Natural Hazards

, Volume 75, Supplement 1, pp 69–88 | Cite as

Assessment of flood-prone stripes within the Danube drainage area in the South-West Oltenia Development Region, Romania

  • O. Ionuş
  • M. Licurici
  • M. Pătroescu
  • S. BoengiuEmail author
Original Paper


The present paper deals with the hydrometeorological phenomena that affected important sectors of the Danube, at European level, during the last 10 years and with the dedicated European policy, especially the flood management policy of many countries of Europe, focusing on society’s ability to co-exist with floods, rather than be protected from them. In this context, the exposed elements within the study area hold a poor coping capacity against extreme hydrometeorological events. The accentuated social and economic vulnerability enhances the overall flood risk. The observations were conducted on river sectors that are representative for south-western Romania, the case study areas being located within the piedmont (the Jirov stream—Gura Motrului settlement, on the Motru river) and plain (the Rast–Gighera sector, on the Danube river) areas. The aim of the survey was to decipher the hydrological mechanisms, the geomorphological response and the possibilities of prognosis and limitation of the flood risk phenomena. The study departs from the analysis of the natural background in GIS environment, followed by the determination of the hydrological parameters that influence the establishment of the flood-prone stripes (e.g., water levels corresponding to specific discharge values with different probability rates). The main objective consists in the identification of the flood-prone areas along two rivers (the Motru and the Danube) and their correlation with the recrudescence of extreme hydrological phenomena, taking into consideration the configuration of the floodplain as natural retention area and possible wetland.


Floods Flood-prone stripes Flood risk management The Danube river The Motru river 



The authors express their sincere sympathy for the families affected by the 2006 and 1999 flood events hoping that a better understanding of the circumstances that led to these outcomes will help improve warning and consciousness. We would like to kindly acknowledge the regional institutions that supplied important information from their statistical database (the “Romanian Water” National Administration, the Jiu Branch, as well as Dolj County and Mehedinţi County Inspectorates for Emergency Situations). The collaboration initiated between this institutions and the University of Craiova, Department of Geography, represented the starting point in the research of the dangerous natural phenomena in the Danube Floodplain. The research was supported by the National Council of Scientific Research in Higher Education, in the framework of the RFFI Grant No. 973/2008, by a grant of the Simion Mehedinţi Doctoral School (Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest), project co-financed through the Sectorial Operational Programme for Human Resources Development 2007–2013, POSDRU/6/1.5/S/24/7546 Contract, and by the Cross Border Cooperation Romania-Bulgaria Programme 20072013, in the framework of the project Romanian—Bulgarian Cross-Border Joint Natural and Technological Hazards Assessment in the Danube Floodplain. The Calafat-Vidin—Turnu Măgurele-Nikopole Sector (ROBUHAZ-DUN). We are also grateful to our reviewers for their helpful comments.


  1. Barredo JI (2007) Major flood disasters in Europe: 1950–2005. Nat Hazards 42:125–148. doi: 10.1007/s11069-006-9065-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bătinaş R, Şt Bilaşco (2009) The use of GIS techniques in estimating the floodable stripes in relation with discarges values with low probability of occurrence. Case study: river Arieş-Turda city. Studia Universitatis Babeş-Bolyai Geographia. 3:195–202Google Scholar
  3. Blong R (2003) A new damage index. Nat Hazards 30(1):1–23. doi: 10.1023/A:1025018822429 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boengiu S (2008) Piemontul Bălăciţei. Editura Universitaria, Craiova, Studiu de geografieGoogle Scholar
  5. Boengiu S, Ionuş O, Boengiu A, Licurici M (2008) La pollution phreatique et les potentialites pathogenes dues aux inondations du printemps 2006 dans le perimetre administratif du village Rast. Arhivele Olteniei, Serie Nouă, Editura Academiei Române, Bucureşti 22:225–233Google Scholar
  6. Corine Land Cover 2006 seamless vector data. European Environment Agency. Retrieved on November 2011, at
  7. Dumitraşcu M (2006) Modificări ale peisajului în Câmpia Olteniei. Editura Acamemiei Române, BucureştiGoogle Scholar
  8. Hirabayashi Y, Kanae S (2009) First estimate of the future global population at risk of flooding. Hydrol Res Lett 3:6–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ionuş O (2009) Drainage evolution determined by the dynamics of forest areas within the Motru hydrographic basin. Forum Geograf 8:97–103Google Scholar
  10. Ionuş O (2011). Potenţialul geoecologic al apelor de suprafaţă în bazinul hidrografic Motru. Abstract of the PhD Thesis. ISBN 978-973-0-11368-6Google Scholar
  11. Kron F (2005) Flood risk = Hazard * Values * Vulnerability. Water Int 30(1):58–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kundzewicz ZW, Schellnhuber H-J (2004) Floods in the IPCC TAR perspective. Nat Hazards 31:111–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kundzewicz ZW, Lugeri N, Dankers R, Hirabayashi Y, Döll P, Pińskwar I, Dysarz T, Hochrainer S, Matczak P (2010) Assessing river flood risk and adaptation in Europe—review of projections for the future. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change 15:641–656. doi: 10.1007/s11027-010-9213-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Licurici M (2010a) Assessment of the human impact on the landscape of the Danube Floodplain, in Drobeta-Turnu Severin–Bechet sector. Annales of the University of Craiova, Biology, Horticulture. Food product processing technology. Environ Eng Ser XV(XLXI):323–330Google Scholar
  15. Licurici M (2010b) Environmental protection and sustainable development in the Danube Floodplain, the Drobeta-Turnu Severin—Bechet sector. Annals of the University of Craiova. Ser Geogr XIII:55–73Google Scholar
  16. Licurici M (2011) Human-induced environmental changes and floodplain restoration necessity along the Danube, on the Drobeta-Turnu Severin-Bechet Sector. Forum Geograf 10:350–363. doi: 10.5775/fg.2067-4635.2011.027.d CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Licurici M, Boengiu S, Ionuş O (2011) Natural and man-induced hazards along the Danube, between Rast and Gighera settlements, with a special view on the 2006 flood. Quaestion Geograph 30(1):57–68. doi:  10.2478/v10117-011-0005-1
  18. Merz B, Thieken AH (2009) Flood risk curves and uncertainty bounds. Nat Hazards 51:437–458. doi: 10.1007/s11069-009-9452-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Onuşluel G, Harmancıoglu N, Gül A (2010) A combined hydrologic and hydraulic modeling approach for testing efficiency of structural flood control measures. Nat Hazards 54:245–260. doi: 10.1007/s11069-009-9464-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Parker DJ (2000) Managing flood hazards and disasters: international lessons, directions and future challenges. Parker DJ (ed.) Floods 3: 287–306Google Scholar
  21. Pătroescu M, Ghincea M, Cenac-Mehedinţi M, Toma S, Rozylowicz L (2000) Modificări antropice în coridorul fluvial al Dunării şi reflectarea lor în starea mediului. Geographica Timisiensis VIII-IX: 211–222Google Scholar
  22. Pleniceanu V, Tomescu V, Golea C, Marinescu I, Iordache C, Curcan Gh, Vlăduţ A, Popescu L, Boengiu S, Mari-nescu E, Ionuş O, Licurici M (2006) The rehabilitation of the Danube Floodplain on Rast—Corabia sector. Annals of the University of Craiova. Geogr Ser IX:5–68Google Scholar
  23. Pleniceanu V, Ionuş O, Licurici M (2008) Extreme hydrological phenomena in the hydrographical basin of the Danube. The floods from the spring of 2006 along the Oltenian sector of the river. Annals of the University of Craiova. Geogr Ser 11:37–47Google Scholar
  24. Polsky C, Neff R, Yarnal B (2007) Building comparable global change vulnerability assessments: the vulnerability scoping diagram. Glob Environ Chang 17:472–485. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2007.01.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Renn O (1998) Three decades of risk research: accomplishments and new challenges. J Risk Res 1(1):49–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Romanescu G, Nistor I (2011) The effects of the July 2005 catastrophic inundations in the Siret River’s Lower Watershed Romania. Nat Hazards 57:345–368. doi: 10.1007/s11069-010-9617-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Şerban SA, Ionuş O (2011) Ecological status assessment of the water bodies located in the lower sectors of the Jiu and the Motru rivers (Oltenia, Romania). Forum Geograf X:195–206. doi: 10.5775/fg.2067-4635.2011.038.i CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stroe R (2003) Piemontul Bălăciţei. Editura MondoRO, BucureştiGoogle Scholar
  29. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (1999) Report concerning the defence against floods, dangerous meteorological phenomena, accidents at the hydrotechnical constructions and accidental pollution in Mehedinţi County, July 1999—Issued by the Mehedinţi County Committee for Emergency SituationsGoogle Scholar
  30. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2000) Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policyGoogle Scholar
  31. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2004) Flood action programme. Action programme for sustainable flood protection in the Danube River Basin (International commission for the protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) along with the countries in the Danube River Basin)Google Scholar
  32. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2005) FLOODsite Consortium. Language of risk—project definitions. FLOODsite project report T32-04-01Google Scholar
  33. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2006a) Improved modelling of flood losses in private households. In: Kundzewicz Z, Hattermann F (eds) Natural systems and global change. Polish Academy of Sciences and Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research, Poznan, pp 142–150Google Scholar
  34. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2006b) Report concerning the defence against floods, dangerous meteorological phenomena, accidents at the hydrotechnical constructions and accidental pollution in Dolj County, April–May 2006—Issued by the Dolj County Committee for Emergency SituationsGoogle Scholar
  35. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2007a) National Strategy for the Flood Risk Management. Prevention, Protection and Diminution of Flood Effects (Romanian Ministry of Environment)Google Scholar
  36. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2007b) Directive 2007/60/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 establishing the evaluation and the management of flood risksGoogle Scholar
  37. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2007c) Hotărârea de Guvern 1284/2007 privind declararea ariilor de protecţie specială avifaunistică ca parte integrantă a Reţelei Natura 2000 în România (M.O. Nr.739/31.X.2007)—Government DecisionGoogle Scholar
  38. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2007d) Ordinul Ministrului Mediului şi Dezvoltării Durabile nr. 1.964/2007 privind instituirea regimului de arie naturală protejată a siturilor de importanţă comunitară, ca parte integrantă a reţelei ecologice europene Natura 2000 în România (M.O. Nr. 98 bis/7.II.2008)-Ministerial orderGoogle Scholar
  39. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2008a) Romanian Space Agency, Floods in Romania, April 2006. Preliminary data Processed by ROSA, CRUTA, ANM, DLR,, Accessed 20 December 2008
  40. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2008b) The analysis of the Danube floods 2006, International commission for the Protection of the Danube River—icpdr, Version final—29.02.2008,
  41. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B (2011a) Hotărârea de Guvern 971/2011 pentru modificarea şi completarea H.G. nr. 1284/2007 privind declararea ariilor de protecţie specială avifaunistică ca parte integrantă a reţelei ecologice europene Natura 2000 în România—Government DecisionGoogle Scholar
  42. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B Romanian Ministry of Environment, 2006—Hydrologic events,, Accessed 20 January 2007
  43. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B Romanian Waters National Administration—the Jiu BranchGoogle Scholar
  44. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B South-West Oltenia Regional Development Agency,, Accessed 15 December 2011
  45. Thieken AH, Kreibich H, Merz B Free software on cumulative frequency analysis:, webmaster—R.J. Oosterbaan, Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement (ILRI), Netherlands

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Ionuş
    • 1
  • M. Licurici
    • 1
  • M. Pătroescu
    • 2
  • S. Boengiu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Geography DepartmentUniversity of CraiovaCraiovaRomania
  2. 2.Faculty of GeographyUniversity of BucharestBucharestRomania

Personalised recommendations