Geografie 2006, 111, 33-50

Geoinformatic assessment of extreme flood consequences - case study: Flood in August 2002 in Central Europe

Jakub Langhammer

Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague 2, Czechia

The extreme flood events in the last decade in Central Europe served as a unique opportunity to study the impact of environmental changes on runoff process, to test the methods of their efficient assessment and to determine the applicability of the findings in effective flood protection measures. The paper presents the assessment of impact of environmental changes in landscape on the course and consequences of extreme floods. Assessment draws on selected indicators of environmental transformation related to rainfall-runoff processes, flood wave formation and transformation, and local retention capacity. The solution is based on geostatistical approach and applies to the Otava river basin located in the core zone of the extreme floods in August 2002 in Central Europe and representing area with high level of heterogeneity in terms of physicogeographic and social and economic aspects. The results of the presented research indicated evident links between physicogeographic characteristics of river basins, their anthropogenic transformation, and responses to extreme runoff situations. However the results hasn't proved the current intensity of river network shortening, riverbed transformation or floodplain and landscape modifications to be the main driving force of extremity of the flooding that occurred in August 2002 in Central Europe.


This research was funded by the Joint Research Scheme MSM 0021620831 "Geographical structure and risk processes in conditions of global change and European integration" of the Czech Ministry of Education which is fully appreciated by the author.