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Jochem A.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | Jochem A.,University of Innsbruck | Hofle B.,University of Heidelberg | Rutzinger M.,University of Innsbruck | Rutzinger M.,University of Twente
Remote Sensing

In recent years there has been an increasing demand among home owners for cost effective sustainable energy production such as solar energy to provide heating and electricity. A lot of research has focused on the assessment of the incoming solar radiation on roof planes acquired by, e.g., Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS). However, solar panels can also be mounted on building facades in order to increase renewable energy supply. Due to limited reflections of points from vertical walls, ALS data is not suitable to perform solar potential assessment of vertical building facades. This paper focuses on a new method for automatic solar radiation modeling of facades acquired by Mobile Laser Scanning (MLS) and uses the full 3D information of the point cloud for both the extraction of vertical walls covered by the survey and solar potential analysis. Furthermore, a new method is introduced determining the interior and exterior face, respectively, of each detected wall in order to calculate its slope and aspect angles that are of crucial importance for solar potential assessment. Shadowing effects of nearby objects are considered by computing the 3D horizon of each point of a facade segment within the 3D point cloud. © 2011 by the authors. Source

Regional management of regional contexts such as Protected Areas demands the continuous involvement of local stakeholders and citizens. These groups are not only consumers, but also co-constructors of their cultural landscapes. To ensure their persistent support, however, regional management has to take into account instruments likely to guarantee this long-term public support. This is where social capital comes into play and contributes to voluntary engagement on a long-term basis. Though not always having intended to use its knowledge on social capital, the case of the Großes Walsertal Biosphere Reserve appears to have done a good job in bringing about this long-term public support while turning it into significant degrees of innovation and economic success. Source

Otto J.-C.,University of Salzburg | Keuschnig M.,University of Salzburg | Keuschnig M.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | Gotz J.,University of Salzburg | And 2 more authors.
Geografiska Annaler, Series A: Physical Geography

Permafrost distribution in mid-latitude mountains is strongly controlled by solar radiation, snow cover and surface characteristics like debris cover. With decreasing elevation these factors have to counterbalance local positive air temperatures in order to enable permafrost conditions. We combine high resolution surface data derived from terrestrial laser scanning with geophysical information on the underground conditions using ground penetrating radar and electrical resistivity tomography and ground surface temperature data in order to understand the effects of surface characteristics on permafrost distribution in an Alpine catchment, Austrian Alps (Glatzbach, 47°2′23.49″N; 12°42′33.24″E, 2700-2900m a.s.l.). Ground ice and permafrost is found above an elevation of 2780m a.s.l. on north-east facing slopes in 2009, previous studies detected permafrost at the same site at 2740m a.s.l. in 1991. Analysis of surface roughness as a proxy for grain size distribution reveals that the lower boundary of discontinuous and sporadic permafrost is lowered on rough surfaces compared to fine-grain zones. At the same location modelled potential summer solar radiation in coarse grain zones is reduced by up to 40% compared to surfaces of fine grain sizes. The mostly patchy permafrost distribution at the Glatzbach can therefore be attributed to local surface cover characteristics, particularly regolith grain size and its influence on solar radiation. We conclude that the analysis of ground surface characteristics using very high resolution terrain data supports the assessment of permafrost in Alpine areas by identifying rough surface conditions favouring permafrost occurrence. © 2012 The authors. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography © 2012 Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography. Source

Jochem A.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | Jochem A.,University of Innsbruck | Hollaus M.,Vienna University of Technology | Rutzinger M.,University of Innsbruck | And 2 more authors.

In this study, a semi-empirical model that was originally developed for stem volume estimation is used for aboveground biomass (AGB) estimation of a spruce dominated alpine forest. The reference AGB of the available sample plots is calculated from forest inventory data by means of biomass expansion factors. Furthermore, the semi-empirical model is extended by three different canopy transparency parameters derived from airborne LiDAR data. These parameters have not been considered for stem volume estimation until now and are introduced in order to investigate the behavior of the model concerning AGB estimation. The developed additional input parameters are based on the assumption that transparency of vegetation can bemeasured by determining the penetration of the laser beams through the canopy. These parameters are calculated for every single point within the 3D point cloud in order to consider the varying properties of the vegetation in an appropriate way. Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) is performed to evaluate the influence of the additional LiDAR derived canopy transparency parameters for AGB estimation. The study is carried out in a 560 km2 alpine area in Austria, where reference forest inventory data and LiDAR data are available. The investigations show that the introduction of the canopy transparency parameters does not change the results significantly according to R2 (R2 = 0.70 to R2 = 0.71) in comparison to the results derived from, the semi-empirical model, which was originally developed for stem volume estimation. 2010 by the authors. Source

Huttenlau M.,Alpnter for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | Huttenlau M.,University of Innsbruck | Stotter J.,University of Innsbruck
Natural Hazards

In the context of natural hazard-related risk analyses, different concepts and comprehensions of the term risk exist. These differences are mostly subjected to the perceptions and historical backgrounds of the different scientific disciplines and results in a multitude of methodological concepts to analyse risk. The target-oriented selection and application of these concepts depend on the specific research object which is generally closely connected to the stakeholders' interests. An obvious characteristic of the different conceptualizations is the immanent various comprehensions of vulnerability. As risk analyses from a natural scientific-technical background aim at estimating potential expositions and consequences of natural hazard events, the results can provide an appropriate decision basis for risk management strategies. Thereby, beside the preferably addressed gravitative and hydrological hazards, seismo-tectonical and especially meteorological hazard processes have been rarely considered within multi-risk analyses in an Alpine context. Hence, their comparative grading in an overall context of natural hazard risks is not quantitatively possible. The present paper focuses on both (1) the different concepts of the natural hazard risk and especially their specific expressions in the context of vulnerability and (2) the exemplary application of the natural scientific-technical risk concepts to analyse potential extreme storm losses in the Austrian Province of Tyrol. Following the corresponding general risk concept, the case study first defines the hazard potential, second estimates the exposures and damage potentials on the basis of an existing database of the stock of elements and values, and third analyses the so-called Extreme Scenario Losses (ESL) considering the structural vulnerability of the potentially affected elements at risk. Thereby, it can be shown that extreme storm events can induce losses solely to buildings and inventory in the range of EUR 100-150 million in Tyrol. However, in an overall context of potential extreme natural hazard events, the storm risk can be classified with a moderate risk potential in this province. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

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