A flood is a natural disaster typically caused by snowmelt, an ice jam or prolonged rainfall from a storm. Occasional flooding is a very significant factor in the shaping of natural ecosystems in and around inland waters.
In the springtime, floods are common in Finland as the snow melts, particularly where rivers are covered by thick ice. During all other seasons, heavy rains can also lead to flooding. The extent and impacts of floods depend greatly on local landforms and land use practices, as well as on the prevailing water levels and flows.
Flooding at Kauhajoki River in the autumn 2012. (Photo: Unto Tapio)