Geography of London

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London is the largest urban area and capital city of the United Kingdom.

Greater London covers an area of 609 square miles (1,579 square km). London is a port on the Thames, a navigable river. The river has had a major influence on the development of the city. London began on the Thames' north bank and for many centuries London Bridge was the only bridge in or close to the city. Because of this the main focus of the city was on the north side of the Thames. When more bridges were built in the 18th century, the city expanded in all directions as the mostly flat or gently rolling countryside presented no obstacle to growth.

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[edit] Rivers and canals

The Thames was once a much broader shallower river than it is today. It has been extensively embanked, and many of its London tributaries now flow underground. The Fleet River is a good example of this. The Thames is a tidal river, and London is vulnerable to flooding by storm surges. The threat has increased over time due to a slow but continuous rise in high water level, caused by both the slow 'tilting' of Britain (up in the north and down in the south) caused by post-glacial rebound and the gradual rise in sea levels due to climate change. The Thames Barrier was constructed across the Thames at Woolwich in the 1970s to deal with this threat, but in early 2005 it was suggested that a ten mile long barrier further downstream might be required to deal with the flood risk in the future [1].

[edit] Rivers

[edit] Subterranean rivers

[edit] Canals

[edit] Islands in the Thames

Note: Only the largest islands are listed here. A longer list can be found in the River Thames article

[edit] Hills

The hills in the City of London, from west to east, Ludgate Hill, Corn Hill and Tower Hill, are presumed to have influenced the precise siting of the early city, but they are very minor, and most of central London is almost flat. There are a few notable hills in Greater London, but none of them more than a few hundred feet high, and they have not impeded the development of the city in all directions. It is therefore very roughly circular.

[edit] See also

Geography of London

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