Trends in reported flooding in the UK: 1884-2013

TitleTrends in reported flooding in the UK: 1884-2013
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsStevens, AJ, Clarke, D, Nicholls, RJ)

A long-term dataset of reported flooding based on reports from the UK Met Office and the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology is described. This is possibly a unique dataset as the authors are unaware of any other 100+ year records of flood events and their consequences on a national scale. Flood events are classified by severity based upon qualitative descriptions. There is an increase in the number of reported flood events over time associated with an increased exposure to flooding as floodplain areas were developed. The data was de-trended for exposure, using population and dwelling house data. The adjusted record shows no trend in reported flooding over time, but there is significant decade to decade variability. This study opens a new approach to considering flood occurrence over a long time scale using reported information (and thus likely effects on society) rather than just considering trends in extreme hydrological conditions.