Romanian Danube River Floodplain Functionality Assessment

  • Cristian TrifanovEmail author
  • Alin Mihu-Pintilie
  • Marian Tudor
  • Marian Mierlă
  • Mihai Doroftei
  • Silviu Covaliov
Part of the Springer Water book series (SPWA)


The floodplain of the Lower Danube was formed by the complex action of erosion and river accumulation, under the influence of the ascension trend of the river riverbed during the Holocene and the oscillation of the water levels and discharges. Almost full embankment and the construction of non-submersible dams have affected both the hydro-geomorphological system and the local and regional topo-climates, which is a pronounced phenomenon in the conditions of global climate changes. All these alterations have led to a significant transformation of the ecosystems. Transforming these ecosystems of the Lower Danube floodplain into dry land ecosystems has reduced their ecological, recreational, aesthetic and educational functions to only one function: the economic one. The natural capital of the Lower Danube floodplain has a productive capacity that must be known by its functional cells in order to avoid degradation, destruction under anthropogenic impact and to favor the sustainable use of its support capacity. Ensuring sustainable socio-economic development in the Lower Danube floodplain area is also based on knowledge of ecological sustainability, ecosystem integrity, environmental sustainability, ecological, and regional ecosystem balance. The ecological and economic resizing program of the managed areas of the Lower Danube floodplain was designed and launched to assist the Romanian Government in the long-term strategic planning process, to achieve the objectives of the Water Framework Directive and to effectively implement prevention, protection and mitigation of floods, mentioned in the National Strategy for Flood Risk Management. In this sense, a thorough and complex study, based on LiDAR measurements, hydraulic modeling and economic assessment, was conducted to evaluate the functionality of the floodplain as a whole and within agricultural units to determine the equipotential areas for flood-free future and sustainable development of the region. Thus, there were identified three types of areas: the first type represents the areas with only agricultural potential, the second type are, the areas with potential to be ecologically restored (to establish the natural flow of energy and circulation of matter) and the third one is a combination of the first two.


Economic activities Ecosystem balance Equipotential areas Floodplain Lower danube 



This chapter was compiled within the project “Ecological and Economic Resizing on Romanian Sector of Danube’s Floodplain” implemented between 2006 and 2008 for Ministry of Environment as beneficiary. The study was carried out by Danube Delta National Institute for Research and Development (D.D.N.I.) along with National Institute of Research and Development for Land Reclamation (I.S.P.I.F.), National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management, (I.N.H.G.A.), and EnviroScopy, from Romania and W.W.F.—Karlsruhe University from Germany. A project would not work without the support of a functioning partnership. Thus, we thank all our project partners and their respective teams, the whole lead partner team with special thanks to Dr. Eng. Iulian Nichersu—project leader, Dr. Eng. Ion Grigoras—LiDAR data processing and other GIS related products and Eng. Adrian Constantinescu—hydraulic modeling.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristian Trifanov
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alin Mihu-Pintilie
    • 2
  • Marian Tudor
    • 3
  • Marian Mierlă
    • 1
  • Mihai Doroftei
    • 4
  • Silviu Covaliov
    • 5
  1. 1.Informational System and Geomatics Department“Danube Delta” National Institute for Research and DevelopmentTulceaRomania
  2. 2.Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, Interdisciplinary Research Department—Field ScienceIaşiRomania
  3. 3.Management Department of the “Danube Delta” National Institute for Research and DevelopmentTulceaRomania
  4. 4.Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources Department“Danube Delta” National Institute for Research and DevelopmentTulceaRomania
  5. 5.Ecological Restoration and Species Recovery Department“Danube Delta” National Institute for Research and DevelopmentTulceaRomania

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