Flash Flood Occurrences Since the 17th Century in Steep Drainage Basins in Southern Italy

Petrucci, O. and Pasqua, A.A. and Polemio, M. (2012) Flash Flood Occurrences Since the 17th Century in Steep Drainage Basins in Southern Italy. Environmental management, 50 (5). pp. 807-818. ISSN 0364-152X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00267-012-9935-1


The historical floods that have occurred since the seventeenth century were collected for a study area in southern Italy. Damages caused by floods, rainfall and the main anthropogenic modifications are discussed all together. The aim was to assess whether the frequency of floods is changing and, if so, whether these changes can be attributed to either rainfall and/or anthropogenic modifications. In 4 % of cases, mainly occurred in past centuries, floods damaged people. Hydraulic works, roads and private buildings were the more frequently damaged elements (25, 18 and 14 % of the cases, respectively). The annual variability of rainfall was discussed using an annual index. Short duration-high intensity rainfalls were characterized considering time series of annual maxima of 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 h and daily rainfall. The rainfall shows a decreasing trend, in terms of both the annual maximum of short duration and the annual amount. The population has been progressively increasing since the sixteenth century, except during the years following the catastrophic 1908 earthquake. The rate of population growth has been very high since the second half of the twentieth century; the urbanized areas greatly increased, especially following the second half of the twentieth century. At the same time, the trend of damaging floods has been increasing, especially since the seventies. The analysis indicates that, despite a rainfall trend favourable towards a reduction in flood occurrence, floods damage has not decreased. This seems to be mainly the effect of mismanagement of land use modifications.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: floods; historical research; rainfall trend; land use; anthropogenic modifications; population number; urban planning; Calabria; Italy
Subjects: 500 Scienze naturali e Matematica > 550 Scienze della Terra > 551 Geologia, Idrologia, Meteorologia
Depositing User: Dott. Maurizio Polemio
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2012 09:14
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2012 09:14
URI: http://eprints.bice.rm.cnr.it/id/eprint/4321

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