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Journal Articles Climatic Change Year : 1999

Flood events of selected european rivers in the sixteenth century


The severity and frequency of sixteenth-century floods of the Rhine, the Main, the middle and upper Elbe with its tributaries, rivers of northern and central Italy, the Garonne and rivers in Catalonia and Andalusia are analyzed using documentary evidence. The basic topographical and hydrological characteristics of the rivers investigated as well as the synoptic causes of their flooding during the instrumental period are prsented. Different examples of modifications of the run-off process due to anthropogenic activity are discussed. Prevalence in flood occurrence during the second half of the sixteenth century in comparison to the first half is typical for central European and Andalusian rivers (mainly in the 1560s and 1590s) and agrees with the evolution of precipitation patterns. On the other hand, Italian and Catalonian rivers, in part, had a higher occurence of floods during the first half of the century. Changes in the flooding seasons in both halves of the century are not unambiguous. Results of an analysis on a broader Euroepan scale show floods to be a random natural phenomena with limited areal extend defined by the spatial influence of forcing meteorological factors (continuous heavy rains, sudden melting of thick snow cover, etc.). Despite some limitations of documentary evidence series of reconstructed historical floods ara valuable sources of proxy data which can be utilized for the strudy of the flooding fluctuations in the pre-instrumental period.



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hal-01511479 , version 1 (21-04-2017)


  • HAL Id : hal-01511479 , version 1


Rudolf  Brázdil, Rüdiger Glaser, Christian Pfister, Petr  Dobrovolný, Jean-Marc Antoine, et al.. Flood events of selected european rivers in the sixteenth century. Climatic Change, 1999, 43 (1), pp.239-285. ⟨hal-01511479⟩
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