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Multi-decadal variability of flood risk


Kiem, AS and Franks, SW and Kuczera, G, Multi-decadal variability of flood risk, Geophysical Research Letters, 30, (2) Article 1035. ISSN 1944-8007 (2003) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1029/2002GL015992


Recent research has highlighted the persistence of multi-decadal epochs of enhanced/reduced flood risk across New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Recent climatological studies have also revealed multi-decadal variability in the modulation of the magnitude of El Nin˜o/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) impacts. In this paper, the variability of flood risk across NSW is analysed with respect to the observed modulation of ENSO event magnitude. This is achieved through the use of a simple index of regional flood risk. The results indicate that cold ENSO events (La Nin˜a) are the dominant drivers of elevated flood risk. An analysis of multidecadal modulation of flood risk is achieved using the interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) index. The analysis reveals that IPO modulation of ENSO events leads to multi-decadal epochs of elevated flood risk, however this modulation appears to affect not only the magnitude of individual ENSO events, but also the frequency of their occurrence. This dual modulation of ENSO processes has the effect of reducing and elevating flood risk on multi-decadal timescales. These results have marked implications for achieving robust flood frequency analysis as well as providing a strong example of the role of natural climate variability.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:multidecadal flood frequency risk ENSO PDO IPO climate variability change
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Environmental engineering
Research Field:Air pollution modelling and control
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Franks, SW (Professor Stewart Franks)
ID Code:86412
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:259
Deposited By:Engineering
Deposited On:2013-09-14
Last Modified:2013-10-16

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