Detecting flood variations in shanghai over 1949-2009 with Mann-Kendall tests and a newspaper-based database

Shiqiang Du*, Honghuan Gu, Jiahong Wen, Ke Chen, Anton Van Rompaey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A valuable aid to assessing and managing flood risk lies in a reliable database of historical floods. In this study, a newspaper-based flood database for Shanghai (NFDS) for the period 1949-2009 was developed through a systematic scanning of newspapers. After calibration and validation of the database, Mann-Kendall tests and correlation analysis were applied to detect possible changes in flood frequencies. The analysis was carried out for three different flood types: overbank flood, agricultural waterlogging, and urban waterlogging. The compiled NFDS registered 146 floods and 92% of them occurred in the flood-prone season from June to September. The statistical analyses showed that both the annual flood and the floods in June-August increased significantly. Urban waterlogging showed a very strong increasing trend, probably because of insufficient capacity of urban drainage system and impacts of rapid urbanization. By contrast, the decrease in overbank flooding and the slight increase in agricultural waterlogging were likely because of the construction of river levees and seawalls and the upgrade of agricultural drainage systems, respectively. This study demonstrated the usefulness of local newspapers in building a historical flood database and in assessing flood characterization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1808-1824
Number of pages17
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Disaster database
  • Flood
  • Mann-Kendall tests
  • Newspapers
  • Waterlogging


Dive into the research topics of 'Detecting flood variations in shanghai over 1949-2009 with Mann-Kendall tests and a newspaper-based database'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this