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by Marchi, L., Cavalli, M., Amponsah, W., Borga, M. and Crema, S.
Abstract:
Flash floods are characterized by strong spatial gradients of rainfall inputs that hit different parts of a river basin with different intensity. Stream power values associated with flash floods therefore show spatial variations that depend on geological controls on channel geometry and sediment characteristics, as well as on the variations of flood intensity: this stresses the need for a field approach that takes into account the variability of the controlling factors. Post-flood assessment of peak discharge after major floods makes it possible to analyse stream power in fluvial systems affected by flash floods. This study analyses the stream power of seven intense (return period of rainfall > 100 years at least in some sectors of the river basin) flash floods that occurred in mountainous basins of central and southern Europe from 2007 to 2014. In most of the analysed cross sections, high values of unit stream power were observed; this is consistent with the high severity of the studied floods. The highest values of cross-sectional stream power and unit stream power usually occur in Mediterranean regions. This is mainly ascribed to the larger peak discharges that characterize flash floods in these regions. The variability of unit stream power with catchment area is clearly nonlinear and has been represented by log-quadratic relations. The values of catchment area at which maximum values of unit stream power occur show relevant differences among the studied floods and are linked to the spatial scale of the events. Values of stream power are generally consistent with observed geomorphic changes in the studied cross sections: bedrock channels show the highest values of unit stream power but no visible erosion, whereas major erosion has been observed in alluvial channels. Exceptions to this general pattern, which mostly occur in semi-alluvial cross sections, urge the recognition of local or event-specific conditions that increase the resistance of channel bed and banks to erosion or, like short flow duration, reduce the geomorphic effectiveness of the flood.
Reference:
Marchi, L., Cavalli, M., Amponsah, W., Borga, M. and Crema, S., 2016: Upper limits of flash flood stream power in EuropeGeomorphology, 272, 68-77.
Bibtex Entry:
@Article{Marchi2016,
  Title                    = {Upper limits of flash flood stream power in Europe},
  Author                   = {Marchi, L. and Cavalli, M. and Amponsah, W. and Borga, M. and Crema, S.},
  Journal                  = {Geomorphology},
  Year                     = {2016},

  Month                    = {November},
  Pages                    = {68-77},
  Volume                   = {272},

  Abstract                 = {Flash floods are characterized by strong spatial gradients of rainfall inputs that hit different parts of a river basin with different intensity. Stream power values associated with flash floods therefore show spatial variations that depend on geological controls on channel geometry and sediment characteristics, as well as on the variations of flood intensity: this stresses the need for a field approach that takes into account the variability of the controlling factors. Post-flood assessment of peak discharge after major floods makes it possible to analyse stream power in fluvial systems affected by flash floods. This study analyses the stream power of seven intense (return period of rainfall > 100 years at least in some sectors of the river basin) flash floods that occurred in mountainous basins of central and southern Europe from 2007 to 2014. In most of the analysed cross sections, high values of unit stream power were observed; this is consistent with the high severity of the studied floods. The highest values of cross-sectional stream power and unit stream power usually occur in Mediterranean regions. This is mainly ascribed to the larger peak discharges that characterize flash floods in these regions. The variability of unit stream power with catchment area is clearly nonlinear and has been represented by log-quadratic relations. The values of catchment area at which maximum values of unit stream power occur show relevant differences among the studied floods and are linked to the spatial scale of the events. Values of stream power are generally consistent with observed geomorphic changes in the studied cross sections: bedrock channels show the highest values of unit stream power but no visible erosion, whereas major erosion has been observed in alluvial channels. Exceptions to this general pattern, which mostly occur in semi-alluvial cross sections, urge the recognition of local or event-specific conditions that increase the resistance of channel bed and banks to erosion or, like short flow duration, reduce the geomorphic effectiveness of the flood.},
  Copublication            = {5: 5 It},
  Doi                      = {10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.11.005},
  ISSN                     = {0169-555X},
  Keywords                 = {River; Flash flood; Peak discharge; Channel slope; Stream power; Geomorphic changes;},
  Owner                    = {hymexw},
  Timestamp                = {2017.01.13},
  Url                      = {http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169555X15302026}
}