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Study of the extreme floods in Algeria : The case of the Tafna catchment area Volume 23, issue 4, Octobre-Novembre-Décembre 2012

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Université de Mascara Faculté des sciences et technologie LSTE (laboratoire des sciences et techniques de l’eau) 29000 Mascara Algérie, École nationale supérieure d’hydraulique Laboratoire Génie de l’eau et de l’environnement (LGEE) Blida Algérie, Centre universitaire d’Ain-Témouchent Faculté des sciences et de la technologie 46000 Ain-Temouchent Algérie

In recent years, Algeria, and in particular its western region, has experienced a number of disasters related to the phenomenon of floods (Algiers in 2001, Ghardaia in 2008, etc.). The choice of the Tafna catchment area, West of Algeria, as a study area is related to the high recurrence of catastrophic events. This article focuses on the description and characterization of the Tafna flood power based on the calculation of Myer-Coutagne-Pardé coefficient e. The extreme floods of the Tafna catchment area generally occur in autumn and spring, with a very marked occurrence of exceptional events during the month of March for almost all studied stations. Moreover, the Sebdou wadi in Beni Bahdel and the Mouileh Wadi in Sidi Belkheir have significant summer floods. On the other hand, the classification of Pardé based on the calculation of the coefficient e shows that the floods of the Tafna catchment area can be described as moderate to high compared with the results found in the major rivers of Europe and Africa. Although with varying intensities, most of the floods in this region were devastating, which suggests that the meteorological phenomenon has been amplified by human activity, including uncontrolled urbanization and development facilities along with economic activities in flood prone areas, in addition to flash floods that characterize some parts of Algeria such as the Mekerra wadi.