Active Archive of Large Floods, 1985-Present

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Surface Water Data Record

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Sample Images and Maps






Effects of El Niño on Global Flooding

Comparison of the strong El Niño, May, 1997-August, 1998 to same 16 month period, no El Niño, May, 1999-August, 2000

El Niño conditions


Non El Niño conditions:

Compare to this El Niño History (Oceanic Niño Index, from Climate Prediction Center, NOAA)

Summary conclusions from these data:

Comparing similar lengths of time and starting in the same month, there were:

1) Approximately twice the number of reported flood events, globally, during this strong El Niño period as during the subsequent non El Niño period.

2) Major floods occurred during El Niño in (among other locations): Peru, northern Bolivia and Chile, northern coastal Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, Iran, and Afghanistan.

3) During the non-El Niño period, major flooding occurred, instead, in Central America, Venezuela, and Columbia, and Southeast Asia

Obtain Powerpoint Version (useful for slide show comparison of the two global maps)








This work is made possible by data obtained by NASA, JAXA, ESA, and other space agencies,and by funding support from the Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) department of the World Bank, the Earth Surface and Interior and the Applied Sciences Programs, NASA, the Pacific Disaster Center, and the European Commission's GDACS project, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy. The sustained institutional support of the Departments of Geography and Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College is gratefully acknowledged.


©2008 Dartmouth Flood Observatory