Christoph von Matt

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter


Universität Bern
Geographisches Institut
Hallerstrasse 12
CH-3012 Bern

Droughts such as in recent years over Switzerland (e.g., 2015, 2018, and 2022) can have substantial impacts on a wide variety of sectors (e.g., agriculture). Drought indices for meteorological, agricultural, and hydrological drought all point towards an increase in summer drought severity in Switzerland (e.g., CH2018 and Hydro-CH2018). Further, drought impacts can become disproportionally large when multiple regions or sectors are affected simultaneously. As droughts - compared to other natural hazards - tend to evolve over longer time scales, there is also potential for taking effective adaptation measures.

My current research focuses on catchment response sensitivity to the hydro-meteorological drought signal by leveraging temporally and spatially high-resolution observational datasets (MeteoSwiss, ECMWF, FOEN). The focus is on the onset and recovery of hydrological droughts resulting from deficits in atmospheric water (precipitation) and storage (evapotranspiration, snow). The main goal is to provide information on seasonally dependent catchment-scale drought responses to (cumulative) water deficits and surpluses, which could ideally serve as the basis for drought termination forecasts.