This paper analyzes the possibilities that mathematical models offer to reconstruct flood events, and to predict their erosional and sedimentary effects. To that end, the severe flood event of October 2000 of the Palancia River (Valencia, Spain) is assessed. The hydraulic reconstruction was performed with the software GUAD 2D, a two-dimensional mathematical simulation model for shallow water conditions. The results obtained from the mathematical model and the hydraulic-sedimentological analysis were compared with the flood-related features mapped by means of geomorphologic photo-interpretation and field observations. This comparative study illustrates that these models constitute a powerful tool for the prediction of the river bed evolution. Calibration was the most challenging stage in the reconstruction of this historical event.