue published online: 3 SEP 2010
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 MAR 2010
- Manuscript Received: 29 JUL 2009
- Centre for Catchment and Coastal Research at Aberystwyth University
- fluvial style;
- channel pattern;
- climate change
Floodplains may be transformed when environmental changes or human activity causes alluvial systems to cross channel pattern thresholds. Thresholds between pattern states based on occurrence fields are only available for some pattern distinctions, and these may not encompass the alluvial contexts and range of dynamic factors involved. Pattern changes now known from the UK Holocene are reviewed as a basis for appreciating the potential for future transformations in a changing environment. These involved episodic boulder and gravel spreads in upland environments, and braiding meandering, anastomosing meandering and active inactive transformations in more lowland contexts. Concern for possible impacts of climatic change need to be grounded in an appreciation of the nature and scale of these past changes. Some potential future changes may be relatively predictable in location (braiding meandering); others are more difficult given both present knowledge and the varying, modified and inheritance-rich ‘contexts of vulnerability’ that floodplains now represent. Implications for management are discussed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.