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Forensic analysis of flash flood response

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The last decade has witnessed the development of methodologies for the post‐flood documentation of both hydrogeomorphological and social response to extreme precipitation. These investigations are particularly interesting for the case of flash floods, whose space–time scales make their observations by conventional hydrometeorological monitoring networks particularly challenging. Effective flash flood documentation requires post‐flood survey strategies encompassing accurate radar estimation of rainfall, field and remote‐sensing observations of the geomorphic processes, indirect reconstruction of peak discharges—as well eyewitness interviews. These latter can give valuable information on both flood dynamics and the related individual and collective responses. This study describes methods for post‐flood surveys based on interdisciplinary collaborations between natural and social scientists. These surveys may help to better understand the links between hydrometeorological dynamics and geomorphic processes as well as the relationship between flood dynamics and behavioral response in the context of fast space–time changes of flooding conditions. This article is categorized under: Science of Water > Methods Science of Water > Hydrological Processes
Lag time versus watershed area for major flash floods in Europe. (Reprinted with permission from Creutin et al. (). Copyright 2013 Elsevier)
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Analysis of geomorphic effects of large floods: The comparison of pre‐ (a) and post‐ (b) aerial flood photographs to determine the magnitude of channel widening. Images courtesy of Vittoria Scorpio
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Comparison of indirect estimates of peak floods (and related uncertainties) with modeled flood hydrographs for the flash flood event of 2014 over the Lierza catchment
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Flowchart for integrated use of indirect flood peak estimates and flood modeling: Indirect estimate of peak discharge, uncertainty assessment and comparison with model‐based peak flows. (Reprinted with permission from Amponsah et al. (). Copyright 2016 American Meteorological Society)
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(a) Example of high‐water marks. Vegetation eroded from the rocky bank shows the highest level reached by floodwater (red line). (b) Surveying the stream bed using a total station theodolite
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Science of Water > Hydrological Processes

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