This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  



A flood is inundation of land that is not usually submerged under water, and includes river floods and coastal floods. A river flood occurs when water exceeds the capacity of the river channel and flows out on to the flood plain for one of three main reasons:

  • Intense precipitation over all or part of a drainage basin produces more surface runoff than the channels of the drainage basin can discharge so that flooding occurs along part of the channel system. Intense precipitation triggered a river flood at Boscastle, Cornwall, UK on 16 August 2004 which damaged many buildings. Alternatively, prolonged and often continuous precipitation lasting for several days gives saturated ground conditions, delivering large amounts of quick flow to channels which may flood.
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