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Mazzorana B.,Autonomous Province of Bolzano | Simoni S.,Mountain eering Srl | Scherer C.,Obrist and Partner Engineering | Gems B.,University of Innsbruck | And 2 more authors.
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences

The design of efficient hydrological risk mitigation strategies and their subsequent implementation relies on a careful vulnerability analysis of the elements exposed. Recently, extensive research efforts were undertaken to develop and refine empirical relationships linking the structural vulnerability of buildings to the impact forces of the hazard processes. These empirical vulnerability functions allow estimating the expected direct losses as a result of the hazard scenario based on spatially explicit representation of the process patterns and the elements at risk classified into defined typological categories. However, due to the underlying empiricism of such vulnerability functions, the physics of the damage-generating mechanisms for a well-defined element at risk with its peculiar geometry and structural characteristics remain unveiled, and, as such, the applicability of the empirical approach for planning hazard-proof residential buildings is limited. Therefore, we propose a conceptual assessment scheme to close this gap. This assessment scheme encompasses distinct analytical steps: modelling (a) the process intensity, (b) the impact on the element at risk exposed and (c) the physical response of the building envelope. Furthermore, these results provide the input data for the subsequent damage evaluation and economic damage valuation. This dynamic assessment supports all relevant planning activities with respect to a minimisation of losses, and can be implemented in the operational risk assessment procedure. © Author(s) 2014. CC Attribution 3.0 License. Source

Mazzorana B.,Autonomous Province of Bolzano | Levaggi L.,Sudan University of Science and Technology | Keiler M.,University of Bern | Fuchs S.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Natural Hazards and Earth System Science

As a consequence of flood impacts, communities inhabiting mountain areas are increasingly affected by considerable damage to infrastructure and property. The design of effective flood risk mitigation strategies and their subsequent implementation is crucial for a sustainable development in mountain areas. The assessment of the dynamic evolution of flood risk is the pillar of any subsequent planning process that is targeted at a reduction of the expected adverse consequences of the hazard impact. Given these premises, firstly, a comprehensive method to derive flood hazard process scenarios for well-defined areas at risk is presented. Secondly, conceptualisations of a static and dynamic flood risk assessment are provided. These are based on formal schemes to compute the risk mitigation performance of devised mitigation strategies within the framework of economic cost-benefit analysis. In this context, techniques suitable to quantify the expected losses induced by the identified flood impacts are provided. © Author(s) 2012. CC Attribution 3.0 License. Source

Mazzorana B.,Autonomous Province of Bolzano | Mazzorana B.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Fuchs S.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Environmental Modelling and Software

Extreme torrent events in alpine regions have clearly shown a variety of process patterns involving morphological changes due to increased local erosion and deposition phenomena, and clogging of critical flow sections due to woody material accumulations. Simulation models and design procedures currently used in hazard and risk assessment are only partially able to explain these hydrological cause-effect relationships because the selection of appropriate and reliable scenarios still remains unsolved. Here we propose a scenario development technique, based on a system loading level and a system response level. By Formative Scenario Analysis we derived well-defined sets of assumptions about possible system dynamics at selected critical stream configurations that allowed us to reconstruct in a systematic manner the underlying loading mechanisms and the induced system responses. The derived system scenarios are a fundamental prerequisite to assure quality throughout the hazard assessment process and to provide a coherent problem setting for risk assessment. The proposed scenario development technique has proven to be a powerful modelling framework for the necessary qualitative and quantitative knowledge integration, and for coping with the underlying uncertainties, which are considered to be a key element in natural hazards risk assessment. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Acosta M.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Pavelka M.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Montagnani L.,Autonomous Province of Bolzano | Kutsch W.,Johann Heinrich Von Thunen Institute | And 3 more authors.

Extensivemeasurements of soil surface (including vegetation cover) CO2 effluxwere carried out on 80 positions at four different forest sites (Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic and Italy) using a closed dynamic chamber technique. The period ofmeasurementwas 4-5 consecutive days per site. Two approacheswere used to analyze the measured data, the Q10 parameter and the Arrhenius relationship. Basic environmental factors such as soil temperature and moisture were measured. All the four investigated sites showed a positive dependence of the soil surface CO2 efflux on soil temperature. The four datasets generally resulted in good agreement (up to 93%) between the approaches and residual analysis showed no significant difference between approaches (less than 8%). The Q10 ranged between 2.0 and 2.3 among the sites. The highest spatial variation of the soil surface CO2 efflux at 10 °C (expressed by the coefficient of variation CV) ranged from 30 to 65% between sites. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Cremonese E.,Environmental Protection Agency of Aosta Valley | Gruber S.,University of Zurich | Phillips M.,WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF | Pogliotti P.,Environmental Protection Agency of Aosta Valley | And 14 more authors.

The investigation and modelling of permafrost distribution, particularly in areas of discontinuous permafrost, is challenging due to spatial heterogeneity, remoteness of measurement sites and data scarcity. We have designed a strategy for standardizing different local data sets containing evidence of the presence or absence of permafrost into an inventory for the entire European Alps. With this brief communication, we present the structure and contents of this inventory. This collection of permafrost evidence not only highlights existing data and allows new analyses based on larger data sets, but also provides complementary information for an improved interpretation of monitoring results. © Author(s) 2011. CC Attribution 3.0 License. Source

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