Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2023-196
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2023-196
19 Dec 2023
 | 19 Dec 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Are heavy rainfall events a major trigger of associated natural hazards along the German rail network?

Sonja Szymczak, Frederick Bott, Vigile Marie Fabella, and Katharina Fricke

Abstract. Heavy rainfall events and associated natural hazards pose a major threat to rail transport and infrastructure. In this study, the correlation between heavy rainfall events and three associated natural hazards were investigated using GIS analyses and random-effects logistic models. The spatio-temporal linkage of a damage database of DB Netz AG and the CatRaRE-catalogue of the German Weather Service revealed that almost every part of the German rail network was affected by at least one heavy rainfall event between 2011–2021. Twenty-three percent of the flood events, 14 % of the gravitational mass movements and 2 % of the tree fall events occurred after a heavy rainfall event. The random effects logistic regression models showed that a heavy rainfall event significantly increases the probability of occurrence of a flood (tree fall) by a factor of 34.29 (39.85), respectively, with no significant increase for gravitational mass movements. The heavy rainfall index and the 21-days antecedent precipitation index were determined as characteristics of the heavy rainfall events with the strongest impact on all three natural hazards. The results underline the importance of gaining more precise knowledge about the impact of climate triggers on natural hazard-related disturbances, to make rail transport more resilient.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Sonja Szymczak, Frederick Bott, Vigile Marie Fabella, and Katharina Fricke

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2023-196', Anonymous Referee #1, 05 Jan 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Sonja Szymczak, 09 Apr 2024
  • CC1: 'Comment on nhess-2023-196', John K. Hillier, 09 Jan 2024
    • AC4: 'Reply on CC1', Sonja Szymczak, 09 Apr 2024
  • CC2: 'Comment on nhess-2023-196', Katharina Lengfeld, 12 Jan 2024
    • AC5: 'Reply on CC2', Sonja Szymczak, 09 Apr 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2023-196', Ugur Ozturk, 22 Feb 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Sonja Szymczak, 09 Apr 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on nhess-2023-196', Anonymous Referee #3, 28 Feb 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Sonja Szymczak, 09 Apr 2024
Sonja Szymczak, Frederick Bott, Vigile Marie Fabella, and Katharina Fricke
Sonja Szymczak, Frederick Bott, Vigile Marie Fabella, and Katharina Fricke

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Short summary
We investigate the correlation between heavy rainfall events and three associated natural hazards along the German rail network using GIS analyses and random-effects logistic models. The results show that 23 % of flood, 14 % of gravitational mass movements and 2 % of tree fall events between 2017–2020 occurred after a heavy rainfall event and the probability of occurrence of flood and tree fall events is significantly increased. The study contributes to more resilient rail transport.
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