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Applying torrent hazard guidelines

Innovative guidelines for using reconstructive methods of previous torrent activity have been designed to help assess, monitor and prevent these dangerous occurrences.

Climate Change and Environment

Torrent activity in the Alps is a serious threat to inhabitants, tourist attractions and European transportation routes. Thus, the THARMIT project has developed practical tools and methodologies for hazard assessment, prevention, monitoring and mitigation. In so doing, field measurements have been combined with simulation models for a more thorough understanding of the dynamics behind these events. Reconstructive methods for past torrent process activity accessed by non-specialist end-users has been limited. In order to make them more accessible, theoretical and practical background information was pooled together via a study. The guidelines and instructions that have been created help end-users apply the methods safely. Also, since the guidelines contain methodology and warnings, end-users can affirm that their intended use is scientifically warranted and viable for application by non-specialists. The guidelines pay attention to different processes including torrent outlet activity and the impact on the corresponding fan as well as within the catchment areas where active landslides exist. By paying attention to such differences, the guidelines can contribute to hazard appreciation and to a better understanding of how particular parts of a torrent relate to certain hazards.

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