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Assessment of flash floods in a small Mediterranean catchment using terrain analysis and remotely sensed data: a case study in the Torrente Teiro, Liguria, Italy

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Mediterranean catchments are particularly sensitive to temperature oscillations, rainfall intensity and human activities. Especially intensive precipitation events, changing land-use and thin soil layer trigger surface runoff generation and hence, soil erosion, sediment transport, flooding and related damages. In this study, we propose a methodology using remotely sensed data, terrain analysis and stochastic modeling to characterize the soil hydrological and physical components of the Teiro catchment. Particularly, we focus on the triggering land-cover and soil information that can be derived with multispectral remote sensing techniques. To study the hydrological dynamics of the Teiro catchment we applied the Soil Conservation Service Curve Number method implemented in a GIS system for different precipitation events related to various return periods. The input data was calculated based on multispectral indices describing the heterogeneity of soils and vegetation. The discharges obtained show reasonable values that have been validated with mapped flooded areas of the 4th October 2011 flood event. This event corresponds roughly to a 10 years return period. However, it is striking that a 50 years return period event was calculated to yield the double amount of discharge and thus, implies a major hazard for the local population.
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Keywords: ASTER; FLOOD GENERATION; KOMPSAT; MULTISPECTRAL INDICES; RUNOFF; SCS-CN METHOD; TERRAIN ANALYSIS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2017

This article was made available online on 02 May 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Assessment of flash floods in a small Mediterranean catchment using terrain analysis and remotely sensed data: a case study in the Torrente Teiro, Liguria, Italy".

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  • Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie main volume is a peer-reviewed international journal presenting original contributions of high scientific standard from all fields of geomorphology, encompassing basic research and applied studies. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie (ZfG) invites the submission of original papers from the entire field of geomorphological research, both applied and theoretical. Authors are encouraged to submit their papers to the editor-in-chief. Please peruse the instructions to authors (PDF) before submitting your paper.

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