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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
04 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).
Recent Trends in Frequency and Duration of Global Floods
Nasser Najibi1,2,3 and Naresh Devineni1,2,3 1Department of Civil Engineering, City University of New York (City College), New York 10031, USA
2Center for Water Resources and Environmental Research (City Water Center), City University of New York, New York 10031, USA
3NOAA/Cooperative Science Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (CREST), City University of New York, New York 10031, USA
Abstract. Frequency and duration of flood events are analyzed using Dartmouth Flood Observatory's (DFO) global flood database to detect significant trends and regime shifts during 1985–2015 at global and latitudinal scales. Three classes of flood duration (i.e. short: 1–7, moderate: 8–20, and long: 21 days and above) are also considered for this analysis. The non-parametric Mann-Kendall trend test and Pettitt change-point analysis are used to evaluate three hypotheses (H1, H2, and H3) addressing potential monotonic trends and regime shifts in flood frequency, moments of the duration, and the frequency of a specific flood duration type. The results show that long duration flood frequency has increased across most spatial scales with significant change-point observed in the 2000s. In the tropics, floods have increased four-fold since the 2000s. This increase is 2.5 fold in the north mid-latitudes. There is no monotonic trend in the frequency of short duration floods across all global and latitudinal scales. There is also a significant increasing trend in the annual median and tails of flood durations globally and in each latitudinal belt. The possible causes of these trends are analyzed using a Generalized Linear Model framework and also discussed qualitatively. This analysis provides the framework for understanding simultaneously changing climate and socioeconomic conditions and how they relate to the frequency and persistence in the organization of global and local dynamical systems that cause hydrologic extremes.

Citation: Najibi, N. and Devineni, N.: Recent Trends in Frequency and Duration of Global Floods, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Nasser Najibi and Naresh Devineni
Nasser Najibi and Naresh Devineni
Nasser Najibi and Naresh Devineni


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