Climatic and social factors behind the Spanish Mediterranean flood event chronologies from documentary sources (14th–20th centuries)

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Title: Climatic and social factors behind the Spanish Mediterranean flood event chronologies from documentary sources (14th–20th centuries)
Authors: Barriendos, Mariano | Gil-Guirado, Salvador | Pino, David | Tuset, Jordi | Pérez Morales, Alfredo | Alberola-Romá, Armando | Costa, Joan | Balasch, Josep Carles | Castelltort, Xavier | Mazón, Jordi | Ruiz-Bellet, Josep Lluis
Research Group/s: Grupo de Investigación en Historia y Clima | Clima y Ordenación del Territorio
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Historia Medieval, Historia Moderna y Ciencias y Técnicas Historiográficas | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Interuniversitario de Geografía
Keywords: Climatic variability | Documentary sources | Floods | Little ice age | Vulnerability | Western Mediterranean Basin
Knowledge Area: Historia Moderna | Geografía Humana
Issue Date: Nov-2019
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Global and Planetary Change. 2019, 182: 102997. doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.102997
Abstract: The Spanish Mediterranean river basin provides a good background for studying floods from documentary and bibliographical sources within the specialty of historical climatology. This study region's long history of human occupation and climatic conditions together determine a high risk of flooding. As a result, there exists an enormous amount of documentary heritage containing flood information. However, the heterogeneity of documentary sources and different approaches to classifying floods through historical documents can generate some biases and uncertainties about the quantity and quality of the available data. For this reason, this paper proposes a methodology for reconstructing historical floods based on cross-referencing documentary sources. This approach, together with additional archival work, has allowed us to increase the number of flood series for the Spanish Mediterranean coast by 17% and has generated a surprising increase of 233% in the number of flood cases detected. The data obtained have allowed us to analyze the variability of floods and their relationship with climatic and social factors from the fourteenth century to the present. Different climatic oscillations related to the Little Ice Age are detected between the 14th and 19th centuries. Additionally, we detected a strong influence of the defense infrastructures and urban growth, which explain the recent flood trends. However, the difficulty in analyzing the influence of social factors on long-term flood behavior invites us to reflect on the need for further work for emphasizing these issues.
Sponsor: This work has been partially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Innovation (CGL2016-75996-R). SG-G acknowledges the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities through “Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación” grant (IJCI-2016-29016). AA acknowledges the support of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Innovation (HAR2017-82810-P). MB acknowledges the support of the Research Group of Generalitat de Catalunya “Paleogeoecologia, Riscs Naturals i Gestió Ambiental (PaleoRisk)” (2017SGR1106).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/95232
ISSN: 0921-8181 (Print) | 1872-6364 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.102997
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.102997
Appears in Collections:INV - CyOT - Artículos de Revistas
INV - HYC - Artículos de Revistas

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