Large Wood Transport Influence on Flash Flood Risk in a Mountain Village in Central Spain

  • V. Ruiz VillanuevaEmail author
  • A. Diez Herrero
  • J. M. Bodoque del Pozo
  • E. Blade Castellet
  • M. Sanchez Juny
Conference paper


The European Water Framework and Floods Directives have brought a legal framework favouring the good ecologic and geomorphological condition of water courses. This may conflicts concerning the current management of large wood in rivers in Spain, which has been traditionally focused on removal of this material from the rivers. In addition, identifying stream reaches where large wood is a potential hazard and where therefore its careful management is necessary is also needed for flood hazard and risk assessment. In this study, we have developed a numerical model to simulate wood transport coupled to a 2D hydrodynamic model. We applied this model in a mountain river reach crossing a village in Central Spain. This river is flash flood prone and large amounts of wood have been observed after flood events, but there is not detailed information about its influence on hydrodynamics so far. The aim was to analyse how the transport and deposition of wood influences flood risk estimation in this mountain village by means of a probabilistic approach to the numerical modeling. As a result, the most sensitive infrastructures to the passage of large wood have been identified, as well as the potential consequences of their blockage. When wood clogs these bridges, the main effect is the backwater effect upstream from these critical sections, where wood is trapped and deposited. High hazard areas (based on water depth and flow velocity) increases significantly and the potential economic damages may increase up to 50 % for the worst case scenario.


Large wood Flood risk Hydrodynamic modelling Mountain river 


  1. Blade E, Cea L, Corestein G, Escolano E, Puertas J, Vazquez-Cendon ME, Dolz J, Coll A (2012) Iber—Herramienta de simulacion numerica del flujo en rios. Revista Internacional de Metodos Numericos para Calculo y Diseno en Ingenieria (in press)Google Scholar
  2. Braudrick CA, Grant GE, Ishikawa Y, Ikeda H (1997) Dynamics of wood transport in streams: a flume experiment. Earth Surf Proc Land 22(7):669–683Google Scholar
  3. Brooks AP, Abbe T, Cohen T, Marsh N, Mika S, Boulton A, Broderick T, Borg D, Rutherfurd I (2006) Design guidelines for the reintroduction of wood into Australian streams. Land & Water, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  4. Correa L (2013) ¿Para qué SÍ hay que limpiar los ríos?
  5. Gaume E, Gaal L, Viglione A, Szolgay J, Kohnov’a S, Bloschl G (2010) Bayesian MCMC approach to regional flood frequency analyses involving extraordinary flood events at ungauged sites. J Hydrol 394:101–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gippel CJ (1995) Environmental hydraulics of large woody debris in streams and rivers. J Environ Eng—ASCE 121: 388–395Google Scholar
  7. Langford TEL, Langford J, Hawkins SJ (2012) Conflicting effects of woody debris on stream fish populations: implications for management. Freshw Biol 57(5):1096–1111. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2012.02766.x
  8. Lassettre NS, Kondolf GM (2012) Large woody debris in urban stream channels: redefining the problem. River Res Appl 28:1477–1487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Mao L, Andreoli A, Iroume A, Comiti F, Lenzi M (2013) Dynamics and management alternatives of in-channel large wood in mountain basins of the southern Andes. BOSQUE 34(3):319–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Messner F, Penning-Rowsell E, Green C, Meyer V, Tunstall S, van der Veen A (2007) Guide- lines for socio-economic Flood Damage Evaluation. FLOODsite-Report T09-06-01, 176 pGoogle Scholar
  11. Ollero (2013) ¿Para qué SÍ hay que limpiar los ríos?
  12. Reis DS, Stedinger JR (2005) Bayesian MCMC flood frequency analysis with historical information. J Hydrol 313(1–2):97–116. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2005.02.028 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ruiz-Villanueva V, Diez-Herrero A, Ballesteros JA, Bodoque JM (2014) Potential Large Woody Debris recruitment due to landslides, bank erosion and floods in mountain basins: a quantitative estimation approach. River Res Appl 30:81–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ruiz-Villanueva V, Blade-Castellet E, Diez-Herrero A, Bodoque JM, Sanchez-Juny M (2013) Two dimensional modelling of large wood transport during flash floods. Earth Surf Proc Land. doi: 10.1002/esp.3456 (in press)
  15. Ruiz-Villanueva V, Diez-Herrero A, Bodoque JM, Ballesteros JA, Stoffel M (2013b) Characterization of flash floods in small ungauged mountains basins of Central Spain using an integrated approach. Catena 110:32–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Ruiz Villanueva
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • A. Diez Herrero
    • 1
  • J. M. Bodoque del Pozo
    • 3
  • E. Blade Castellet
    • 4
  • M. Sanchez Juny
    • 4
  1. 1.Area de Investigation en Peligrosidad y Riesgos Geologicos, Instituto Geologico y Minero de EspanaMadridSpain
  2. 2.Laboratory of Dendrogeomorphology, Institute of Geological SciencesUniversity of BerneBerneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Departamento de Ingenieria Geologica y Minera de la Universidad de Castilla-La ManchaToledoUSA
  4. 4.Grupo de Investigation FLUMEN. Departamento de Ingenieria HidraulicaMaritima y Ambiental de la Universidad Politecnica de CatalunaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations