Climate, orography and scale controls on flood frequency in Triveneto (Italy)
- 1Department DICAM, School of Civil Engineering, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
- 2Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
Abstract. The growing concern about the possible effects of climate change on flood frequency regime is leading Authorities to review previously proposed reference procedures for design-flood estimation, such as national flood frequency models. Our study focuses on Triveneto, a broad geographical region in North-eastern Italy. A reference procedure for design flood estimation in Triveneto is available from the Italian NCR research project "VA.PI.", which considered Triveneto as a single homogeneous region and developed a regional model using annual maximum series (AMS) of peak discharges that were collected up to the 1980s by the former Italian Hydrometeorological Service. We consider a very detailed AMS database that we recently compiled for 76 catchments located in Triveneto. All 76 study catchments are characterized in terms of several geomorphologic and climatic descriptors. The objective of our study is threefold: (1) to inspect climatic and scale controls on flood frequency regime; (2) to verify the possible presence of changes in flood frequency regime by looking at changes in time of regional L-moments of annual maximum floods; (3) to develop an updated reference procedure for design flood estimation in Triveneto by using a focused-pooling approach (i.e. Region of Influence, RoI). Our study leads to the following conclusions: (1) climatic and scale controls on flood frequency regime in Triveneto are similar to the controls that were recently found in Europe; (2) a single year characterized by extreme floods can have a remarkable influence on regional flood frequency models and analyses for detecting possible changes in flood frequency regime; (3) no significant change was detected in the flood frequency regime, yet an update of the existing reference procedure for design flood estimation is highly recommended and we propose the RoI approach for properly representing climate and scale controls on flood frequency in Triveneto, which cannot be regarded as a single homogeneous region.