The Story of a Steep River: Causes and Effects of the Flash Flood on 24 July 2017 in Western Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonWater. 2021, 13 (12), . 10.3390/w13121688
Flash floods can cause great geomorphological changes in ephemeral fluvial systems and result in particularly severe damages for the unprepared population exposed to it. The flash flood in the Storelva river in Utvik (western Norway) on 24 July 2017 was witnessed and documented. This study assessed the causes and effects of the 2017 flood and provides valuable information for the calibration and validation of future modelling studies. The flooded area at peak discharge, maximum wetted and dry areas during the entire event, critical points and main flow paths were reconstructed using on-site and post-event (i) visual documentation, such as photographs and videos, and (ii) aerial surveying, such as orthophotographs and laser scanning, of the lowermost reach. The steep longitudinal slope together with the loose material forming the valley and riverbed contributed to a large amount of sediment transport during this extreme event. Steep rivers such as the Storelva river have very short response times to extreme hydrologic conditions, which calls for exhaustive monitoring and data collection in case of future events, as well as modelling tools that can emulate the hydro-morphodynamics observed during events such as the 2017 flash flood.