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Effects of forest fires on flood frequency curves in a Mediterranean catchment

  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2005
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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The effect of land-use change on the flood frequency curve (FFC) in a natural catchment is analysed. To achieve this, a simple methodology for the derivation of FFCs in land-use change scenarios is proposed. The adopted methodology, using a stochastic model in Monte Carlo simulation of FFCs, was found to provide a useful framework for detecting changes in flood magnitudes in both pre- and post-fire conditions. In particular, the importance of the antecedent soil moisture condition in the determination of the flood frequency distribution was analysed. The analysis of FFCs for pre- and post-fire conditions shows an increase in the average value of Curve Number and a decrease in the catchment time lag. The derivation of FFCs shows a clear increase in flood quantiles. For the post-fire conditions, the FFC exhibits higher quantiles of the peak discharges showing a reduction in frequency of occurrence. This variation is more significant for low-return period quantiles than for high-return period quantiles. The results of the catchment studies reported here support the hypothesis that the hydrological response of the watershed changes as a result of fire, especially during the first years following a fire event.