EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Assessment of the impact of expected changes in the frequency of weather patterns on extreme flows in the Upper Danube basin

Peter Valent1, Jürgen Komma1, Korbinian Breinl2, Miriam Bertola1, Klaus Haslinger3, Annemarie Lexer3, Selina Thanheiser4, Markus Homann4, and Günter Blöschl1
Peter Valent et al.
  • 1Institute of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering, Vienna University of Technology, Karlsplatz 13/222, A-1040 Wien, Austria
  • 2Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Regionen und Wasserwirtschaft, Stubenring 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
  • 3Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Hohe Warte 38, 1190 Wien, Austria
  • 4Institut für Geographie, Universität Augsburg, Universitätsstr. 2, 86159 Augsburg, Germany

Several major flood events of recent years have encouraged research focused on a better understanding of climatological and hydrological causes of floods. In practice, these findings can be used in flood risk management, and in the light of ongoing climate change, also in preparing effective adaptation strategies. This study builds on the results of the Wetrax+ research project which combined a stochastic weather generator and a high-resolution fully-distributed rainfall-runoff model to produce a unique dataset of 10 000 years of hourly simulations of air temperatures, precipitations and river discharges in the Upper Danube River basin. As the generated dataset accounted for the expected changes in the frequencies and persistence of the identified weather patterns, it was used to assess the possible changes in the very extreme flows in the study basin. The length of the dataset maintained that numerous flood events that were larger than the most extreme observed floods occurred in the dataset and were available for analysis. The results indicated that on average the floods should occur sooner in the year in most of the Upper Danube sub-basins. Moreover, the frequency of floods associated with weather patterns related to heavy precipitation also increased. Despite the predictions about the future, changes in weather pattern frequencies cannot be taken for granted the results of the study can be useful in identifying the sources and causes of the most extreme floods helping those responsible to focus their mitigation efforts on certain sub-basins.

How to cite: Valent, P., Komma, J., Breinl, K., Bertola, M., Haslinger, K., Lexer, A., Thanheiser, S., Homann, M., and Blöschl, G.: Assessment of the impact of expected changes in the frequency of weather patterns on extreme flows in the Upper Danube basin, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13990,, 2023.