Recent advances in paleoflood hydrology: From new archives to data compilation and analysis

Bruno Wilhelm*, Juan Antonio Ballesteros Canovas, Juan Pablo Corella Aznar, Lucas Kämpf, Tina Swierczynski, Markus Stoffel, Eivind Støren, Willem Toonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Assessments of present and future flood hazard are often limited by the scarcity and short time span of the instrumental time series. In pursuit of documenting the occurrence and magnitude of pre-instrumental flood events, the field of paleoflood hydrology emerged during the second half of the 20th century. Historically, this field has mainly been developed on the identification and dating of flood evidence in fluvial sedimentary archives. In the last two decades, paleoflood hydrology approaches have also been deployed to investigate past floods contained in other natural archives. This article reviews major methodological and technological advancements in the study of lake sediments with the aim to showcase new, robust and continuous paleoflood series. Methodological advancements of flood archives such as tree rings and speleothems are also addressed. The recent developments in these fields have resulted in a growing paleoflood community that opens for cross-disciplinary analysis and synthesis of large data sets to meet the pressing scientific challenges in understanding changes in flood frequency and magnitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalWater Security
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Advances
  • Challenges
  • Field history
  • Flood hazard
  • Natural archives
  • Paleoflood hydrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Recent advances in paleoflood hydrology: From new archives to data compilation and analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this