Articles | Volume 22, issue 9
Research article
 | Highlight paper
08 Sep 2022
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 08 Sep 2022

Reliability of flood marks and practical relevance for flood hazard assessment in southwestern Germany

Annette Sophie Bösmeier, Iso Himmelsbach, and Stefan Seeger

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Cited articles

Benito, G., Diez-Herrero, A., and Villata, M. F. de: Magnitude and frequency of flooding in the Tagus basin (Central Spain) over the last millenium, Climatic Change, 58, 171–192,, 2003. 
Benito, G., Brázdil, R., Herget, J., and Machado, M. J.: Quantitative historical hydrology in Europe, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 3517–3539,, 2015. 
Benito, G., Castillo, O., Ballesteros-Cánovas, J. A., Machado, M., and Barriendos, M.: Enhanced flood hazard assessment beyond decadal climate cycles based on centennial historical data (Duero basin, Spain), Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 6107–6132,, 2021. 
Bivand, R., Keitt, T., and Rowlingson, B.: rgdal: Bindings for the `Geospatial' Data Abstraction Library [code], (last access: 28 January 2022), 2019. 
Executive editor
The paper addresses historical flood marks as a information source, coming to the conclusion that it is worthwhile to maintain them, and include them in scientific evaluations. The authors find, for example, plausible and historically sound reasons in changed local hydraulic conditions by flood protection walls, and effects of exceptional processes during a massive ice jam.
Short summary
Encouraging a systematic use of flood marks for more comprehensive flood risk management, we collected a large number of marks along the Kinzig, southwestern Germany, and tested them for plausibility and temporal continuance. Despite uncertainty, the marks appeared to be an overall consistent and practical source that may also increase flood risk awareness. A wide agreement between the current flood hazard maps and the collected flood marks moreover indicated a robust local hazard assessment.
Final-revised paper