Multi-day rainfall events appear to be an important cause of recent flooding in the UK. Hydrological data from an extensive, nested hydrometric network in the unregulated, predominantly rural Upper Eden catchment in northern England are presented for one such flood event. These highlight antecedent catchment conditions and the propagation of the multi-day flood event during February 2004. An assessment of flood response is provided over varying scales and land use between the upland Gais Gill catchment (I. I km(2)) and the larger Upper Eden catchment (616 km(2)). Large spatial variations in rainfall totals are identified from a dense raingauge network during the flood event and are principally related to catchment elevation. High cumulative rainfall totals for the 6-day event, particularly at upland sites appear to be the exceptional feature of the flood event with return periods in the order of 100 years at some upland gauges. Resultant patterns of flood attenuation and translation are quantified in different areas of the catchment, highlighting the flashy response of the headwater catchments and the attenuated downstream response in the lowland environment. The study forms part of the national Catchment Hydrology And Sustainable Management (CHASM) programme.
Mayes, W. M., Walsh, C. L., Bathurst, J. C., Kilsby, C. G., Quinn, P. F., Wilkinson, M. E., …O'Connell, P. E. (2006). Monitoring a flood event in a densely instrumented catchment, the Upper Eden, Cumbria, UK. Water and environment journal : the journal / the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, 20(4), 217-226. doi:10.1111/j.1747-6593.2005.00006.x