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Reconstruction hydrométéorologique des étiages historiques en France entre 1871 et 2012

Abstract : Extreme low-flow events have significant consequences on numerous socio-economic fields. Hydroclimate projections for the 21st century suggest an increase in low-flow severity and frequency. Nevertheless, projected events as well as recent observed events can hardly be put into a sufficiently long historical perspective due to the lack of hydrometeorological data before the 1970s. This work proposes to improve the knowledge on past extreme low-flow events having affected France since the end of the 19th century thanks to a hydrometeorological reconstruction. It also provides a new methodological framework to study these extreme events.Information on the atmospheric synoptic situation since the end of the 19th century have recently been released to the scientific community through extended global reanalyses like the Twentieth Century Reanalysis (20CR). This work introduces the SCOPE method that provides local meteorological reconstructions on the entire France derived from the 20CR reanalysis. SCOPE produces a 25-member ensemble of spatially coherent meteorological series of daily precipitation, temperature and evapotranspiration over the 1871-2012 period and on a 64 km² grid covering France. This dataset, called SCOPE Climate, is then used as forcings to run continuous hydrological simulations over more than 600 near-natural French catchments leading to a 25-member ensemble of daily streamflow time series -- called SCOPE Hydro -- between 1871 and 2012. SCOPE Climate and SCOPE Hydro show a relatively high skill during validation experiments against independent data.Spatio-temporal extreme low-flow events are finally identified and characterised from SCOPE Hydro reconstructed series. The events are first locally identified based on deficit characteristics under a novel combination of a fixed threshold and a daily variable threshold. A spatial matching procedure at the scale of France is developed in order to spatially assemble local extreme events into the same spatio-temporal event. After these steps, an event can either be studied at the local or national scale through its spatial extent, duration or severity characteristics. This work identified past and little known exceptional extreme events (1878, 1893, 1942-1949) or recent but poorly documented events (1972, 1978, 1985) besides well-known events (1921, 1976, 1989-1990, 2011). The evolution of these events since 1871 shows that a greater proportion of the French territory is affected by extreme low-flow events since the 1940s. A good coherence is found between reconstructed events and documentary sources on historical droughts.This work contributes to timely scientific issues, especially within the context of climate change and its hydrological impacts. This work proposes two innovative methods on multivariate statistical downscaling and spatio-temporal identification of extreme low-flow events. It also produced two reference hydroclimatic datasets that may be used in any study requiring long hydrometeorological series.
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Laurie Caillouet. Reconstruction hydrométéorologique des étiages historiques en France entre 1871 et 2012. Sciences de la Terre. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016GREAU011⟩. ⟨tel-02605168v2⟩

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