Abstract

The Nemunas River basin falls within the territories of five different countries – Belarus, Lithuania, Russia, Poland and Latvia. In general, the beginning of spring floods highly depends on rapid rise of air temperature, heavy precipitation and sudden snow melting in the analysed basin. In this paper, the conditions of formation and consequences of two catastrophic floods in 1958 and 1979 in the Nemunas River basin were studied regarding the hydrometeorological parameters (maximum snow water equivalent before the beginning of flood and precipitation amount during the flood) as well as runoff coefficients for each selected catastrophic flood. Differences between the main drivers and evolution of these floods were analysed. Spatial distribution of maximum snow water equivalent and precipitation, as well as runoff coefficient in different parts of the river basin, were identified as having the most significant impact on the formation of the studied catastrophic floods.

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