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Article

How Can We Identify Active, Former, and Potential Floodplains? Methods and Lessons Learned from the Danube River

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Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and River Research, Department of Water-Atmosphere-Environment, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Muthgasse 107, 1190 Vienna, Austria
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Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management, School of Engineering and Design, Technical University of Munich, Arcisstrasse 21, 80333 Munich, Germany
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Christian Doppler Laboratory for Meta Ecosystem Dynamics in Riverine Landscapes, Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, Department of Water-Atmosphere-Environment, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna, Austria
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Floodplain Institute Neuburg, Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Schloss Grünau, 86633 Neuburg an der Donau, Germany
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Department of Geoinformatics, Physical and Environmental Geography, University of Szeged, Egyetem Str. 2-6, 6722 Szeged, Hungary
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Centre for Agricultural Research, Institute for Soil Sciences, Department of Soil Mapping and Environmental Informatics, H-1022, Hermann Otto 15., 1052 Budapest, Hungary
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Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe, Jeseniova 17, 833 15 Bratislava, Slovakia
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Nature Conservation Department, WWF Hungary, Álmos vezér útja 69/a, 1141 Budapest, Hungary
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National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management, Water Management Department, Sos. Bucuresti-Ploiesti 97E, Sector 1, 013686 Bucuresti, Romania
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National Administration “Romanian Waters”, Emergency Situations Department, Str. Edgar Quinet nr. 6, Sector 1, C.P. 010018 Bucureşti, Romania
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chang Huang
Water 2022, 14(15), 2295; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152295
Received: 19 June 2022 / Revised: 10 July 2022 / Accepted: 14 July 2022 / Published: 24 July 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Large Rivers in a Changing Environment)
Floodplains are a fundamental source of multiple functions and services. Despite their various benefits, a dramatic reduction in floodplain areas has occurred in most large river systems over the last few centuries, and is still ongoing. Human modifications (such as river regulation, dam construction, and land use changes) due to economic growth, increasing population size, etc., were and still are drivers of major floodplain losses. Therefore, studies offering solutions for floodplain preservation and restoration are of great importance for sustainable floodplain management. This paper presents methods to identify active, former, and potential floodplains, and their application to the Danube River. We used hydraulic data, historical sources, and recent geospatial data to delineate the three floodplain types. Fifty hydraulically active floodplains larger than 500 ha were identified. According to our results, the extent of Danube floodplains has been reduced by around 79%. With the support of different representatives from the Danube countries, we identified 24 potential floodplains. However, the share of active and potential floodplains in relation to former floodplains ranges between 5% and 49%, demonstrating the huge potential for additional restoration sites. This analysis contributes to an understanding of the current and the past floodplain situation, increases awareness of the dramatic floodplain loss along the Danube, and serves as a basis for future floodplain management. View Full-Text
Keywords: floodplain management; historical floodplains; preservation; restoration potential; flood risk management; hydrodynamic modeling floodplain management; historical floodplains; preservation; restoration potential; flood risk management; hydrodynamic modeling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Eder, M.; Perosa, F.; Hohensinner, S.; Tritthart, M.; Scheuer, S.; Gelhaus, M.; Cyffka, B.; Kiss, T.; Van Leeuwen, B.; Tobak, Z.; Sipos, G.; Csikós, N.; Smetanová, A.; Bokal, S.; Samu, A.; Gruber, T.; Gălie, A.-C.; Moldoveanu, M.; Mazilu, P.; Habersack, H. How Can We Identify Active, Former, and Potential Floodplains? Methods and Lessons Learned from the Danube River. Water 2022, 14, 2295. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152295

AMA Style

Eder M, Perosa F, Hohensinner S, Tritthart M, Scheuer S, Gelhaus M, Cyffka B, Kiss T, Van Leeuwen B, Tobak Z, Sipos G, Csikós N, Smetanová A, Bokal S, Samu A, Gruber T, Gălie A-C, Moldoveanu M, Mazilu P, Habersack H. How Can We Identify Active, Former, and Potential Floodplains? Methods and Lessons Learned from the Danube River. Water. 2022; 14(15):2295. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152295

Chicago/Turabian Style

Eder, Markus, Francesca Perosa, Severin Hohensinner, Michael Tritthart, Sabrina Scheuer, Marion Gelhaus, Bernd Cyffka, Tímea Kiss, Boudewijn Van Leeuwen, Zalán Tobak, György Sipos, Nándor Csikós, Anna Smetanová, Sabina Bokal, Andrea Samu, Tamas Gruber, Andreea-Cristina Gălie, Marinela Moldoveanu, Petrişor Mazilu, and Helmut Habersack. 2022. "How Can We Identify Active, Former, and Potential Floodplains? Methods and Lessons Learned from the Danube River" Water 14, no. 15: 2295. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152295

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