Red Sea Trough flood events in the Negev, Israel (1964-2007)

Isabella Shentsis, Jonathan B. Laronne, Pinhas Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Results of a comprehensive synoptic-hydrological analysis of major flood events in the Negev (1964-2007) are presented. A low threshold for major flood data was set to be the 10-year recurrence interval of peak discharge and/or flood volume magnitude. Altogether, 75 major flood events, or 133 hydrometrically monitored floods, were extracted. These events were categorized according to synoptic oriented classes by verification of the paired databases of: (a) floods in the study area, and (b) synoptic systems over the Eastern Mediterranean. For the study area, two of the most frequent flood-generating synoptic systems are the autumn Red Sea Trough (RST), 31%, and winter cyclones, 49%. The entire RST series consists of 24 major flood events (55 floods). The synoptic definition was corroborated by analysing the specific form of flood hydrographs and the ratio of flood volume to peak discharge. Regional analysis shows increased contribution of RST events southwards from 30% to 90% with a respective decrease in the number of cyclone events. By comparing two 22-year sub-periods (1964-1985 and 1986-2007), a positive trend in the frequency and magnitudes of RST flood events is discerned. There is also an increased tendency for the occurrence of cyclone floods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-51
Number of pages10
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Arava
  • Dead Sea
  • Mediterranean
  • Negev
  • Red Sea Trough (RST)
  • climate change
  • floods
  • synoptic system


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