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    Megafloods in Europe can be anticipated from observations in hydrologically similar catchments

    Bertola, Miriam and Blöschl, Günter and Bohac, Milon and Borga, Marco and Castellarin, Attilio and Chirico, Giovanni B. and Claps, Pierluigi and Dallan, Eleonora and Danilovich, Irina and Ganora, Daniele and Gorbachova, Liudmyla and Ledvinka, Ondrej and Mavrova-Guirguinova, Maria and Montanari, Alberto and Ovcharuk, Valeriya and Viglione, Alberto and Volpi, Elena and Arheimer, Berit and Aronica, Giuseppe Tito and Bonacci, Ognjen and Čanjevac, Ivan and Csik, Andras and Frolova, Natalia and Gnandt, Boglarka and Gribovszki, Zoltan and Gül, Ali and Günther, Knut and Guse, Björn and Hannaford, Jamie and Harrigan, Shaun and Kireeva, Maria and Kohnová, Silvia and Komma, Jürgen and Kriauciuniene, Jurate and Kronvang, Brian and Lawrence, Deborah and Lüdtke, Stefan and Mediero, Luis and Merz, Bruno and Molnar, Peter and Murphy, Conor and Oskoruš, Dijana and Osuch, Marzena and Parajka, Juraj and Pfister, Laurent and Radevski, Ivan and Sauquet, Eric and Schröter, Kai and Šraj, Mojca and Szolgay, Jan and Turner, Stephen and Valent, Peter and Veijalainen, Noora and Ward, Philip J. and Willems, Patrick and Zivkovic, Nenad (2023) Megafloods in Europe can be anticipated from observations in hydrologically similar catchments. Nature Geoscience. pp. 1-20. ISSN 1752-0894

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    Megafloods that far exceed previously observed records often take citizens and experts by surprise, resulting in extremely severe damage and loss of life. Existing methods based on local and regional information rarely go beyond national borders and cannot predict these floods well because of limited data on megafloods, and because flood generation processes of extremes differ from those of smaller, more frequently observed events. Here we analyse river discharge observations from over 8,000 gauging stations across Europe and show that recent megafloods could have been anticipated from those previously observed in other places in Europe. Almost all observed megafloods (95.5%) fall within the envelope values estimated from previous floods in other similar places on the continent, implying that local surprises are not surprising at the continental scale. This holds also for older events, indicating that megafloods have not changed much in time relative to their spatial variability. The underlying concept of the study is that catchments with similar flood generation processes produce similar outliers. It is thus essential to transcend national boundaries and learn from other places across the continent to avoid surprises and save lives.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: European hydroclimatic regions; megafloods; extreme floods analyis;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 17778
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Corinne Voces
    Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2023 11:10
    Journal or Publication Title: Nature Geoscience
    Publisher: Springer Nature
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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