Delineation of flood generating processes and their hydrological response

Keller, Luise; Rössler, Ole Kristen; Martius, Olivia; Weingartner, Rolf (2018). Delineation of flood generating processes and their hydrological response. Hydrological processes, 32(2), pp. 228-240. Wiley 10.1002/hyp.11407

[img] Text
Keller_et_al-2018-Hydrological_Processes.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy

Knowledge about flood generating processes can be beneficial for numerous applications. Especially in the context of climate change impact assessment, daily patterns of meteorological and catchment state conditions leading to flood events (i.e., storylines) may be of value. Here, we propose an approach to identify storylines of flood generation using daily weather and snow cover observations. The approach is tested for and applied to a typical pre‐Alpine catchment in the period between 1961 and 2014. Five precipitation parameters were determined that describe temporal and spatial characteristics of the flood associated precipitation events. The catchment's snow coverage was derived using statistical relationships between a satellite‐derived snow cover climatology and station snow measurements. Moreover, (pre‐) event snow melt sums were estimated using a temperature‐index model. Based on the precipitation and catchment state parameters, 5 storylines were identified with a cluster analysis: These are (a) long duration, low intensity precipitation events with high precipitation depths, (b) long duration precipitation events with high precipitation depths and episodes of high intensities, (c) shorter duration events with high or (d) low precipitation intensity, respectively, and (e) rain‐on‐snow events. The event groups have distinct hydrological characteristics that can largely be explained by the storylines' respective properties. The long duration, high intensity storyline leads to the most adverse hydrological response, namely, a combination of high peak magnitudes, high volumes, and long durations of threshold exceedance. The results show that flood generating processes in mesoscale catchments can be distinguished on the basis of daily meteorological and catchment state parameters and that these process types can explain the hydrological flood properties in a qualitative way. Hydrological simulations of daily resolution can thus be analysed with respect to flood generating processes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Hydrology

Graduate School:

Graduate School of Climate Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Keller, Luise; Rössler, Ole Kristen; Romppainen-Martius, Olivia and Weingartner, Rolf


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
900 History > 910 Geography & travel








Thomas Reist

Date Deposited:

01 May 2018 15:38

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 02:33

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

event analysis, flood processes, hydrological impacts, pre‐Alpine catchment, storylines




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback