Research

Geomorphology

News archive

For the first time the ATLAS Vulnerability and Resilience for Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland was published in July 2016. The Atlas is an overview on studies on different aspects of vulnerability and resilience relevant in the field of civil protection / contingencies and disaster risk management. Margreth Keiler and Sven Fuchs wrote a Chapter about "Vulnerability and resileince - two complementary factors in natrual hazard management?".

You can find the PDF here.

Ein See, der sich zum Glück nur selten füllt

In den Bergen ist oft ein hoher Anteil der Bevölkerung von Hochwasser bedroht. Die wirklich grossen Schadenpotenziale liegen aber im Mittelland – zum Beispiel in Winterthur. Von Lukas Denzler

The Article in German can be downloaded below:

For the first time the ATLAS Vulnerability and Resilience for Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland was published in July 2016. The Atlas is an overview on studies on different aspects of vulnerability and resilience relevant in the field of civil protection / contingencies and disaster risk management. Margreth Keiler and Sven Fuchs wrote a Chapter about "Vulnerability and resileince - two complementary factors in natrual hazard management?".

You can find the PDF here.

For the first time the ATLAS Vulnerability and Resilience for Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland was published in July 2016. The Atlas is an overview on studies on different aspects of vulnerability and resilience relevant in the field of civil protection / contingencies and disaster risk management. Margreth Keiler and Sven Fuchs wrote a Chapter about "Vulnerability and resileince - two complementary factors in natrual hazard management?".

You can find the PDF here.

Thomas Tahler, Andreas Zischg, Margreth Keiler, Sven Fuchs

Abstract As financing protection against mountain hazards becomes increasingly challenging and therefore investments have to be prioritized, dilemmas of justice emerge: some local governments and individuals benefit from natural hazard protection schemes, whereas others loose. Decisions on whom to protect often caused contradicting concepts of political understanding, which differ in interpretations of fair resource allocation and distribution. This paper analyses the impact of different philosophical schools of social justice on mountain hazard management in Austria. We used data from a spatially explicit, object-based assessment of elements at risk and compared potential distributional effects of three political jurisdictions. We found that—depending on the respective political direction—various local governments gain and others loose within the actual distributional system of mitigation strategies. The implementation of a utilitarian policy approach would cause that high income communities in hazard-prone areas would mainly benefit. Consequently, this policy direction would encourage the public administration to ignore their own failure in the past natural hazards management and prevention. On the other hand, following a Rawlsians approach mainly peripheral communities would gain from new policy direction who often show besides natural hazards problem mainly large socio-economic challenges. Finally, the most radical change would include the implementation of a liberalism policy, whereabouts the state only provides hazard information, but no further mitigation measures. These findings highlight the distributional consequences of future mountain hazard management strategies and point to the crucial selection of policy direction in navigating the selection of various adaptation schemes.

Keywords Social justice . Political economy . Risk reduction . Distributional consequences . Mountain hazards

The open position is part of the Mobiliar Lab for Natural Risks. The goal of the Mobiliar Lab is to study and to quantify the spatio-temporal characteristics of climate risks and natural hazards and their impacts upon the Swiss society. The focus is on applied research and practical applications. The Mobiliar Lab for Natural Risks (www.mobiliarlab.unibe.ch) is part of the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern.

We have an opening for a one year PostDoc position (starting as soon as possible or by agreement, possible prolongation).

The Post Doc will work together with other members of the Mobiliar Lab on a project focusing on infrastructure in Switzerland and possible impacts by water-related hazards. The contribution of the Post Doc will focus on analysing and modelling infrastructure networks and implications of interconnectedness and (functional, spatial) interdependencies for a better understanding of systemic vulnerability and risk.

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate who

  • holds PhD in mathematics, physics, computer science, geo-informatics / -statistics
  • has experience in modelling complex systems and/or infrastructure systems
  • has experience in the application of graph theory
  • has excellent skills in programming (Python, C++ and/or other relevant languages)
  • likes to work in a trans-disciplinary research environment and to develop creative strategies,
  • is interested in applied research,
  • is fluent in English.

Basic knowledge in Swiss geography and basic knowledge of German would be an asset. The close collaboration with the Swiss Mobiliar Insurance company offers the possibility to transfer the research results into practice.

The gross salary is fixed according to regulation of the University of Bern and Canton Bern. The appointment will be in the Mobiliar Lab for Natural Risk at University Bern, with an initial term of one year and the expectation that progress would merit reappointment for another half year or more.

Questions regarding the position can be directed to Margreth Keiler (margreth.keiler@giub.unibe.ch). Please send your application (letter of motivation, CV including a publication list, names and addresses of two references, diploma and transcript) in ONE pdf file to Mirjam Mertin (mirjam.mertin@giub.unibe.ch). Review of applications will start by beginning of March, 2018 and will be continued until the position is filled. Interviews are planned in the week of March 19, 2018.

Applications from qualified women are warmly encouraged

For the first time the ATLAS Vulnerability and Resilience for Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland was published in July 2016. The Atlas is an overview on studies on different aspects of vulnerability and resilience relevant in the field of civil protection / contingencies and disaster risk management. Margreth Keiler and Sven Fuchs wrote a Chapter about "Vulnerability and resileince - two complementary factors in natrual hazard management?".

You can find the PDF here.

