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  • Author: Károly Fiala x
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The Tisza River is the largest tributary of the Danube in Central Europe, and has been subjected to various human interventions including cutoffs to increase the slope, construction of levees to restrict the floodplain, and construction of groynes and revetments to stabilize the channel. These interventions have altered the natural morphological evolution of the river. The aim of the study is to assess the impacts of these engineering works, employing hydrological surveys of 36 cross sections (VO) of the Lower Tisza River for the years of 1891, 1931, 1961, 1976 and 1999. The changes in mean depth and thalweg depth were studied in detail comparing three reaches of the studied section. In general, the thalweg incised during the studied period (1891-1931: 3 cm/y; 1931-1961: 1.3 cm/y and 1976-1999: 2.3 cm/y), except from 1961-1976 which was characterized by aggradation (2 cm/y). The mean depth increased, referring to an overall deepening of the river during the whole period (1891-1931: 1.4 cm/y; 1931-1961: 1.2 cm/y; 1961-1976: 0.6 cm/y and 1976-1999: 1.6 cm/y). The thalweg shifted more in the upper reach showing less stabile channel, while the middle and lower reaches had more stable thalweg. Although the cross-sections subjected to various human interventions experienced considerable incision in the short-term, the cross-sections free from direct human impact experienced the largest incision from 1891-1999, especially along the meandering sections.


Along the Lower Tisza River (Hungary) the water level of the floods reached new record stages in 1998 and 2006, resulting in 80 cm increase in the peak flood level since the “great flood of 1970”. Due to the gradual weakening of the levee-system caused by the several long-lasting floods, the question has arisen, that as in case of a levee breach or failure how would it modify the hydrological parameters of the river. The aim of the research is to create a hydrological model to analyse the effects (as stage reduction, slope and stream power) of two different levee breaches: one happening before the peak of the flood and another at the time of the flood level. The simulated levee breaching happened on the Tisza River at Mindszent, and the data-set of the 2006 flood was used for the modelling (at that time no levee failure happened in Hungary, and it was the greatest flood in history).

In the simulation the levee was broken at a point, where the channel is very close and intensively eroding, thus there is a real risk of a levee failure. If the levee would be broken a well defined area (reservoir) would be flooded, surrounded by the secondary levees and the rim of the high floodplain. During the simulation the HEC-RAS 4.1. ArcGIS 10.1 and HEC-GeoRAS software were applied.

The greatest changes in the hydrology of Tisza occurred in the cross section where the levee breached, though the effects propagated upstream and downstream too. Due to the water outflow from the Tisza the greatest stage reduction effect was 1.54±0.1 m. The slope conditions changed too, as it increased from 4 cm/km to 6.5 cm/km in the upstream reach, while downstream of the failure point it decreased from 3.5 cm/km to 1.9 cm/km. At the same time the stream power increased from 4 W/m to 5.5 W/m in the upstream section, while it decreased from 3.5 W/m to 1.5 W/m in the downstream reach. Comparing the results of the simulations at different stages (one at the highest stage and one at 1.0 m lower stage) it seems that the hydrological parameters did not change considerably (1%), though in a case of a levee failure at higher the reservoir reached the maximal water level sooner, though less water was stored in it, as the fall of the river was continuous


Several environmental and economic consequences of drought and the accompanying water shortage were observed in the plain area of the Carpathian Basin in the last decades. This area is mostly used for agriculture, thus it is a key problem in the future to maintain food safety in the changing circumstances. Therefore, involvement and identification of areas affected by drought hazard and revealing steps of efficient adaptation are of high importance. In this study influence of drought severity on agricultural production is investigated in the Hungarian-Serbian cross-border area. The tendency in drought severity was analysed by PaDI and MAI drought indices. The effect of drought on agricultural production is evaluated on maize yield data as the most drought sensitive crop in the region. Increasing drought frequency and severity was indicated for the study area for the period of 1961-2012. The spatial assessment of annual PaDI maps revealed the higher exposure of the north and northeastern part of the study area to drought, where drought frequency was also experienced to be the highest. Increased sensitivity was detected based on maize yield loss after the early 1990s and annual yields were in strong connection with d rought severity. In spite of the technological development of agriculture, environmental factors still substantially affect crop yie lds. The observed unfavourable changes in the region mean that water management and spatial planning faces conceptual challenges to prevent and mitigate the damages of drought.