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Volume 28 (1) - 2005


Analysis and characteristics of pluviometric events in the Germanasca Valley (Italian Western Alps)

Pages 147-158


Sets of historic rainfall data (1913-2003) from four rain gauge stains in the Germanasca Valley were examined to identify the characteristic features of major, potentially dangerous rainfall events. In this study, a pluviometric event was considered as a circumscribed meteo-climatic parameter. The method of investigation was based on a statistical analysis of rainfall amounts above a set threshold combined with a meteorological analysis. The results showed that predominant types of events were caused by well-defined baric situations and that the most common rainfall event had a mean duration from days 3 to 5, with the peak rainfall day occurring between days 2 and 4. Extreme rainfall events lasted 8 days on average (var. 2.052; c.v. 0.27; n 23), with the peak on day 4 (39%), and occurred most often in spring (43%) and autumn (39%). The most common meteorological configurations generating extreme events were caused by Mediterranean depressions with a geographical center over Corsica-Sardinia (35%), the Balearics-Spain, or the Gulf of Lyons. Information from the study may provide environmental protection agencies with a valuable technical aid during the forecasting and monitoring phases of rainfall events and help in the design of defense interventions directed at the prevention and mitigation of hydraulic and geologic risk.

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