The scope of our work is to investigate natural hazards and climate change impacts as well as to analyse related risks. Therefore, we monitor and analyse physical processes on the one hand, and scrutinise the resilience of populations, systems or objects to potential external stressors on the other. We combine remotely-sensed data with the results from other data acquisition and modelling methods, with the aim of integrating natural and social science approaches.
The main goal of our Natural Hazard research is to increase our knowledge of the physical processes behind mountain-related hazardous events in order to reduce the risks of damage and losses. For this purpose, and in co-operation with local, national and international institutions, we apply multi-sensor techniques and foster the integration of tools such as satellite SAR interferometry, UAV-based photogrammetry or continuous GNSS measurements. In that regard, we have set up continuous, long-term and cost-effective environmental monitoring systems to support well-organised management of mountain territories and their accompanied vulnerabilities. In addition, we analyse the relationship between geomorphological hazardous processes and their triggering biophysical factors, in particular those connected to changing climatic conditions.
Risk and Resilience
Responding to the demands of public and private users in Europe and overseas, we develop and implement risk assessments focusing on impacts of natural hazards and climate change. Within this context we identify, analyse and monitor aspects leading to exposure, vulnerabilities and resilience of people and assets at risk. We take an interdisciplinary approach to this work, integrating both quantitative and qualitative analyses at various spatial and temporal scales. We consult stakeholders and decision-makers in developing strategies and in identifying measures and actions to reduce risk, to build resilience and to identify adaptation activities. The biophysical component of this interdisciplinary work is directly linked to activities of the research field ‘Earth Observation for Environmental Monitoring’, whose results and methods are required for our assessments. The socio-economic component is carried out in cooperation with the Institute for Regional Development and Location Management.