EGU24-7811, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

On the drought-flood conundrum: do droughts cause more or less flooding? Let’s discuss the science

Anne Van Loon1 and the PerfectSTORM team*
Anne Van Loon and the PerfectSTORM team
  • 1Vrije Universiteit, Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), Water & Climate Risk Department, Amsterdam, Netherlands (
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

There seem to be two contrasting views on flooding after drought. Subsurface hydrologists pose that with dry antecedent conditions there is more storage available, which leads to lower flood peaks. Surface hydrologists pose that dry, hydrophobic soils support less infiltration and more surface runoff, which leads to higher flood peaks. But which theory is true? Or can both be true? And what happens if you put people and their actions in the mix? In this presentation is discuss the scientific and empirical evidence related to drought-flood events. I draw on scientific literature, global data analysis, a review of reports and news articles, qualitative case studies, and science communication examples. I will mostly focus on hydrological processes, but also highlight some meteorological and anthropogenic aspects.

PerfectSTORM team:

Alessia Matanó, Marlies Barendrecht, Ruben Weesie, Heidi Mendoza, Maurizio Mazzoleni, Philip Ward, Marleen De Ruiter, Wouter Berghuijs, Manuela Brunner, Giuliano Di Baldassarre, Margaret Garcia, Jeroen Aerts, Johanna Koehler, Melanie Rohse, Rosie Day, Moses Mwangi, Juan Bazo, Jahir Anicama

How to cite: Van Loon, A. and the PerfectSTORM team: On the drought-flood conundrum: do droughts cause more or less flooding? Let’s discuss the science, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7811,, 2024.

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