Articles | Volume 23, issue 6
Research article
21 Jun 2019
Research article |  | 21 Jun 2019

Contrasting rainfall-runoff characteristics of floods in desert and Mediterranean basins

Davide Zoccatelli, Francesco Marra, Moshe Armon, Yair Rinat, James A. Smith, and Efrat Morin

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Cited articles

Abrahams, A. D. and Parsons, A. J.: Relation between infiltration and stone cover on a semiarid hillslope, southern Arizona, J. Hydrol., 122, 49–59,, 1991. a
Amponsah, W., Marchi, L., Zoccatelli, D., Boni, G., Cavalli, M., Comiti, F., Crema, S., Lucía, A., Marra, F., and Borga, M.: Hydrometeorological characterization of a flash flood associated with major geomorphic effects: Assessment of peak discharge uncertainties and analysis of the runoff response, J. Hydrometeorol., 17, 3063–3077,, 2016. a
Amponsah, W., Ayral, P.-A., Boudevillain, B., Bouvier, C., Braud, I., Brunet, P., Delrieu, G., Didon-Lescot, J.-F., Gaume, E., Lebouc, L., Marchi, L., Marra, F., Morin, E., Nord, G., Payrastre, O., Zoccatelli, D., and Borga, M.: Integrated high-resolution dataset of high-intensity European and Mediterranean flash floods, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 1783–1794,, 2018. a
Armon, M., Dente, E., Smith, J. A., Enzel, Y., and Morin, E.: Synoptic-scale control over modern rainfall and flood patterns in the Levant drylands with implications for past climates, J. Hydrometeorol., 19, 1077–1096,, 2018. a
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Short summary
This study presents a comparison of flood properties over multiple Mediterranean and desert catchments. While in Mediterranean areas floods are related to rainfall amount, in deserts we observed a strong connection with the characteristics of the more intense part of storms. Because of the different mechanisms involved, despite having significantly shorter and more localized storms, deserts are able to produce floods with a magnitude comparable to Mediterranean areas.