General information

The Department of Geography of the University of Bonn invites scientists working on hydrological extreme events for the inter- and transdisciplinary international conference 'Hydrological extreme events in historic and prehistoric times'.

The conference will be hosted by the Department of Geography of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitaet Bonn during June 9-15, 2014.

The following commissions, associations and working groups are participating:

glocoph (4K)

Global Continental Palaeohydrology GLOCOPH

flag (1K)

Fluvial Archives Group FLAG


Land Use and Climate Impacts on Fluvial Systems during the period of agriculture LUCIFS

iag (6K)

International Water History Association IWHA

iag (6K)

Fachgemeinschaft Hydrologische Wissenschaften FgHW


Deutsche Hydrologische Gesellschaft DHG


Deutsche Wasserhistorische Gesellschaft DWhG

akgeomorph (3K)

Deutscher Arbeitskreis fuer Geomorphologie

Deutscher Arbeitskreis fuer Hydrologie

Deutsche Quartaervereinigung DEUQUA

At the current status of knowledge, hydrological consequences of the ongoing climatic change can only be estimated based on assumptions of future changes. Magnitudes and frequencies of hydrological extreme events will change from recent values. Consequently, forecasts on future development based on recent observations and measurements and their statistical analysis are hindered due to the non-steady conditions.

On this background a view back in time offers a significant range of observations of hydrological extreme events based on climatic changes in different directions. From an European perspective, the Medieval Climate Optimum and the Little Ice Age illustrate ranges of climatic changes in historic times. From those days, reports, documents and traces of hydrological extreme events like floods and droughts are handed down to nowadays. These reports and traces have an untapped potential for further analysis of magnitudes, frequencies and process mechanisms for an improved understanding of the relationships of climate change and hydrological consequences. Due to the different duration of written historic times in different cultures of the world - one or two centuries in North America and several millennia considering the ancient cultures e.g. in Egypt or China - the time range of previous extreme hydrological events of further consideration leads back into pre-historic times, consequently back into the Pleistocene.

Based on this background, the following keywords span the range of topics for scientific session during the conference:



Participants and language

The conference is open to all scientists with affinity to research of the historicial and prehistorical hydrological events. The official language of the conference is English.


Bonn, the former capital of Germany, is located in western Germany about 30 km south of Cologne. Together with many ministries still located at Bonn, the numerous national and international organizations and administration headquarters lead to a social and cultural environment that is prevailed by academics.

With about 30,000 students, 3500 academics and about 80 different degree programs the university is one of the largest and most multifaceted institutions of higher education in Germany. The Department of Geography in Bonn is among the largest departments of geography in Germany.

The conference will take place at the facilities of the Department of Geography. The department is located about 5 minutes by feet from the city center next to city quarters of historic art-nouveau architecture.