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Water 2016, 8(9), 376; doi:10.3390/w8090376

Precipitation Thresholds for Triggering Floods in the Corgo Basin, Portugal

Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, Universidade de Lisboa, Edifício IGOT, Rua Branca Edmée Marques, 1600-276 Lisboa, Portugal
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Academic Editor: Ataur Rahman
Received: 9 June 2016 / Revised: 22 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
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Abstract

Thresholds based on critical combinations of amount/duration of precipitation and flood events were estimated for the Corgo hydrographic basin, in northern Portugal. Thirty-one flood events in the Corgo basin were identified between 1865 and 2011 from a database of hydrometeorological disasters in Portugal. The minimum, maximum, and pre-warning thresholds that define the boundaries for flood occurrence were determined. The results show that the ratio between the total number of floods and precipitation events exceeding the minimum threshold denotes a relatively low probability of successful forecasting. This result may be due to the reduced number of flooding events in the floods database, which only include floods that caused damage as reported by the media. The estimated maximum threshold is not adequate for use in floods, since the majority of true positives are below this limit. However, and more interestingly, the retrospective verification of the estimated thresholds suggests that the minimum and pre-warning thresholds are well adjusted. Therefore, the application of these precipitation thresholds may contribute to minimize possible situations of pre-crisis or immediate crisis by reducing the flood consequences and the resources involved in emergency response to flood events. View Full-Text
Keywords: precipitation; thresholds; floods; database precipitation; thresholds; floods; database
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Santos, M.; Fragoso, M. Precipitation Thresholds for Triggering Floods in the Corgo Basin, Portugal. Water 2016, 8, 376.

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