By Rajiv Sinha
The author is Professor, Engineering Geosciences, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Engineering, Kanpur.
Extreme events are high magnitude, low frequency events that have the ability to transform a landscape of any region significantly. Earth’s changing climate and projected changes in weather and hydrological parameters suggest that such events have happened in the past and the present. The big question is: what will be their characteristics and frequency in a climate change scenario?
Most geomorphic processes vary in terms of intensity and degree of variability over space and time. Such variability is often caused by different environmental conditions under which they operate. One of the fundamental enquiries about geomorphic processes is to understand the frequency with which events of different magnitudes occur in natural systems. Analysis of the size of various geomorphic processes over various time scales has clearly demonstrated that extreme, high magnitude events are rare while the low-to-medium magnitude events are...