Reconstructing historic floods using sediments from embanked flood plains: a case study of the River Tay in Scotland

Janis L. Paine (Lead / Corresponding author), John S. Rowan, Alan Werritty

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Sedimentary evidence of past floods can be preserved in flood plain
    sediment sinks during overbank flood events. The potential for using such
    flood plain sediments to reconstruct long-term flooding histories was explored
    in the lower reaches of the River Tay in Scotland. Granulometric analysis and
    radionuclide dating undertaken on cores from an embanked palaeochannel has
    shown that the sedimentary record appears insensitive to relatively frequent
    overbank spills, but low-frequency, high-magnitude floods which breach the
    embankments are preserved. A discharge threshold for such events has been
    identified through analysis of the embankment breaches associated with
    specific flood discharges in the instrumental record. Where hydroclimatic
    records are limited, the method can be used to extend flood histories for the
    largest flood events, enabling recent changes in flooding regimes to be
    assessed in a longer historical context
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe structure, function and management implications of fluvial sedimentary systems
    EditorsFiona J. Dyer, Martin C. Thoms, Jon M. Olley
    Place of PublicationWallingford
    PublisherInternational Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)978-1-901502-96-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

    Publication series

    NameIAHS Publication


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