Why is Switzerland prone to flooding? (relief, geology, distance from sea, altitude, snow)

The “Wasserschloss” (the confluence of the rivers Aare, Reuss and Limmat in the Canton of Aargau) during the flood of August 2007.

The “Wasserschloss” (the confluence of the rivers Aare, Reuss and Limmat in the Canton of Aargau) during the flood of August 2007.

 

why is switzerland at risk from flooding?

 
 

the river aare

The Aare River Basin, northern Switzerland.

TASK

  1. Draw a simple sketch map of the Aare river basin.
  2. Describe the Aare's course, naming major cities.
 

CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE 2005 FLOOD IN SWITZERLAND

TASK

  1. Read the document.
  2. Highlight causes and effects using two different colours.
  3. Transfer these to a grid in your book, separating natural and human causes and consequences.
  4. Use this information to write an answer to the exam question below.
 
 

how engineering can prevent future flooding

 

CAUSES OF FLOODING IN MOUNTAIN AREAS

HUMAN

  • Deforestation in ski areas
  • Soil compaction on ski slopes
  • Lack of coordination between environmental agencies
  • Insufficient forecasting and warning
  • Urbanisation of rural areas
  • Bridge construction collecting debris blocking river

PHYSICAL

  • Heavy rainfall
  • Long periods of rain
  • Saturated ground > less infiltration > more surface runoff
  • High snow line > precipitation doesn't store as snow
  • Snowmelt
  • Steep slopes
  • Impermeable rock
 

EXAM QUESTION