Mountain hydrology presents specific scientific challenges because of a general lack of hydrological process understanding, inaccessibility, and scarcity of ground-based observations. In particular, mountain catchments are often small in size, with high topographic gradients, with relevant gradients in precipitation intensity with altitude, and with an impervious surface cover which promotes fast runoff response. In addition, snow and ice accumulation and melt play very important roles in the runoff regime. Thus, temperature plays a crucial role and makes the mountains areas more sensitive to climate change.
As a result, mountain catchments are often the place of occurrence of flash floods, landslides, debris flows, and the source of natural hazards for downstream communities. Nevertheless, industrial stakes can also be present in mountains areas; hydroelectric power production, for instance, is often concentrated in the upstream part of the catchments.
This session will focus on hydrological processes and extreme events in mountain catchments. By hydrological extremes we intend variables (or processes) characterized by a low, but not negligible, probability of occurrence, such as intense precipitation, snow cover, runoff production, flood events .
We solicit the submission of papers on:
a)Process understanding of the occurrence of extreme events in mountain areas;
b)Advanced statistical analyses of precipitation and flood data for sites located in high elevation environments, regionalisation methods covering mountain areas, etc.;
c)The effects of orography on precipitation;
d)The effects of catchments morphology and surface cover on flood production;
e)The impacts of snow accumulation and snowmelt on hydrological processes and extreme events .
Specifically of interest are also papers combining process understanding with statistical analyses and/or modelling to advance our knowledge of where, why and how hydrological extremes in mountains occur and how a reduction in the uncertainty in data, processes and models may contribute to our predictive skill of these events.