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Floods, droughts and other hydrometeorological extremes in historical times
Convener: Andrea Kiss  | Co-Conveners: Rudolf Brazdil , Günter Blöschl 
 / Fri, 22 Apr, 08:30–10:00
 / Attendance Fri, 22 Apr, 17:30–19:00

The present "Floods, droughts and other hydro-meteorological extremes in historical times" session is primarily concentrated on the period before the establishment of systematic, standardized hydrological measurement networks. While the information preserved in the records of instrumental measurements provide an inside view into the history of hydrological extremes of the last 100-150 years or shorter, documentary evidence and the results of natural scientific investigations allow to extend this knowledge several centuries (or millennia) into the past. This concerns, for example those disastrous extremes which were not recorded in the instrumental period but are known from documentary sources or the results of natural scientific investigations (e.g. tree-rig related analyses or sedimentary archives). As part of the field of historical hydrology, compared to palaeo-hydrological investigations of extremes, the papers presented in this session are aimed to provide high-resolution information (with exact dating) based on data derived from documentary evidence or from natural scientific archives, covering a period that does not exceed one-two millennia.

On the one hand, investigations focused on the long-term understanding of variability, changes and shifts in the hydrological regime as well as in the frequency/magnitude of hydrological, hydro-meteorological extremes and hazards are welcome. On the other hand, investigations concentrating on one or more great extreme events are also invited in the session. Papers discussing the detection of causes of hydrological, hydro-meteorological extremes and hazards (environmental, atmospheric/climatic and society-related) in historical times are also addressed and supported to participate in the session.

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 and the study of hydro-meteorological extremes in historical times 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 welcomes papers - from inside and outside of Europe, from local to regional scale - oriented on the study of any hydrological and hydro-meteorological extremes and their short-or long-term changes. Ideally (but not exclusively), papers may be concentrated on, for example, case studies on single great/catastrophic events and their causes (atmospheric, human impact) in historical times, their impacts on the environment and society; any theoretical and methodological studies/investigations (including the application possibilities of new source types) related to hydrological, hydro-meteorological extremes (and related issues); medium-, long-term investigations on e.g. the frequency and/or magnitude of floods, droughts etc. Moreover, papers investigating the changes in hydrological and -morphological regimes in historical periods, and - last but not least a very important topic: - the perception and social representation of floods, droughts and other hydro-meteorological hazards and extremes in the past are also warmly invited.