Manchester Geographical Society

North West Geography


Volume 8, Number 1, 2008

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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Irish Manchester, 1825-1922

Between 1815 and 1922 Irish migrant celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Manchester became notably less boisterous, more respectable and more Catholic and Irish Nationalist in tone. These changes reflected the growing cultural and political confidence of a migrant population increasingly attuned to the mores of the city and developments in Ireland.

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A deeper understanding of climate induced risk to urban infrastructure: case studies of past events in Greater Manchester

A detailed knowledge of past events is sometimes used to help understand and manage potential future risks. Flood risk management is one area where this has been particularly true, but the same ideas could theoretically be applied to other potential climate induced impacts in urban areas such as subsidence, sewer collapse and land movement. Greater Manchester, as the world’s first industrial city, provides an ideal case study of how such events have affected the urban infrastructure in the past. This paper reviews some of the evidence which can be gleaned from past events and also shows how the realisation of some climate-related risks in heavy modified urban environments can only be fully understood through a consideration of sub-surface as well as surface characteristics.

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The potential of user-generated cartography: a case study of the OpenStreetMap project and Mapchester mapping party

Collaborative approaches based upon volunteered input into shared Internet-based resources are beginning to offer a radical and new alterative to more traditional mapping. This paper explores the potential of one of the most developed of these ‘open’ maps, in a case study of the OpenStreetMap project and of the practices deployed during a ‘mapping party’ in Manchester. The successes and weaknesses of the Mapchester weekend are discussed and it is concluded that the democratising and social potential of the new medium is already being realised.

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Extreme flood events in upland catchments in cumbria since 1600: the evidence of historical records

This paper uses a range of historical sources to identify 34 major floods which affected in upland catchments in Cumbria since the early seventeenth century. Problems, limitations and advantages relating to the sources are discussed. Eighteen of the floods resulted from intense convectional storms, mostly in summer. Sixteen were due to precipitation associated with slow moving or stationery frontal systems. The occurrence of the floods varied over time with concentrations in the late seventeenth century, mid-late eighteenth century, early and late nineteenth century and 1920s-1960s. The distribution matches closely the evidence derived from adjacent areas using radiocarbon dating and lichenometry. The distribution of flood locations identifies some expected concentrations in the central Lake District but also others areas, such as Longsleddale, Dentdale and Stainmore which are less obvious. The use of historical records to pinpoint locations where geomorphological evidence of major floods might be identified is proposed.

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Temperature structure and turbulent mixing processes in Cumbrian lakes

The lakes of the English Lake District, like all lakes, become density stratified during the summer, when they are most biologically active. This means that they are warmest near their surfaces, and coolest at their beds. This constrains the vertical transport of heat and chemicals because it forms a stable state that requires considerable mixing energy to overcome. When vertical transport does occur, the mixing energy is provided by the wind, which produces turbulence and wave motions within the stratified waterbody. The vertical motion these produce is crucial for a wide variety of ecological and chemical processes within lakes that require linkages to be made between the near-bed and near-surface water. This paper describes some of the work done in Lake District lakes to try to provide a fuller understanding of how these physical processes operate in their contexts, and what the implications are for the water quality and ecological health of the lakes. Key findings include evidence that the vertical structure of turbulent mixing rates is the same in these relatively shallow lakes as in much larger lakes, being relatively high at the surface and near the bed, but very low in the centre of the water column; details of a distinction between small, well-sheltered lakes which are dominated by solar radiation forcing and others which are wind-forcing dominated; and a fuller understanding of the role played by aquatic vegetation around lakes’ edges in determining the extent of mixing and stratification.

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