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Spatio-temporal variability of the floods in the Spanish Mediterranean basin since 1300 AD: atmospheric, hydrological processes and interactions with human activity

Total activity: 13
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
37.510,00 €
Start date
End date
Floods, Inundaciones, análisis multidisciplinar, impacto social, multidisciplinar analysis, non-stationary processes, procesos no estacionarios, social impact, spatio-temporal variability, variabilidad espacio-temporal
Floods are the natural hazard that leads to more victims and strong economical losses in Spain, especially in the Mediterranean coastal
area. The larger exposure of goods and people from the second half of the 20th century, and the increase of vulnerability are enhancing
the effects of the floods on societies connected to greater losses. Due to the complexity and variability of the phenomenon, which includes
natural and anthropogenic aspects, the study of these extreme events requires a multidisciplinary approach including expertise from
meteorology, climatology, hydrology, statistics, and humanistic and social disciplines: history, geography, demography, urbanism, etc. In
this project participate experts in these disciplines to obtain an appropriate holistic interpretation of the evolution of these processes and its
relation with the experienced changes in climate, hydrology and anthropogenic activities: how climate change influences extreme
precipitation frequency and magnitude, how land use evolution affects the response of the basin, or how exposition in flooding areas or the
modification of the river bed modify the effects and the magnitude of the flood.
Moreover, taking into account that floods are a low-frequency natural disaster, it is necessary to analyze long periods of observations to
have a significant sample of episodes with high-quality meteorological and hydrological data. Additionally, this would allow studying with
sufficient accuracy the space-time variability.
For these reasons, this project will study the flood frequency, intensity, persistence and spatial distribution of that have affected the
Spanish Mediterranean coast since 1300 AD to the present day, including in the area of study watersheds from the French border to the
Southern part of Murcia, and also basins with headers in the Pyrenees, since in this area the role of the orography on floods can be
The experience of the multidisciplinary research team will allow:
1. To perform a systematic collection by using historiographical methods of the floods in the study area since the 14th Century and to
present the results using geographical information systems.
2. To analyze the main local, mesoscale, synoptic factors and climatic processes of the hydrometeorological events and its influence in the
intensity and frequency of the floods, as well as to evaluate their future trends.
3. To perform: detailed hydraulic analysis to reconstruct the major historical floods of in the Spanish Mediterranean basin; hydrological
analysis to understand the mechanisms of their formation; and statistical analysis to study the evolution of its frequency and intensity using
stationary and non-stationary models.
4. To develop a model about the evolution of vulnerability and the socio-economical towards the floods that allows to quantify the influence
of the social factor on the flood risk.
The project results (partially presented by using a GIS) will increase the knowledge of these processes, will improve the early warning
systems developed by the hydrological and meteorological agencies and will help the risk management by the authorities responsible for
territorial planning, the administration of water resources and the management of emergency situations.
Adm. Estat
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Call year
Funcding program
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Funding call
Retos de Investigación: Proyectos de I+D+i
Grant institution
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco


  • Pino Gonzalez, David  (scientific coordinator)
  • Balasch Solanes, Josep Carles  (researcher)
  • Barriendos Valve, Mariano  (researcher)
  • Pérez Morales, Alfredo  (researcher)
  • Prohom Duran, Marc  (researcher)
  • Luterbacher, Juerg  (researcher)
  • Castelltort Aiguabella, Xavier  (researcher)
  • Hopson, Thomas  (researcher)
  • Rostkier-Edelstein, Dorita  (researcher)
  • Mazon Bueso, Jordi  (researcher)
  • Gil-Guirado, Salvador  (researcher)
  • Perez Cutillas, Pedro  (researcher)

Scientific and technological production

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