PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (3): 519-528.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2020.03.015

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Advances in flash flood research based on dendrogeomorphology

QIE Jiazhi1,2, ZHANG Yong1,*()   

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-04-15 Revised:2019-07-22 Online:2020-03-28 Published:2020-05-28
  • Contact: ZHANG Yong
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41471087);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41001009)


Flash flood is one of the major natural hazards in China. It seriously threatens the lives of people and property in mountainous areas. Various methods have been developed for flash flood study, but most of them focused on the past few decades. As one of the effective methods of historical flash flood events reconstruction, dendrogeomorphology has been used worldwide. It can provide hazard information with long temporal scale and high temporal resolution, sometimes at the seasonal level. By comparing tree ring width and other growth characteristics between disturbed and undisturbed trees, growth disturbance signals can be found in the disturbed trees. Using the growth disturbance in tree rings, flash flood events can be dated, and then the frequency, size, and spatial distribution characteristics of flash floods that have no or little documentary records can be reconstructed. The discharge of flash flood can be reconstructed quantitatively according to the height of scars or by using hydraulic models. With the development of dendrogeomorphology, research tends to probe into the meteorological driving mechanism of flash floods and the pattern of flash floods on a larger spatial scale. In the practical application of dendrogeomorphology, more instrumental data and historical records are applied in the studies. This makes the method increasingly more widely used around the world. But work based on dendrogeomorphology has not been reported in China. In this article, we reviewed the development of the study on flash floods based on tree ring, briefly summarized the research progress, and discussed the advantages, limitations, and potential of this approach, so as to provide some reference information for relevant work in China.

Key words: flash flood, tree ring, dendrogeomorphology