Historic flood marks and flood frequency analysis of the Danube River at Bratislava, Slovakia

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Abstract

In this paper we focused on the history of floods and extreme flood frequency analysis of the upper Danube River at Bratislava. Firstly, we briefly describe the flood marks found on the Danube River in the region of Bratislava, Slovakia, and provide an account of the floods’ consequences. Secondly, we analyzed the annual maximum discharge series for the period 1876-2012, including the most recent flood of June 2013. Thirdly, we compare the values of T-year design discharge computed with and without incorporating the historic floods (floods of the years 1501, 1682, and 1787 into the 138-year series of annual discharge peaks). There are unfortunately only a few historic flood marks preserved in Bratislava, but there are very important and old marks in neighbouring Hainburg and other Austrian cities upstream to Passau. The calculated T-year maximum discharge of the Danube at Bratislava for the period 1876-2010 without and with historic flood values have been compared. Our analysis showed that without incorporating the historic floods from the years 1501, 1682, and 1787 the 1000-year discharge calculated only with data from the instrumented period 1876- 2013 is 14,188 m3 s-1, and it is lower compared to the 1000-year discharge of 14,803 m3 s-1 when the three historic floods are included. In general, the T-year discharge is higher throughout the whole spectrum of T-year discharges (10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500-year discharge) when the three historic floods are included. Incorporating historic floods into a time series of maximum annual discharge seems to exert a significant effect on the estimates of low probability floods. This has important implications for flood managements and estimation of flood design discharge.

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Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics

The Journal of Institute of Hydrology SAS Bratislava and Institute of Hydrodynamics CAS Prague

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