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Torrent hazard control in the european alps. practical tools and methodologies for hazard assessment and risk mitigation

Objective

Problems to be solved
Torrent activity in the Alps represents a major threat to permanent settlements, tourist infrastructures and European transit routes. THARMIT will develop practical tools and methodologies for hazard assessment, prevention, monitoring and mitigation. Field measurements will be coupled with simulation models to obtain a deeper knowledge of the dynamics and factors controlling triggering and propagation of the events.
Scientific objectives and approach
The overall objectives of THARMIT include:
1) improving the understanding of the predisposition and triggering factors associated to torrent hazard, by analysing and identifying the role of man-induced alterations of the environment, the combinations of meteorological events responsible for triggering, and the corresponding forecasting methods.
2) assessing potential torrential and debris flow scenarios, by reference to initiation, mobilisation and propagation mechanisms, related to given catchments with different characteristics of time occurrence and magnitude (volumes of materials liable to be mobilised, peak flow/debris discharge,etc.).
3) improving existing numerical simulation models by extending the set of represented phenomena and an easy use for end-users, and to compare the results of their application in different areas (both between them and with the field data).
4) providing tools which allow for a given region to obtain a sufficiently accurate overview, of existing hazards of torrential processes' magnitude and frequency; and user-friendly predictions about the short-time spatial and temporal developments of the identified hazards.
5) providing dynamic modelling of the defined hazards on the basis of the spatial and temporal variability of torrential processes founded on the combination of spatial and temporal data sets and modelled using specific process equations.
6) devising methods for saving and monitoring potentially dangerous areas by checking the efficiency and effectiveness of different types of technical countermeasures and warning systems.
7) providing new and improved practical decision-making tools and guidelines for torrent hazard assessment and the evaluation of mitigation strategies.
8) providing decision support systems to end-users (field engineers, geologists and technicians of the public and private societies and institutions, etc.).
9) transferring the know-how to practitioners by disseminating the results through seminars and training courses.
Expected impacts
The final goal of THARMIT is to provide practical tools and methodologies for hazard assessment and risk mitigation readily available for end-users, through the advance of our quantitative understanding of the physical functioning and evolution of alpine torrents systems.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI PADOVA
Address
Via Giotto 1
35137 Padova
Italy

Participants (7)

ASSOCIATION POUR LA RECHERCHE ET LE DEVELOPPEMENT DES METHODES ET PROCESSUS INDUSTRIELS
France
Address
Boulevard Saint-michel 60
75272 Paris
CENTRE NATIONAL DU MACHINISME AGRICOLE, DU GENIE RURAL, DES EAUX ET DES FORETS
France
Address
Rue De La Papetrie 2 Domaine Universitaire
38402 Saint-martin-d'heres
FREIE UNIVERSITAET BERLIN
Germany
Address
Malteserstrasse 74-100
12249 Berlin
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF ITALY
Italy
Address
Strada Delle Cacce 73
10135 Torino (Turin)
UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA
Italy
Address
Viale Del Risorgimento 2
40136 Bologna
UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO
Italy
Address
Via Mesiano Di Povo 77
38100 Trento
UTRECHT UNIVERSITY
Netherlands
Address
Heidelberglaan 2
3508 TC Utrecht