Title: Discovering historical rainfall erosivity with a parsimonious approach: A case study in Western Germany
Citation: JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY vol. 544 p. 1-9
Publication Year: 2017
JRC N°: JRC100605
ISSN: 0022-1694
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022169416307296
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.11.023
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: An in-depth analysis of the interannual variability of storms is required to detect changes in soil erosive power of rainfall, which can also result in severe on-site and off-site damages. Evaluating long-term rainfall erosivity is a challenging task, mainly because of the paucity of high-resolution historical precipitation observations that are generally reported at coarser temporal resolutions (e.g., monthly to annual totals). In this paper we suggest overcoming this limitation through an analysis of long-term processes governing rainfall erosivity with an application to datasets available the central Ruhr region (Western Germany) for the period 1701–2011. Based on a parsimonious interpretation of seasonal rainfall-related processes (from spring to autumn), a model was derived using 5-min erosivity data from 10 stations covering the period 1937–2002, and then used to reconstruct a long series of annual rainfall erosivity values. Change-points in the evolution of rainfall erosivity are revealed over the 1760s and the 1920s that mark three sub-periods characterized by increasing mean values. The results indicate that the erosive hazard tends to increase as a consequence of an increased frequency of extreme precipitation events occurred during the last decades, characterized by short-rain events regrouped into prolonged wet spells.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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