Articles | Volume 19, issue 8
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 3517–3539, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-3517-2015

Special issue: Floods and their changes in historical times – a European...

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 3517–3539, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-3517-2015
Research article
10 Aug 2015
Research article | 10 Aug 2015

Quantitative historical hydrology in Europe

G. Benito et al.

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Short summary
Historical hydrology combines documentary data with hydrological methods to lengthen flow records to the past centuries. We describe the methodological evolution of historical hydrology under the influence of developments in hydraulics and statistics. Analysis of 45 case studies in Europe show that present flood magnitudes are not unusual in the context of the past, whereas flood frequency has decreased, although some rivers show a reactivation of rare floods over the last two decades.