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

Historical flood classification system. Study cases obtained from the AMARNA database (CE 1035-2022)

Jordi Tuset1, Mariano Barriendos2, Josep Barriendos3, Josep Carles Balasch, Xavier Castelltort, Salvador Gil-Guirado, Jordi Mazón, Alfredo Pérez-Morales, and David Pino
Jordi Tuset et al.
  • 1Fluvial Dynamics Research Group (RIUS), University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain (
  • 2IDAEA-CSIC, Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research, Spanish Research Council, Barcelona, Spain (
  • 3Department of Regional Geographical Analysis and Physical Geography, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain (

Extreme precipitation events are characteristic of regions with a Mediterranean climate. In the framework of the current climate change, precipitation behaviours are different from those that occurred during the 20th century (instrumental period). The possibility that climate change may induce alterations in the patterns of this type of phenomena makes it desirable to prepare and analyse episode chronologies broader than those of the instrumental period. The availability of more extraordinary episodes is relativized by their qualitative information. Pre-instrumental sources of information hardly provide numerical data comparable to the flow records of river floods of modern period.

The analysis of high-severity and low-frequency episodes requires the development of specific methodologies for cataloguing and classifying the qualitative information. This work aims to show a proposal for a classification system for flood events on a historical scale. The key aspect of this methodology is the capacity to collect qualitative information on different variables of these events and convert them into numerical indices. The proposal consists of considering a total of three different variables on scales from 0 to 3:

            - First, the hydrological behaviour of the event (pluvial floods, fluvial floods or river overflows).

- Second, the impact on infrastructures, from minor damages to the destruction of built elements.

- Third, human vulnerability, from effects on mobility and transport to loss of human lives.

This methodology has been applied to the floods catalogued in the AMARNA flood database (from original language, Multidisciplinary Database for Natural Risk Analysis). This database was created after two Spanish research projects, PREDIFLOOD and MEDIFLOOD (2013-2019) to preserve flood information from Spanish Mediterranean basins.

Along with the development of this methodology, we present some examples of the application of this classification system with flood episodes from the AMARNA database. These examples are a selection of historical and instrumental period flood episodes that are cartographically represented using GIS tools. 

How to cite: Tuset, J., Barriendos, M., Barriendos, J., Balasch, J. C., Castelltort, X., Gil-Guirado, S., Mazón, J., Pérez-Morales, A., and Pino, D.: Historical flood classification system. Study cases obtained from the AMARNA database (CE 1035-2022), EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-4444,, 2023.