What can we learn from the past? A century of changes in vulnerability to floods in the Ter River basin

Anna Ribas Palom, David Saurí Pujol

Abstract


The objective of this article is to analyze from a historical perspective the impacts of floods in the Ter river basin of North-Eastern Catalonia between 1900 and 2020. The analysis focuses on the three factors that, according to the IPCC, intervene in the definition of vulnerability, namely exposure, susceptibility and adaptive capacity. The analysis has been structured in four historical periods with two or three catastrophic flood episodes for each period. Although a lack of reliable data and studies on especially economic losses must be acknowledged, results obtained indicate that flood exposure has increased in the basin but vulnerability may have decreased as a result of decreased susceptibility and, especially, of a significant increase in adaptive capacity. Both in terms of victims and relative economic losses, the impacts of the floods would show a downward trend that, among other factors, tends to correlate positively with the increasing levels of economic development and well-being experienced in the basin during the last century.

Keywords


Historical floods; vulnerability; exposure; susceptibility; adaptive capacity; Ter river basin

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18172/cig.4726

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