Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Groundwater outlook - from March 2014

BGS Groundwater Science has been working with partners to develop a forecast for river flows and groundwater levels over the coming months — Hydrological Outlook UK.  You can view and download the most recent Hydrological Outlook from the website.  They are published monthly.  Here, we will summarise the latest groundwater outlook.
Hydrological Outlook from March 2014
(from http://www.hydoutuk.net/latest-outlook/)

As described in the previous post, groundwater levels in February remained high across most of the major aquifers.  Even with modest rainfall over the period to mid-April, groundwater levels are expected to remain high.

3 month outlook

Over a 3 month period (March to May), it is likely that levels will return to more normal conditions for the time of year in many areas.  Below average groundwater levels will probably persist in the Chalk of eastern England.  Levels are expected to remain high for the time of year in:

  • the southern Chalk (with an ongoing elevated risk of flooding in susceptible areas), and in
  • the Permo-Triassic aquifers of northwest England and southwest Scotland.
View or download the most recent Hydrological Outlook from the Hydrological Outlook UK website.

February 2014 overview

Groundwater levels, February 2014
Groundwater levels - February 2014

February was another exceptionally wet month, during which groundwater levels continued to rise across most aquifers.  Groundwater flooding occurred in the south and south-west of England.

Southern Chalk

Exceptional February groundwater levels were recorded over most of the southern Chalk.  Groundwater flooding was widespread from Dorset to Kent, and impacts on property and infrastructure were widely reported.  In some localities this flooding was the most severe since the winter of 2000/01.

Record monthly maximum levels were recorded at a number of monitoring sites, including:

Levels stabilised and fell overall across the south-western Chalk and South Downs by the end of the month.  However, groundwater flooding is ongoing in some areas, where it is likely to persist throughout the spring.

Northern and Eastern Chalk

Levels in the northern and eastern Chalk (East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire) rose during February but remained at or below average, with the exception of Wetwang.

Permo-Triassic Sandstones

Groundwater levels were above normal in the Midlands and north Wales, and exceptionally high elsewhere.  Record monthly maxima were recorded for the second consecutive month at:
For more information, see the hydrological summary for Febuary 2014 [PDF].