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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://repository.iitr.ac.in/handle/123456789/22934
Title: Rare flash floods and debris flows in southern Germany
Authors: Ozturk U.
Wendi D.
Crisologo I.
Riemer A.
Agarwal, Ankit
Vogel K.
López-Tarazón J.A.
Korup O.
Published in: Science of the Total Environment
Abstract: Flash floods and debris flows are iconic hazards in mountainous regions with steep relief, high rainfall intensities, rapid snowmelt events, and abundant sediments. The cuesta landscapes of southern Germany hardly come to mind when dealing with such hazards. A series of heavy rainstorms dumping up to 140 mm in 2 h caused destructive flash floods and debris flows in May 2016. The most severe damage occurred in the Braunsbach municipality, which was partly buried by 42,000 m3 of boulders, gravel, mud, and anthropogenic debris from the small catchment of Orlacher Bach (~6 km2). We analysed this event by combining rainfall patterns, geological conditions, and geomorphic impacts to estimate an average sediment yield of 14,000 t/km2 that mostly (~95%) came from some 50 riparian landslides and channel-bed incision of ~2 m. This specific sediment yield ranks among the top 20% globally, while the intensity-duration curve of the rainstorm is similarly in the upper percentile range of storms that had triggered landslides. Compared to similar-sized catchments in the greater region hit by the rainstorms, we find that the Orlacher Bach is above the 95th percentile in terms of steepness, storm-rainfall intensity, and topographic curvatures. The flash flood transported a sediment volume equal to as much as 20–40% of the Pleistocene sediment volume stored in the Orlacher Bach fan, and may have had several predecessors in the Holocene. River control structures from 1903 and records of a debris flow in the 1920s in a nearby catchment indicate that the local inhabitants may have been aware of the debris-flow hazards earlier. Such recurring and destructive events elude flood-hazard appraisals in humid landscapes of gentle relief, and broaden mechanistic views of how landslides and debris flows contribute to shaping small and deeply cut tributaries in the southern Germany cuesta landscape. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
Citation: Science of the Total Environment, 626: 941-952
URI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.01.172
http://repository.iitr.ac.in/handle/123456789/22934
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Keywords: Debris flow
Flash flood
Germany
Hazard
Rainfall-triggered landslide
ISSN: 489697
Author Scopus IDs: 57197805890
57189040923
35955808700
57197809656
57196058350
55218553300
26423184000
6602348460
Author Affiliations: Ozturk, U., University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Germany, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research – PIK, Germany
Wendi, D., University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Germany, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research – PIK, Germany, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, German Research Centre for Geosciences - GFZ, Germany
Crisologo, I., University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Germany
Riemer, A., University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Germany
Agarwal, A., University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Germany, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research – PIK, Germany, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, German Research Centre for Geosciences - GFZ, Germany
Vogel, K., University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Germany
López-Tarazón, J.A., University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Germany, Mediterranean Ecogeomorphological and Hydrological Connectivity Research Team (MEDhyCON), Department of Geography, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma, Spain, Fluvial Dynamics Research Group, Department of Environment and Soil Sciences, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain
Korup, O., University of Potsdam, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Germany
Funding Details: We acknowledge the fieldwork conducted by Irene Hahn and Ana Lucía Vela. We appreciate the suggestions made by Darwin Fox that improved the quality of this study. We also acknowledge the Secretariat for Universities and Research of the Department of the Economy and Knowledge of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia for supporting the Consolidated Research Group 2014 SGR 645 (RIUS- Fluvial Dynamics Research Group). We thank the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy in Germany (BKG) for provision of the digital terrain model of Germany and to the German Weather Service (DWD) for the weather radar data. During the elaboration of the manuscript José Andrés López-Tarazón was in receipt first of a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (Project ‘Floodhazards’, PIEF-GA-2013-622468, Seventh EU Framework Programme) and then of a Vicenç Mut postdoctoral fellowship (CAIB PD/038/2016). This research was carried out within the Research Training Group “Natural Hazards and Risks in a Changing World” (NatRiskChange; GRK 2043/1) funded by the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft” (DFG). We thank two anonymous referees for their comments on an earlier version of this study. Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG; Seventh Framework Programme, FP7: CAIB PD/038/2016, GRK 2043/1
Corresponding Author: Ozturk, U.; University of Potsdam, Germany; email: ugur.oeztuerk@uni-potsdam.de
Appears in Collections:Journal Publications [HY]

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