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Flood frequency and seasonality of the Jucar and Turia Mediterranean rivers (Spain) during the “Little Ice Age”

Saisonnalité et fréquence des crues des fleuves Jucar et Turia (Espagne) durant le petit âge de glace
José Miguel Ruiz, Pilar Carmona and Alejandro Pérez Cueva
p. 121-130

Abstracts

Using a 700-year database, which includes the Little Ice Age period, flood frequency and the seasonality of 301 ordinary to extreme magnitude floods were probed for two Mediterranean rivers (Júcar and Turia). Of particular interest are the river surveys examining the causes of floods in the 16th and 17th centuries in the Júcar River and the “Fabrica de Murs i Valls” documents describing the flood processes in the Turia River since the end of the 16th century. Periods of higher flooding frequency were elucidated (1579‑1598, 1610‑1633, 1671‑1695, 1770‑1808, 1850‑1908, 1913‑1924 and 1947‑1958). Throughout some of these periods, a change in flood seasonality favouring non-autumnal events was observed. During the last centuries almost all major floods of the rivers Turia and Júcar (1590, 1632, 1776, 1779, 1805, 1864, 1897, 1923, 1949 and 1957) occurred during periods of high‑flooding frequency.

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Excerpt

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Full-text article available to subscribers or on a "pay per view" basis. It will be available on this URL in January 2018.
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Outline

1 - Hydrological, climatological and geomorphological setting of the Júcar and Turia floods
2 - Historical sources of flooding of the rivers Júcar and Turia
3 - Results: Magnitude, frequency and seasonality of historical flooding of the rivers Júcar and Turia
3.1 ‑ Flood magnitude
3.2 - Flood frequency
3.3 - Flood seasonality
4 ‑ Discussion
5 - Conclusions

First lines

Increasing concern over the effects of future climate change and the uncertainty of climatic and hydrological predictive models has encouraged many researchers to use documentary sources to determine climate variability at longer timescales. In this sense, research workers have used historical sources whereby different rivers and flood regions were related in order to detect climatic changes or anomalies since the medieval period (CAMUFFO and ENZI, 1992 and 1996; PICHARD, 1995; BARRIENDOS and RODRIGO, 2006). This research shows a broad flooding framework in terms of causality, magnitude, seasonality and frequency (BENITO et al., 2003). The shortage of instrumental records limits an adequate understanding of the relationships between climatology and flood (KNOX, 2000). Archival documents of site and weather patterns are more accurate than natural archives. The record discussed here covers a period of approximately 700 years and provides a safer basis for assessing the natural climate...

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References

Electronic reference

José Miguel Ruiz, Pilar Carmona and Alejandro Pérez Cueva, « Flood frequency and seasonality of the Jucar and Turia Mediterranean rivers (Spain) during the “Little Ice Age” », Méditerranée [Online], 122 | 2014, Online since 19 June 2016, connection on 23 July 2017. URL : http://mediterranee.revues.org/7208 ; DOI : 10.4000/mediterranee.7208

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About the authors

José Miguel Ruiz

Department of Geography, University of Valencia, Spain, Jose.M.Ruiz-Perez@uv.es

Pilar Carmona

Department of Geography, University of Valencia, Spain, Pilar.Carmona@uv.es

Alejandro Pérez Cueva

Department of Geography, University of Valencia, Spain, Alejandro.Perez@uv.es

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