Bournes, a previously unknown hazard.

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Silent Earth

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Bournes, a previously unknown hazard.

We all have (I hope) planned bug out/ evac / escape / transit routes as part of our preps, be they for bugging out along or simply as a post event access road to your home / retreat or place of safety.

But the recent floods in southern Britain have highlighted a possible hazard we may have not considered in our plans. It transpires that in many parts of the UK the geology has a hidden trick up its sleeve.

In periods of heavy and prolonged rainfall of the type we are being hit with during the winter and spring of 2014 is causing “Bournes” to suddenly occur.


A “Bourne” is a river that is predominantly found around chalk or limestone geology (that’s most of Southern England), they only appear when the ground water level is high. You can suddenly find with very little notice that anything from a little stream / beck / brook to a fully-fledged river can suddenly start flowing where no water has been seen flowing for over a 100 years.


Often they can be nothing more than an inconvenience blocking your right of way, but in some cases people can find the Bourne suddenly flowing straight through their house or garden causing chaos and damage.

It may be prudent and wise to bury your head in your areas collection of historical maps and to check with your local environmental officer to see if there is evidence of “ Bournes” in your area.


As I said above you may be safe, you may only be inconvenienced, but equally if the SHTF because of climate change and vicious storms the last thing you want to find is your house with a river running through it.


I made a quick call to my own property solicitor and they told me as far as they are aware land searches during property sales do not normally look for Bournes. So its down to us to check.

NR
 

bigpaul

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never heard of that before NR, I have heard of rivers changing course over time, I think what you are describing is due to the water table being full and close to the surface, water then starts seeping through to the surface.
 

Silent Earth

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I only heard about Bournes for the first time on the BBC then a few days later online. Rivers and streams that only flow occasionally and primarily because the water table means they flow underground, but when you get rain as heavy as we are currently getting the rivers start running above ground.
 

jimLE

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i've heard of areas getting flooded due to,,to much rain.the route of creeks/streams/rivers getting changed due to earthquakes..water stands in areas of my yard when we get to much rain.but thats due to them being low areas.but we're on high ground here.so what water that can.will run off in due time..
 

bigpaul

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yeah, we're on the highest bit of ground in the area so no worries here, ground slopes away down to the river-about a mile in a east and west direction, 3 houses were flooding down the road a few weeks ago but that was cos a storm drain was blocked and their doors are lower than the road, so in the water went. www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26136975
 
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jimLE

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we can go in either direction to go into town when we leave the driveway.and there's a creek in both directions..one creek has year round supply of water from seepage spots and the water table under the property,and other creek drys up when there's not enough rain fall..but yet one draw back..there's lots of clay under the top soil here. .
 

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