Thames River Flood Barrier

by P. A. Cox, Senior Partner; Rendel, Palmer and Tritton, London, England,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 4, Pg. 68-71

Document Type: Feature article

Errata: (See full record)


For 200 years, flood tides have surged into the Thames flooding London and its vicinity. Ground subsidence in the area and the melting of the polar ice cap is combining to worsen the problem. Since 1953 various schemes have been proposed and investigated to stop the flooding. The design finally accepted is a 1700-ft wide barrier crossing the Thames at the Royal Docks, about 14 km upstream from London Bridge. The barriers consist of 10 gates: four 200-ft wide; four 103-ft wide and two small ones, supported by 9 piers. Gates can be raised in high or low tide and when in the open position rest level with the river bed, so navigation is not impeded.

Subject Headings: Gates (hydraulic) | Rivers and streams | Floods | Tides | Bridge design | Land subsidence | Snowmelt | Ice | London | United Kingdom | Europe

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