Natural Hazards

, Volume 80, Issue 3, pp 1563–1577 | Cite as

Historical floods in Tabasco and Chiapas during sixteenth–twentieth centuries

  • Arturo Valdés-ManzanillaEmail author
Original Paper


It is presented a chronology of historical floods during sixteenth–twentieth centuries in the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas. There were 41 historical flooding events during 1528–1948, 16 of them were catastrophic flooding and 25 were extraordinary ones. There were periods of historical floods between 1651–1652, 1676–1677, 1679–1680, 1888–1889, 1927–1929, 1931–1933 and 1940–1944. During the instrumental period (1949–1999) there were only four extraordinary flood events in the Usumacinta River. Most of flood periods coincided with the warm phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The flood period of 1940–1944 was as long as the most recent one (2007–2011). Wavelet analysis found flood periodicities of 2.5, 52 and 83 years, but only the last one was statistical significant and their occurrence was in phase with the AMO. Logistic regression showed that AMO index was the most correlated index with flood events. In fact, the odds ratio showed that floods were 1.90 times more likely to occur when AMO index was positive. This regression model predicted correctly 64.70 % of flood occurrences during twentieth century using its flood information only as validation data.


Historical floods Tabasco Chiapas AMO 



The author wants to thank Aslak Grinsted, Christopher Torrence, for their software to carry out wavelet analysis. Eraclio Mendez, Xicotencatl De La Cruz Uc, for their help to obtain flood data and Virginia Garcia and Antonio Escobar for their catalogues. In addition, I would like to thank to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.División Académica de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Juárez Autónoma de TabascoVillahermosaMexico

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