Sunday, 30 March 2008


Site of Rotterdam,
Site is the land a settlement is actually built on.

Original site of Rotterdam was 16km from the sea on the River Rotte one of the distributaries of the R. Rhine.
Rotterdam was sited where a dam was built across the Rotte to stop sea water flooding inland during storms.
A port grew at this point because boats from the sea could not travel further inland.
Rotterdam / Europoort is on the delta of the River Rhine

Situation of Rotterdam
The situation of a city is its position in relation to the surrounding region.
Rotterdam / Europoort is at the mouth of the Rhine drainage basin and has road, rail and canal links to cities and industrial regions in other drainage basins. These form Rotterdam / Europoort’s hinterland.

2007 SC C2c Explain why Rotterdam / Europoort developed into a major port
Rotterdam is the world’s largest seaport and has grown because the River Rhine links it to a large hinterland stretching to Switzerland and Austria which includes the Ruhr industrial area. Iron ore is imported which is used to make iron and steel in this area. It is an important break of bulk location and it imports large amounts of oil because of the demand of the petrochemical industry. The Hook of Holland is an important ferry port with links across the North Sea to Harwich, UK

Why has Rotterderdam / Europoort become an important port? In your answer write about site (s)and situation (l)
With thanks to Geoge Pitt....
The city of Rotterdam is at the mouth of the Rhine. The Rhine splits into two districutaries, the Lek and Waal which both flow through Rotterdam. The city therefore has a long waterfront on the banks of the rivers (s) and new docks can be easily excatated out of the soft alluvium (s). Rotterdam's hinterland contains over 80 million people which creates a huge demand for goods, cars and other products (l). Large amounts of low value goods such as oil, iron ore and grain can be transported along the Rhine to other cities and the industrial area of Ruhr (l). A pipeline transports crude oil from Rotterdam to refineries in the Ruhr (l).

Flooding from the sea

The New Waterway - the major shipping route is also the route that a high sea level could use to flood the city.
1953 - gale force winds from N. caused a storm surge which raised the level of the North Sea by 3 metres and there were 3m storm waves on top of that.
The dykes built were broken
1835 people drowned

Global warming is causing storms to be more frequent and sea level is expected to rise by up to 80cm in the next 50 years in southern North Sea

Delta scheme
High dyles have been built and the sea inlets sourth of Rotterdam have been dammed to stop the sea coming in.
The New Waterway has a frame across it with a flood barrier which can be raised when sea level

Flooding from R. Rhine

Problem: The River Rhine is flooding more frequently because:

1. Rainfall has increased because of global warming
2. Water is flowing down the Rhine much faster than it used to. It reaches Rotterdam in larger volumes over a short time rather than in smaller amounts over a longer period.
This is due to:
a. the straightening of the river channels - so barges have shorter journeys
b. deforestation
c. development of agriculture in upper basin which led to faster run off as trees were removed and soil was drained
d. building of towns which have impermeable surfaces
Natural flooding has been prevented bu embankments up to 4.5m high
Floods of 1995 were caused by heavy rain and rapid snow melt.
Rotterdam was flooded but no lives were lost

1. Dig out new meanders to slow the flow of water
2. Build wing dykes in the river to slow it down
3. Move people away from the river in some parts to let it cover the floodplain in winter or set less valuable land aside to store flood water or as wetland nature reserves
4. Ban building on parts of the floodplain
5. Protect factories, homes etc with removable watertight walls made from aluminium girders which can be piled higher as the flood rises

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