Characterisation of flash floods in small ungauged mountain basins of Central Spain using an integrated approach

Ruiz, Virginia; Díez-Herrero, A.; Bodoque, J.M.; Ballesteros Canovas, Juan Antonio; Stoffel, Markus (2013). Characterisation of flash floods in small ungauged mountain basins of Central Spain using an integrated approach. Catena, 110, pp. 32-43. Elsevier 10.1016/j.catena.2013.06.015

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One of the main problems of flood hazard assessment in ungauged or poorly gauged basins is the lack of runoff data. In an attempt to overcome this problem we have combined archival records, dendrogeomorphic time series and instrumental data (daily rainfall and discharge) from four ungauged and poorly gauged mountain basins in Central Spain with the aim of reconstructing and compiling information on 41 flash flood events since the end of the 19th century. Estimation of historical discharge and the incorporation of uncertainty for the at-site and regional flood frequency analysis were performed with an empirical rainfall–runoff assessment as well as stochastic and Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approaches. Results for each of the ungauged basins include flood frequency, severity, seasonality and triggers (synoptic meteorological situations). The reconstructed data series clearly demonstrates how uncertainty can be reduced by including historical information, but also points to the considerable influence of different approaches on quantile estimation. This uncertainty should be taken into account when these data are used for flood risk management.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Ruiz, Virginia; Ballesteros Canovas, Juan Antonio and Stoffel, Markus


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
500 Science








Virginia Ruiz

Date Deposited:

11 Aug 2014 10:40

Last Modified:

07 Oct 2015 10:07

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Historical floods, Palaeohydrology, Dendrogeomorphology, Ungauged basins, Flood frequency analysis




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