Landscape changes as a factor affecting the course and consequences of extreme floods in the Otava river basin, Czech Republic

Environ Monit Assess. 2008 Sep;144(1-3):53-66. doi: 10.1007/s10661-007-9941-6. Epub 2007 Sep 21.


The paper presents the analysis of anthropogenical modifications of the landscape in relation to the course and consequences of floods. The research was conducted in the Otava river basin which represents the core zone of the extreme flood in August 2002 in Central Europe. The analysis was focused on the key indicators of landscape modification potentially affecting the runoff process - the long-term changes of land-use, changes of land cover structure, land drainage, historical shortening of the river network and the modifications of streams and floodplains. The information on intensity and spatial distribution of modifications was derived from different data sources--historical maps, available GIS data, remote sensing and field mapping. The results revealed a high level of spatial diversity of anthropogenical modifications in different parts of the river basin. The intensive modifications in most of indicators were concentrated in the lowland region of the river basin due to its agricultural use; however important changes were also recorded in the headwater region of the basin. The high spatial diversity of the modifications may result in their varying effect on the course and consequences of floods in different parts of the river basin. This effect is demonstrated by the cluster analysis based on the matrix of indicators of stream and floodplain modification, physiogeographical characteristics and geomorphological evidences of the flood in August 2002, derived from the individual thematic layers using GIS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Czech Republic
  • Ecosystem
  • Floods*
  • Geography*
  • Humans
  • Rivers*
  • Water Movements
  • Wetlands