With the availability of Global Circulation Models (GCMs) it is now possible to apply hydrological and hydrogeological models and knowledge to assess environmental conditions in past climates. In the upper Kennet there is considerable interest in the development of the construction of the man-made hill at Silbury. Silbury was built in several stages over a period of time and the question arises as to the availability of water for the people who built Silbury. The current Kennet flows at Silbury are low and the current stream tends to be dry for on average 5 months of the year. The aim of the research has been to assess the palaeohydrology of the Silbury Hill and Avebury area and determine the flow rates, groundwater levels and hydrological conditions in 4,400 BP. This has been undertaken using hydrogeological mapping and modelling techniques, making use of outputs from a GCM to recreate past flows and groundwater levels in the upper Kennet at Avebury and Silbury. The modelling results indicate a past wetter climate in the area, with higher river flows and higher groundwater levels, which would have sustained the local populations through dryer summer months.
Modelling and reconstruction of the River Kennet palaeohydrology and hydrogeology: Silbury Hill and Avebury in 4,400 BP
P. G. Whitehead, W. M. Edmunds; Modelling and reconstruction of the River Kennet palaeohydrology and hydrogeology: Silbury Hill and Avebury in 4,400 BP. Hydrology Research 1 October 2012; 43 (5): 551–559. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/nh.2012.137
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