Original paper

The consequences of human impacts on Hungarian river basins

Rakonczai, János; Kozák, Péter


One of the greatest river regulation schemes in Europe was carried out in Hungary in the second half of 19th century. Since then more than a century has passed and it has been realised that compound effects were induced by human intervention at the time. Extremes in the hydrological regime of rivers have significantly exceeded expected values, and floods have become an important “urban management” factor. Another key problem is the increased sedimentation on artificial floodplains accompanied by the heavy invasion of shrub vegetation. Although river regulations provide protection against floods, new problems may arise along artificially narrowed floodplains. Effects on soil formation are especially important. River control has resulted in significant water shortages on the Hungarian Great Plain, where water systems were constructed (dams and irrigation networks), but the processes triggered by these measures were ambiguous.


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