Timar, G, Szekely, B, Molnar, G, Ferencz, C, Kern, A, Galambos, C, Gercsak, G, Zentai, L (2008). Combination of historical maps and satellite images of the Banat region - Re-appearance of an old wetland area. GLOBAL AND PLANETARY CHANGE, 62(2-Jan), 29-38.
The area of Banat, a historical region shared by Romania and Serbia, has been hit by a centennial flood event in spring 2005. The Temes (Tamis/Timis) River flooded several hundred km, with many settlements. The extent of the flood was partly unexpected, especially in positional sense. In order to achieve a better understanding of the phenomenon, we analysed the SRTM digital elevation model as well as historical maps. Several historical maps, dating back to the 16th century, indicate marshland or even a large lake in the area, not existing today but almost exactly coinciding with the extent of the 2005 flood. The historical and archive maps document the water regulation measures taken since the early 19th century. The actual flood is found to be a sort of a restoration of the original natural conditions. Via the analysis of the DEM and historical maps the unexpected extent of the flood scenario can be explained and understood. We suggest that an analysis of historical and archive maps, combined (geo-referenced) with high-resolution DEMS in other flood-endangered areas, should be used in order to be better prepared for decadal or centennial flood events induced by climatic change. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.