Southwells Crossing: floodplains are wet

We accept that tidal plains are part of the ocean, but not that floodplains are part of the river. we know that anything on the floodplain will be washed away with the next flood. Nomen est omen.

The massive floods in NSW have prompted The Conversation to discuss our troubled relationship with floodplains. We tend to think of them as land, but actually, they are part of the river. At some points of the river, the floodplains are very wide and the plains are very low-lying.

Southwells Crossing, is an example of a wide flood plain and even at low water levels such as now, the plain is partially flooded with creeks and ponds, many frogs and animals.

Southwells Crossing (540 m), Coombs, Molonglo Valley, ACT. Map: Leaflet | CyclOSM v0.5 | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Floodplains aren’t separate to a river — they’re an extension of it. It’s time to change how we connect with them, The Conversation, 5 April 2021.

Floodplains are relatively flat stretches of land located next to rivers. It helps to think of them as an extension of the river; it is natural and normal for a river to flood their adjacent plains.”

“We would see a natural process of river expansion and contraction, of rivers doing exactly what they’re supposed to do from time to time. We’d see them exceeding what we humans have deemed to be their boundaries and depositing sediment across their floodplains. We’d see reproductive opportunities for fish, frogs, birds and trees. The floods would also enrich the soils. Floods can be catastrophic for humans, but they are a natural part of an ecosystem from which we benefit.”

“Floodplains are also dynamic and ever-changing — and we should expect them to change even more in the coming years. Australian rivers have experienced regular periods of increased flood activity in the past 100 years. And climate change is predicted to increase flood activity.”

Floodplains aren’t separate to a river — they’re an extension of it. It’s time to change how we connect with them, The Conversation, 5 April 2021
Frog pond found in the new river bed beside Southwells Crossing, Molonglo River. Coombs, Molonglo Valley.
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