Assessment of future scenarios of climate and land-use changes in the IMPRINTS test-bed areas

A. Cabello, R. T. W. L. Hurkmans, et al.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The main objective of this work is to identify and evaluate the potential impacts produced by climate and land-use changes in six European test-bed basins (Llobregat, Guadalhorce, Gardon d’Anduze, Linth, Verzasca and Sambuco). Data to build future scenarios that can modify the different basins’ flash flood and debris flow risk level has been analyzed in this paper. High resolution climate scenarios have been obtained from several European projects and/or National initiatives, depending on each case. Climatic variables have been widely analyzed, with a special focus on extreme precipitation. Typical generalized extreme value (GEV) distributions have been fitted to observed and projected rainfall data to assess impacts in the frequency distributions of extreme rainfall up to 2100. Regarding climate, the main conclusion is the importance of using data at the maximum spatial and temporal resolution applying downscaling methodologies adapted to basin scale (test-bed areas ranging from approx 200 to 5000 km2) and oriented to obtain extreme rainfall values.

In general, high variability has been detected, obtaining very different results for the different models and scenarios. Data corrections may lead to better representations of present situations and, therefore, more reliable future projections, but currently some of them are not suitable for extreme precipitation assessment.

Regarding land-use changes, a cellular automata-based model has been used (MOLAND) to simulate the 2000–2040 period taking the CORINE land-use dataset as input data. Llobregat, Guadalhorce and Gardon d’Anduze basins have been identified as potentially interesting for simulating urban land-use dynamics due to the existence of important urban areas within their limits. The assessment of the rural land-use changes has been carried out using the results from the EURURALIS project (2000–2030 period), available for all the basins.

The results of this paper are framed in the FP7 project IMPRINTS that has the aim of analyzing impacts of future changes to provide guidelines for mitigation and adaptation measures and, in general, to improve the application of the EC Flood Risk Management Directive.
Translated title of the contributionAssessment of future scenarios of climate and land-use changes in the IMPRINTS test-bed areas
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884 - 897
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Issue number7
Early online date2 Apr 2011
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Acceptance date is provisional and based on date of publication.


  • climate change
  • extreme events
  • flash floods
  • debris flows
  • downscaling


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