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I have read a specific term to describe the process when water pools behind a restriction such as a bridge during a flood. I cannot for the life of me remember what the word was.

The term specifically refers to the process of the ponding of water upstream of a restriction during a flood creating an area where the water pools higher and velocity is slower. Essentially the flood version of localised water detention due to a outlet restriction.

If anyone could help me out with the exact terminology that would be great. Have been searching all over to no avail.

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I believe that the phrase that you are looking for is either backwater or headwater.

enter image description here Image from from http://epg.modot.org/index.php?title=748.4_Headwater_and_Backwater

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