Hydrological impacts of climate change at catchment scale: A case study in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg

Laurent Pfister, Gilles Drogue, Abdelkhalak El Idrissi, Jean-François Iffly, Patrick Matgen, C. Poirier, Lucien Hoffmann


As a consequence of an increase of days with westerly atmospheric fluxes, bringing humid air masses from the Atlantic Ocean to Western Europe, important changes in the annual and seasonal distribution of rainfall have been observed over the past 150 years. Annual rainfall totals observed during the second half of the 19th century were less important than those observed during the second half of the 20th century. Moreover, during the past 50 years winter rainfall totals have significantly increased, while summer rainfall totals have been decreasing. Streamflow observations through the second half of the 20th century have shown a significant increase of winter maximum daily streamflow, in reaction to the winter rainfall increase. The modelling of the streamflow under the 19th century climatological conditions suggests that since then, the number of winter flood days has increased, while the occurrence of summer flood days has decreased. Moreover, high floods appear to have been more frequent in the second half of the 20th century.


Alzette river; Climate change; Kendall’s tau; HRM hydrological model; Luxembourg.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/105.000001434


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