Lower Rhine historical floodmagnitudes of the last 450 years reproduced from grain-size measurements of flood deposits using End Member Modelling

W.H.J. Toonen, T.G. Winkels, K.M. Cohen, M.A. Prins, H. Middelkoop

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this research was to unlock the potential of fluvial archives to create flood chronologies, based on grain-size characteristics of flood deposits located in two recently formed fluvio-lacustrine sequences. Methods: Grain-size data was compared with contemporaneous discharge measurements (for the Lower Rhine, The Netherlands). Regression relations between coarse-tail grain-size parameters and measured discharge were established for the last ~. 240. years, and applied to the older parts of both cores - resulting in peak discharge estimates back to AD ~. 1550. Results: Grain-size descriptive parameters such as the 95th percentile and end-member modelling outcomes correlate well with discharge and turn out to be sensitive proxies for inferring flood magnitudes. Locally, geomorphological changes influence the relation between peak discharge magnitudes and flood bed coarseness, but these can be assessed, using continuous flood layer and background sedimentation measurements to standardize grain-size descriptive parameters. Conclusion/implications: Flood records distilled from sedimentary archives hold great potential for extending existing records of observed discharge and aid establishment of design discharge for flood protection measures and assessment of non-stationarity of the flooding regime due to climatic and anthropogenic forcing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-81
JournalCatena
Volume130
Early online date29 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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