Analysing precipitation distribution and intensity related to floods in the Western Mediterranean basin since 1960
Document typeBachelor thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
The coastal municipalities of the Spanish Mediterranean Basin (SMB) have experienced an increase of urbanization resulting from the socioeconomic growth of the last decades. Consequently, flood prone areas have been intensively occupied and have become more vulnerable to this hazard. In this framework, an interdisciplinary study is being held to understand this phenomenon and the present thesis is part of it. In particular, it analyses the intensity and distribution of precipitation associated to floods occurred in the region between 1960 and 2012, according to the SMC-Flood database. The purpose of the work can be divided into two sections. On the one hand, different rainfall patterns are created considering SPREAD database in order to be linked with the 12 synoptic patterns previously defined the supervisors, with the objective of finding significant connections. The methodology used to determine the precipitation patterns is Principal Component Analysis in Varimax rotation, from which 9 different patterns associated to different regions along the SMB are obtained. The matching between both types of patterns (synoptic and precipitation) is performed according to the flood events statistically related to each of them. The results indicate that the provinces from Girona to Almería are more commonly affected by E airflows in autumn, mainly owing to the warm and moist Mediterranean air transportation; whereas the prevailing wind in the Mediterranean coast of Cádiz, Málaga and Granada is from the S and it is frequently associated to Atlantic low-pressures. Yet, it is found that the northern provinces of the SMB can be also affected by the latter configuration. On the other hand, the second part of the thesis aims at identifying if severe damage floods are associated to more intense precipitation events. For this aim, the correlation between the flood severity index and the associated rainfall is quantified, but very low values are obtained. Therefore, considering these results and the fact that the hypothesis also depends on social and urbanistic factors, a definitive answer cannot be given. Alternatively, these parameters give evidence to the facts that the provinces of Granada, Almería and Barcelona are exposed to this hazard, as low average rainfall values and high mean severity indexes are identified; and also, that the patterns presenting an Atlantic trough tend to provide more precipitation and more severe events.
DegreeGRAU EN ENGINYERIA DE SISTEMES AEROESPACIALS (Pla 2015)