Articles | Volume 7, issue 2
05 Apr 2007
05 Apr 2007

A flood geodatabase and its climatological applications: the case of Catalonia for the last century

M. Barnolas and M. C. Llasat

Abstract. Floods are the natural hazards that produce the highest number of casualties and material damage in the Western Mediterranean. An improvement in flood risk assessment and study of a possible increase in flooding occurrence are therefore needed. To carry out these tasks it is important to have at our disposal extensive knowledge on historical floods and to find an efficient way to manage this geographical data. In this paper we present a complete flood database spanning the 20th century for the whole of Catalonia (NE Spain), which includes documentary information (affected areas and damage) and instrumental information (meteorological and hydrological records). This geodatabase, named Inungama, has been implemented on a GIS (Geographical Information System) in order to display all the information within a given geographical scenario, as well as to carry out an analysis thereof using queries, overlays and calculus. Following a description of the type and amount of information stored in the database and the structure of the information system, the first applications of Inungama are presented. The geographical distribution of floods shows the localities which are more likely to be flooded, confirming that the most affected municipalities are the most densely populated ones in coastal areas. Regarding the existence of an increase in flooding occurrence, a temporal analysis has been carried out, showing a steady increase over the last 30 years.