Articles | Volume 13, issue 12
Research article
06 Dec 2013
Research article |  | 06 Dec 2013

Assessment of flash floods taking into account climate change scenarios in the Llobregat River basin

M. Velasco, P. A. Versini, A. Cabello, and A. Barrera-Escoda

Abstract. Global change may imply important changes in the future occurrence and intensity of extreme events. Climate scenarios characterizing these plausible changes were previously obtained for the Llobregat River basin (NE Spain). This paper presents the implementation of these scenarios in the HBV (Hydrologiska Byråns Vattenbalansavdelning) hydrological model. Then, the expected changes in terms of flash flood occurrence and intensity are assessed for two different sub-basins: the Alt Llobregat and the Anoia (Llobregat River basin).

The assessment of future flash floods has been done in terms of the intensity and occurrence of extreme events, using a peak over threshold (POT) analysis. For these two sub-basins, most of the simulated scenarios present an increase of the intensity of the peak discharge values. On the other hand, the future occurrence follows different trends in the two sub-basins: an increase is observed in Alt Llobregat but a decrease occurs in Anoia. Despite the uncertainties that appear in the whole process, the results obtained can shed some light on how future flash floods events may occur.