Manchester Geographical Society

North West Geography


Volume 15, Number 2, 2015

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Historical sources and meandering river systems in urban sites:
the case of Manchester, UK

Past geomorphological changes to meandering rivers due to urbanization derived from historical sources are used to explore three scales of channel adjustment in Greater Manchester. Human activity has often extended the first terrace narrowing the flood plain and raising flood heights, requiring later construction of flood walls and flood detention basins. Urban development near waterways often occurs over buried former meanders that potentially pose hazards during and after construction. The active post-glacial meandering channel of the Mersey Basin are not all totally controlled, marked changes in the Mersey River channel have occurred in the reach downstream of Ashton on Mersey. A comparison of the roles of pre-urban geomorphology and anthropogenic changes in Greater Manchester with those in São Paulo Brazil revealed the value of the analysis of past conditions for river management and urban construction in both older and newly industrialising cities across the continents.

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