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Title

Unravelling past flash flood activity in a forested mountain catchment of the Spanish Central System

Authors
Garófano-Gómez, Virginia
Rubiales, Juan M.
Sánchez-Salguero, Raúl
Published in Journal of Hydrology. 2015, vol. 529, p. 468-479
Abstract Flash floods represent one of the most common natural hazards in mountain catchments, and are frequent in Mediterranean environments. As a result of the widespread lack of reliable data on past events, the understanding of their spatio-temporal occurrence and their climatic triggers remains rather limited. Here, we present a dendrogeomorphic reconstruction of past flash flood activity in the Arroyo de los Puentes stream (Sierra de Guadarrama, Spanish Central System). We analyze a total of 287 increment cores from 178 disturbed Scots pine trees (Pinus sylvestris L.) which yielded indications on 212 growth disturbances related to past flash flood impact. In combination with local archives, meteorological data, annual forest management records and highly-resolved terrestrial data (i.e., LiDAR data and aerial imagery), the dendrogeomorphic time series allowed dating 25 flash floods over the last three centuries, with a major event leaving an intense geomorphic footprint throughout the catchment in 1936. The analysis of meteorological records suggests that the rainfall thresholds of flash floods vary with the seasonality of events. Dated flash floods in the 20th century were primarily related with synoptic troughs owing to the arrival of air masses from north and west on the Iberian Peninsula during negative indices of the North Atlantic Oscillation. The results of this study contribute considerably to a better understanding of hazards related with hydrogeomorphic processes in central Spain in general and in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park in particular. Previous article in issue
Keywords PaleohydrologyFlash floodTree ringDendrogeomorphologyHydrometeorological triggersSierra de Guadarrama
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Research group Climatic Change and Climate Impacts
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BALLESTEROS CANOVAS, Juan Antonio et al. Unravelling past flash flood activity in a forested mountain catchment of the Spanish Central System. In: Journal of Hydrology, 2015, vol. 529, p. 468-479. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.11.027 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:125086

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Deposited on : 2019-10-28

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