Are trends in flashiness evident in natural catchments in the United Kingdom?
Quinn, N. (2010) Are trends in flashiness evident in natural catchments in the United Kingdom? In: BHS Third International Symposium, Managing Consequences of a Changing Global Environment, Newcastle University, UK, 2010.
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Recent trend analysis in undisturbed catchments suggests a significant positive trend in high-flows and flood records over the 30–40 years analysis period ending in 2003, particularly in upland maritime-influenced catchments of the western and northern areas of the UK. This poses the question of whether there is also a trend in flashiness, with obvious implications for flood risk management. The Richards-Baker Flashiness Index (R-B Index) provides a metric to examine the case, having been applied in the USA and Europe, where significant regional trends were established. This paper reports on the application of the R-B Index in 64 benchmark catchments (average of 44 years record, with data to November 2008). Findings suggest regional and seasonal trends, particularly an increase in flashiness in winter in the North West and parts of the South and Wales. In Autumn increases are found in Eastern Scotland and the South and Midland areas of England. Trends in spring are less regionally distinct, but positive trends are predominant. In summer decreasing trends dominate, particularly in the South and South West, North Wales and the North West of England but at reduced significance.