Thames Tidal Barrier
iCity   Sep 28.2020


The Thames Barrier is a movable barrier system that is designed to prevent the floodplain of most of Greater London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the North Sea. It has been operational since 1982. When needed, it is closed during high tide; at low tide it can be opened to restore the river's flow towards the sea. Built approximately 3 km due east of the Isle of Dogs, its northern bank is in Silvertown in the London Borough of Newham and its southern bank is in the New Charlton area of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Reason to Be Selected

Even if we take all the worst possible scenarios into account, we can’t add up our calculations to produce a wave that can get over the top of the Thames sluice. Even if the worst floods are really thrown at it, our existing defenses can be dealt with in real time. Of course, we will make plans for the future to ensure that the level of protection measures can be maintained in the next few decades. The Thames sluice protects 125 square kilometers of central London - with 1.25 million people and £ 800 billion worth of infrastructure.


It is estimated that one sixth of Londoners live under the direct threat of floods. If London is really flooded, then Economic losses could reach £ 80 billion. Thames Barrier plays an important role in protecting London, without it, it is possible Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses have been flooded.


The Thames Barrier spans 520 metres across the River Thames near Woolwich, and it protects 125 square kilometres of central London from flooding caused by tidal surges. It has 10 steel gates that can be raised into position across the River Thames. When raised, the main gates stand as high as a 5-storey building and as wide as the opening of Tower Bridge. Each main gate weighs 3,300 tonnes.
The Thames Barrier will then remain closed over high water until the water level downstream of the Thames Barrier has reduced to the same level as upstream. This is a managed process to provide for different circumstances, and takes about 5 hours. The Thames Barrier is then opened, allowing the water upstream to flow out to sea with the outward-bound tide.
In order to improve the resource value of the river and obtain the participation and recognition from the surrounding communities, the project team held several activities in the riparian zone, and recorded the public's awareness, memory, and intention to use the current status of the riparian through Creek Atlas.


The Thames Barrier has been closed 186 times since it became operational in 1982 (correct as of October 2019). Of these closures, 99 were to protect against tidal flooding and 87 were to protect against combined tidal/fluvial flooding.


Lat: 51.3
Lng: 0.7
Region: Europe
Scale: Region
Field: Infrastructure
City: London (greater city)