Classification of the flood severity of the Guadalquivir River in the Southwest of the Iberian Peninsula during the 13th to 19th centuries

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Leoncio García-Barrón
Mónica Aguilar-Alba
Julia Morales
Arturo Sousa


This study estimates the flood severity between the 13th and 19th centuries on the southwestern Iberian Peninsula based on the historic records of impacts of the Guadalquivir River flooding on the city of Seville (Spain). The main documentary source was Historia crítica de las riadas o grandes avenidas del Guadalquivir en Sevilla (Critical history of the floods of the Guadalquivir in Seville) (1878), which compiles news from different observers that were contemporaries of each flood. Regarding the methodology, it was necessary to transfer the information from different documentary sources to ordinal indices, which required developing allocation criteria per flood impact. From the annual severity index assigned to the different floods, an interannual series was generated. Through interannual weighing of the flooding indices, it was possible to deduce the durations and intensities of sequences of flood periods between 1250 and 1850. Of the 10 floods classified as most destructive during the five centuries analyzed (i.e., from 1280 to 1880), five occurred during little more than a century (1598-1701). The obtained results contribute to knowledge on regional rainfall, as well as to historical climatology and hydrology, over multiple centuries.


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Author Biography

Leoncio García-Barrón, Universidad de Sevilla

Universidad de Sevilla: Seville, Andalucía, ES Profesor Contratado Doctor (Biología Vegetal y Ecología)

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