Dimitri Defrance

PhD Student

Domaine de compétence


2011-2012         Flash flood warning methods evaluation on ungauged basins (6 months, Master 2nd year professional training) (S. Ecrepont)

Projets réalisés et en cours

Thesis (2010-2013):

In recent years, several flash floods have occurred in the south of France as well as in mountainous areas (Grand Bornand). This type of event often occurs in small, ungauged watersheds (that do not make up part of the network monitored by government agencies). The AIGA method developed by Météo-France and the Aix-en-Provence CEMAGREF centre allows to issues a warning in real time during hydro-meteorological events about the danger of floods in terms of return periods on ungauged watersheds. Previous results have shown the limits of this method that seems ill-suited to mountainous regions. This thesis seeks to improve the current AIGA method taking into account the particularities linked to mountainous regions (snowmelt, steel slopes, poor knowledge of rainfall) and is part of the RHYTMME project to develop a network of meteorological radars.


Année de fin de publication



Articles in international peer-reviewed journals

2012:  Javelle, P., Demargne, J., Defrance, D., Pansu, J., Arnaud, P. Evaluating flash flood warnings at ungauged locations: a case study with the AIGA warning system, Hydrological Sciences Journal (Submitted)

Articles in international peer-reviewed conference proceedings

2012: Javelle, P., Defrance, D., Mérieux P., Liébault, F., Navratilo, O., Segel, V., Westrelin, S.  Flash flood warning system in mountainous areas using X-band weather radars: some preliminary results obtained in the framework of the RHYTMME project. 12th Congress Interpraevent 2012, Grenoble

2011: Mériaux, P., Westrelin, S.,Chèze, J.L.,Tabary, P., Javelle, P., Defrance, D. Projet RHYTMME : déploiement d'un réseau de radars dédié à la Gestion des risques en territoires montagneux méditerranéens. L'eau en montagne, mieux observer pour mieux prévoir, SHF, 16-17 march 2011, Lyon

Posters and oral presentations in conferences

2012:  Defrance, D., Javelle, P. , Arnaud, P. , Andréassian, V. Flash flood warning at ungauged locations: can proxy data be useful to calibrate the hydrological model used? . EGU General Assembly 2012, 22-27 april 2012, Vienna

2011: Defrance, D., Javelle, P. , Arnaud, P. , Andréassian, V. , Moreau, E. , Mériaux, P. Flash flood warning methods: how to evaluate them? An application in the French Southern Alps using the AIGA warning method and different rainfall input data. EGU General Assembly 2011, 3-8 april 2011, Vienna. 

2010: Javelle, P., Defrance, D., Aubert, Y., Diss, S., Cantet, P., Tolsa, M.., Fouchier, C., Arnaud, P., Lavabre, J., Breil, D. Application of the AIGA flash flood warning method to the 15th of June 2010 event on the Nartuby and Argens rivers (South of France). EGU Leonardo Topical Conference on the hydrological cycle Looking at Catchments in Colors, 10-12 november 2010, Luxembourg.

2010: Fouchier, C., Arnaud, P., Javelle, P., Defrance, D. The flood of the Nartuby and Argens rivers claimed the lives of 25 people in June 2010. These two French rivers were not monitored at that time. This dramatic event highlights the need for an operational flood alert system dedicated to ungauged watersheds. EGU Leonardo Topical Conference on the hydrological cycle Looking at Catchments in Colors, 10-12 november 2010, Luxembourg.

2010: Javelle P., Fouchier C., Arnaud P., Lavabre J., Defrance, D.Flash flood warning at ungauged locations using radar rainfall and antecedent soil moisture estimations. EGU General Assembly 2010, 2-7 may 2010, Vienna. 


Defrance, D., 2010. Initialisation du modèle d'alerte de crue AIGA par un indice d'humidité. Cemagref, OHAX, Aix-en-Provence. Master 2 Pro, Ingénierie des bassins versants, Université François-Rabelais, Tours.

Defrance, D., 2009. Modélisation de la ligne d’échouage des calottes marines: Amélioration de la représentation des processus de migration de la ligne d’échouage dans les modèles numériques. ULB,Laboratoire de Glaciologie, Bruxelles. Master 2 Sciences Géographiques approfondie physique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles. 

Defrance, D., 2008. Dynamique de la ligne d'échouage. CNRS, LGGE, Grenoble. Master 1, Sciences de la Terre et Environnement, parcours eau, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble 1. 

Scientifical and technical reports

Defrance, D., 2011. Rapport annuel 2010 sur les événements hydro-climatiques relevés par le service RTM pour le département des Alpes Maritimes (06) dans le cadre du projet RHYTMME. Projet RHYTMME

Hydrological reaserch group

3275 Route de Cézanne CS 40061

13182 Aix-en-Provence Cedex 5

04 42 66 99 05
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