Natural Hazards

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 235–248 | Cite as

Analysis of non climatic origins of floods in the downstream part of the Kura River, Azerbaijan

  • R. K. AbbasovEmail author
  • R. N. Mahmudov
Original Paper


Over the past century, there is an increased contribution of non climatic factors to the flood formation processes in the Kura River. Non climatic factors of floods refer to factors that are related to reductions in channel capacity and result in floods. More recently, there are numerous non climatic factors occurring in and around the Kura River basin that have increased the frequency of floods. Sediment accumulation in the riverbed over a long period of time has led to the reduction of channel capacity and has raised the elevation of the riverbed above the surrounding territory. It is illustrated that construction of dykes and levees do not actually prevent flooding, where hydrologic connections between groundwater and surface water are high, since infiltrated waters from channel results in raising of ground waters, causing an effect of “underground flood.” Since underground floods occur when water going from channels raises the level of ground waters, there is an urgent need to carefully investigate the groundwater–surface water connections. With the purpose of predicting floods, the authors suggest defining maximal acceptable flows (MAFs) rather than channel capacities. Results show that high rates of hydraulic conductivity of soils will decrease MAF rates. MAF computations before high-water season allow for further regulation of outlets further downstream in order to prevent flooding and enable flood forecasting. While the study focuses on a specific region, the overall approach suggested is generic and may be applied elsewhere.


Flood Sedimentation State–discharge curves Hydraulic conductivity Channel capacity Maximum acceptable flow 



This study was supported by Junior Faculty Development Program of the Department of State of USA. The authors express thanks to Rosemary Fanelli from the Water Research Institute at the Michigan State University for her contribution to this study. The authors are also grateful to two anonymous reviewers for their constructive criticism and valuable advice. Special thanks to Ann Tilson from the Applied English Center at the University of Kansas for reading the last version.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Research CenterKhazar UniversityBakuAzerbaijan
  2. 2.Hydrometeorology Research InstituteMinistry of Natural Resources and EcologyBakuAzerbaijan

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