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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 11 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 3287-3306, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 12 Nov 2012

Research article | 12 Nov 2012

A comparative analysis of the effectiveness of flood management measures based on the concept of "retaining water in the landscape" in different European hydro-climatic regions

S. Salazar1, F. Francés1, J. Komma2, T. Blume3, T. Francke4, A. Bronstert4, and G. Blöschl2 S. Salazar et al.
  • 1Research Institute of Water Engineering and Environment, Technical University of Valencia, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
  • 2Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Vienna University of Technology, Karlsplatz 13/222, 1040 Vienna, Austria
  • 3GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 5.4 Hydrology, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 4Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Chair for Hydrology and Climatology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24–25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany

Abstract. In this paper, we analyse the effectiveness of flood management measures based on the concept known as "retaining water in the landscape". The investigated measures include afforestation, micro-ponds and small-reservoirs. A comparative and model-based methodological approach has been developed and applied for three meso-scale catchments located in different European hydro-climatological regions: Poyo (184 km2) in the Spanish Mediterranean, Upper Iller (954 km2) in the German Alps and Kamp (621 km2) in Northeast-Austria representing the Continental hydro-climate. This comparative analysis has found general similarities in spite of the particular differences among studied areas. In general terms, the flood reduction through the concept of "retaining water in the landscape" depends on the following factors: the storage capacity increase in the catchment resulting from such measures, the characteristics of the rainfall event, the antecedent soil moisture condition and the spatial distribution of such flood management measures in the catchment. In general, our study has shown that, this concept is effective for small and medium events, but almost negligible for the largest and less frequent floods: this holds true for all different hydro-climatic regions, and with different land-use, soils and morphological settings.

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