HEX 2014 - Hydrological extreme events in historic and prehistoric times

09.06 - 15.06.2014
Bonn, Germany
Contact person:
Prof. Dr. Juergen Herget, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The current state of knowledge regarding the hydrological consequences of ongoing climatic change can only be estimated based on assumptions of future changes. Magnitudes and frequencies of hydrological extreme events will change from recent values. Consequently, forecasts on future development based on recent observations and measurements and their statistical analysis are hindered due to non-steady conditions.

Given this, a view back in time offers a significant range of observations of hydrological extreme events based on climatic changes in different directions. From a European perspective, the Medieval Climate Optimum and the Little Ice Age illustrate ranges of climatic changes in historic times. From those days, reports, documents and traces of hydrological extreme events like floods and droughts are handed down to nowadays. These reports and traces have an untapped potential for further analysis of magnitudes, frequencies and process mechanisms for an improved understanding of the relationships of climate change and hydrological consequences. Due to the different duration of written historic times in different cultures around the world - one or two centuries in North America and several millennia considering the ancient cultures e.g. in Egypt or China - the time range of previous extreme hydrological events which can be further considered leads back into pre-historic times (i.e. the Pleistocene).

Possible topics

Past hydrological events and periods related to global change

Development of refined global and regional chronologies on hydrological events and periods

Historical perspectives of current hazards

Relevance of Pleistocene hydrological events for the presence and future

Drought analysis - an underestimated problem and future challenge

Implications of long term research in relation to forecasts and prognoses for the future

Extreme wave events in the past and future

Interpreting human impact

Extraterrestrial flow and floods

Estimations of previous damage and losses

New techniques and methods of investigation (dating techniques, historical source analysis, hydraulic interpretation of geomorphological and sedimentological structures, ....)


Victor Baker: "Extraterrestrial flow - why should we care?"

Rudolf Brazdil: "500 years floods and droughts in Central Europe based on documentary evidence and instrumental records"

Paul Carling: "Sedimentology of megafloods"

Ruediger Glaser: "Historic climate changes and hydrological extremes" (to be confirmed)

Ken Gregory: "The development of palaeohydrological research - the first sixty years"

Dieter Kelletat: "Extreme wave events in the past"

Participants and language

The conference is open to all scientists with an affinity for research into historicial and prehistorical hydrological events. The official language of the conference is English.

Important dates

January 31st, 2014 abstracts due
Feburary 15th, 2014 author notification
February 28th, 2014 close of early registration