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Historical hydrology
Convener: Andrea Kiss  | Co-Conveners: Rudolf Brazdil , Günter Blöschl 
 / Fri, 02 May, 15:30–17:00
 / Attendance Fri, 02 May, 13:30–15:00

Historical hydrology is a research field between hydrology and history with the aims to reconstruct temporal and spatial patterns of hydrological regimes, hydrological extreme events such as floods, droughts and ice-related phenomena. Historical hydrology is primarily concentrated on the period before the establishment of systematic, standardized hydrological measurement networks (see Brázdil et al. 2006). While the information preserved in the records of instrumental measurements provide an inside view into the hydrological conditions of the last 100-150 years or shorter, documentary evidence allows to extend this knowledge several centuries to the past. This concerns, for example some disastrous extremes which were not recorded in the instrumental period but they are known from documentary sources. Compared to palaeohydrology, historical hydrology provides high-resolution information (with exact dating) based on data derived mainly from documentary evidence; the period studied does not exceed mostly the last millennium.

Investigations are also focused on the long-term (covering several centuries) understanding of variability, changes and shifts in the hydrological regime, and the detection of their causes (environmental, atmospheric/climatic and society-related), especially in relation with climate variability and changes in historical times. Since this research requires the development of regional chronologies based on good-quality historical sources, besides natural and applied scientists, the active presence and work of historians is of vital importance. The results of historical hydrology investigations may be utilised in a number of areas such as risk assessment, flood control, hydrological forecasting/predictions, socio-hydrology or in the understanding of the main drivers of hydro-morphological processes.

This truly multi- and interdisciplinary session on historical hydrology welcomes various papers oriented on study of floods, droughts and ice phenomena and related issues particularly oriented on
- theoretical and methodological studies/investigations, contributing to historical hydrology
- various sources applied in historical hydrology (including historical-methodological applications of new source types)
- creation of flood chronologies combining documentary and instrumental data
- case studies oriented on selected aspects (phenomena) of historical hydrology from inside and outside of Europe, from local to regional scale
- investigations, case studies on hydrological extreme events and their causes (atmospheric, human impact) in historical times
- quantification of past peak discharges based on documentary evidence and other sources
- impacts of past disastrous flood events to human society and nature
- changes in hydro-morphological regimes in the past
- perception and social representation of floods in the past.