Flash flood evolution in North-Western Mediterranean

Maria Carmen Llasat, Raül Marcos, Montserrat Llasat-Botija, Joan Gilabert, Marco Turco, Pere Quintana-Seguí

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


The present paper shows an in-depth analysis of the evolution of floods and precipitation in Catalonia for the period 1981-2010. In order to have homogeneous information, and having in mind that not gauge data was available for all the events, neither for all the rivers and stream flows, daily press from a specific newspaper has been systematically analysed for this period. Furthermore a comparison with a longer period starting in 1900 has been done. 219 flood events (mainly flash flood events) have been identified for the period of 30. years (375 starting in 1900), 79 of them were ordinary, 117 of them were extraordinary and 23 of them were catastrophic, being autumn and summer the seasons with the maxima values. 19% of the events caused a total of 110 casualties. 60% of them died when they tried to cross the street or the stream. Factors like the evolution of precipitation, population density and other socio-economical aspects have been considered. The trend analysis shows an increase of 1 flood/decade that probably has been mainly due to inter-annual and intra-annual changes in population density and in land-use and land-cover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-243
Number of pages14
JournalAtmospheric Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change
  • Flash floods
  • Floods
  • Press data
  • Societal impact
  • Vulnerability


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