The group GeomorphRisk from the Institute of Geography at University of Bern and the Swiss Geomorphological Society invite to the guest lecture of Prof. Tom Coulthard on the 28th of November 2016, 18:15 o'clock. You can find more Information about the lecture on the poster: 

During the Interpraevent 2016 (30 May - 2 June) in Lucern, Niki Beyer Portner cordially invites all members of we4DRR to an informal meeting on Monday evening.

Monday from 8 pm at the Restaurant Rathaus Brauerei (they also serve snacks and meals), Unter Egg 2, CH-6004 Luzern,www.braui-luzern.ch

Please contact Niki Beyer Portner via e-mail ( niki.beyer[@]hydrocosmos.ch ) if you plan to attempt, so reservations can be made.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

http://www.naturgefahren.at/eu-internationales/we4DRR/ipsideevent.html

The group GeomorphRisk is represented by different contributions by several persons at  Interpraevent 2016 in Lucern.

  • Block 9: Hazard and risk assessment (Thurdsay): "Natural hazard induced risk: a dynamic individualised approach for calculating hit probability on networks" (Esther Schönthal)
  • several posters from former Master's students

The group GeomorphRisk is represented with several contributions at EGU (European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016):

  • Session Co-Conveners: "Resilience and vulnerability assessments in natural hazards and risk analysis" (Margreth Keiler)  http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2016/session/20331 (Friday 22. april 2016)
  • Orals: "Hot wet spots of Swiss buildings – detecting clusters of flood exposure" (Veronika Röthlisberger, Andreas Zischg, and Margreth Keiler) in session "Spatio-temporal and/or geostatistical analysis of hydrological events, extremes, and related hazards" (Thursday 21. april 2016)
  • Poster: "Process chains in high mountain areas and multi-hazards of different scales – the Barsem disaster, Tajikistan" (Markus Zimmermann, Sven Fuchs, and Margreth Keiler) in session "Sediment dynamics and meltwater processes in proglacial environments" (Thurdsday 21. april 2016)
  • Poster: "Mesh versus bathtub – effects of flood models on exposure analysis in Switzerland" (Veronika Röthlisberger, Andreas Zischg, and Margreth Keiler) in session "Flood risk and uncertainty" (Tuesday 19. april 2016)
  • Poster: "Probabilistic mapping of urban flood risk: Application to extreme events in Surat, India" (Jorge Ramirez, Umamaheshwaran Rajasekar, Tom Coulthard, and Margreth Keiler) in session "Geohazards and Critical Infrastructures" (Friday 22. april 2016)

The group GeomorphRisk is represented at the "Swiss Global Change Day" (12. April 2016)  in Bern by Margreth Keiler and Markus Zimmermann. Their contribution is called "The Barsem deris flow disaster, Pamir (Tajikistan) - a signal for effects of climate change?".

 

Women exchange for disaster risk reduction (we4DRR) is an exchange network for female experts and should cater women working in research, policy and practitioners in the field of natural hazards and disaster risk reduction. Find out more...

Excursion to the Grimsel and Trift region

Young and young-at-heart geomorphologists have followed the call of Uni Bern’s young geomorphologists to an excursion into the Trift and Grimsel region in the Bernese Oberland. The first day, we visited the Gelmerbahn and its lake, where we were introduced into the geological situation of the region. Thereafter, the KWO took us underground and under the Grimsel reservoir to show us their business, where we had the possibility to watch hydropower generation at first hand. The end of the day brought back to the Spreitloui in Guttannen where we were updated on current research on debris flow and related processes and their consequences. After out stay at Hotel Handegg, the second day was spent in the Trift region. With a stunning view at the glacier, we discussed geological, geomorphological and in terms of the future hydropower project in the area, also social and economic topics. All in all, two days full of interesting discussions, inputs and intercommunication between students and practitioners from various but related research fields.

Many thanks to all participants for their active attendance and to the experts B. Berger, C. Fölmli and W. Thöni from the KWO! For their financial support we would like to thank the Swiss Geomorphological Society and the KWO.

Gruppenbild

Natural Hazards & Risks
Changes and Challenges

June 17-19, 2015,  Innertkirchen, BE

Natural hazard events and their associated effects have changed considerably in recent years. Geomorphological processes, such as debris flows, are being characterized by different system behaviours, which have led to new and unexpected consequences. These events result in high degrees of damage and increasing losses, in addition to the emergence of new risks. Climate change, extreme meteorological events and environmental alterations significantly contribute to the evolution of natural hazards and risk.

The conference contributes towards building a platform to discuss recent approaches, methods, monitoring systems and analysis methods with respect to topics on changes in natural hazards and risk. Challenges in risk management and future developments of natural hazards in the Alps were also discussed.

Thanks to all of the 68 participants for their contribution to the 2015 Swiss Geomorphological Society (SGS) conference!
Kegel des Rotlauwigrabens
Postersession
Gruppenbild
Markus Zimmermann spricht zu den Exkursionsteilnehmenden

Fieldcourse Switzerland/Austria

The topic of this course are landscape-changing processes and the thereby emerging risks in the Rheintal (CH/A), Vorarlberg (A) and Tirol (A). Diverse topics, like mountain slides, floods, debris flows or avalanches as well as different management strategies, are prepared and discussed. A special focus are the analyses of the spatial and temporal dynamics of landscape-changing processes and the assessment of the future development with respect to changing natural and social systems.

Thanks for the amazing course!

Gruppenbild
Geschiebesammler
Besichtigung der Baustelle
Führung bei Zech Kies