Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-243
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-243
 
06 Oct 2022
06 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

How to mitigate flood events similar to the 1979 catastrophic floods in lower Tagus

Diego Fernández-Nóvoa1,2, Alexandre M. Ramos2, José González-Cao1, Orlando García-Feal1, Cristina Catita2, Moncho Gómez-Gesteira1, and Ricardo M. Trigo2,3 Diego Fernández-Nóvoa et al.
  • 1Centro de Investigación Mariña (CIM), Universidade de Vigo, Environmental Physics Laboratory (EPhysLab), Campus da Auga, 32004 Ourense, Spain
  • 2Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL), Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal
  • 3Departamento de Meteorologia, Universidade Federal Do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Abstract. The floods that struck lower Tagus valley in February 1979 correspond to the most intense floods in this river and affected the largest number of people in a river flow event in Portugal, during the last 150 years. In fact, the vast area affected impacted significantly circa 10k people in the lower Tagus sector (and an additional 7k in other regions of Portugal), including thousands of people evacuated or made homeless. In this context, the present study focuses on an in depth analysis of this event from a hydrodynamic perspective by means of Iber+ numerical model and on developing strategies to mitigate the flood episodes that occur in the lower section of the Tagus river using the outstating floods of February 1979 as benchmark. In this sense, several large dams and reservoirs are located along the Tagus river basin, and for that, dam operating strategies were developed and analyzed to take advantage of these infrastructures to minimize the effect of floods. Overall, the numerical results indicate a good agreement with water marks and some descriptions of the 1979 flood event, which demonstrates the model capability to evaluate floods in the area under study. Regarding flood mitigation, obtained results indicate that the frequency of floods can be reduced with the proposed strategies. In addition, hydraulic simulations corroborated an important decrease in water depth and velocity for the most extreme flood events, and also a certain reduction of flood extension was detected. This confirms the effectiveness of the proposed strategies to help in reducing flood impact in lower Tagus valley through the efficient functioning of dams.

Diego Fernández-Nóvoa et al.

Status: open (until 27 Dec 2022)

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Diego Fernández-Nóvoa et al.

Diego Fernández-Nóvoa et al.

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Short summary
The present study focuses on an in depth analysis of floods in the lower section of the Tagus river from a hydrodynamic perspective by means of Iber+ numerical model and on the development of dam operating strategies to mitigate the flood episodes using the outstating floods of February 1979 as benchmark. Obtained results corroborate the model capability to evaluate floods in the study area and confirm the effectiveness of the proposed strategies to reduce flood impact in lower Tagus valley.
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