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

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.

Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI PADOVA

Address

Via Giotto 1
35137 Padova

Italy

Administrative Contact

Domenico RIO (Professor)

Participants (7)

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ASSOCIATION POUR LA RECHERCHE ET LE DEVELOPPEMENT DES METHODES ET PROCESSUS INDUSTRIELS

France

CENTRE NATIONAL DU MACHINISME AGRICOLE, DU GENIE RURAL, DES EAUX ET DES FORETS

France

FREIE UNIVERSITAET BERLIN

Germany

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF ITALY

Italy

UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA

Italy

UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI TRENTO

Italy

UTRECHT UNIVERSITY

Netherlands

Project information

Grant agreement ID: EVG1-CT-1999-00012

  • Start date

    1 July 2000

  • End date

    1 July 2003

Funded under:

FP5-EESD

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 306 500

  • EU contribution

    € 930 800

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI PADOVA

Italy