Center for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies

Innsbruck, Austria

Center for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies

Innsbruck, Austria
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Loew S.,ETH Zurich | Strauhal T.,Center for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | Strauhal T.,University of Innsbruck
Italian Journal of Engineering Geology and Environment | Year: 2013

In this paper, we systematically study steady-state pore pressure conditions in translational brittle rockslides, with special focus on saturated and unsaturated flow in variably fractured rock masses. The study includes a discussion of critical hydraulic borehole observations in translational rockslides from British Columbia, Norway and the Italian Alps and explains these observations with a generic numerical rockslide model. Most key observations, such as piezometric pore pressure levels at the base of translational rockslides, the location of seepage faces, pressure compartments, perched groundwater flows, and deep groundwater tables can be successfully explained. Open questions relate to the magnitudes of negative pore pressures in the unsaturated zones and the impacts of strong heterogeneity in hydraulic conductivity fields. The impacts of suction and seepage forces on slope stability are discussed. © 2013 Sapienza Università Editrice.

Bellinger J.,Center for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | Bellinger J.,University of Innsbruck | Achleitner S.,University of Innsbruck | Schober J.,Center for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | And 4 more authors.
Advances in Geosciences | Year: 2012

This study analyses the impact of vertical model discretisation on modelling snow covered area and the consequential effects on runoff formation of the semi-distributed water balance model HQsim. Therefore, the parameters relevant for snow modelling are varied within the frame of a uniformly distributed Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS). Since the model is based on the hydrological response unit (HRU) approach, the effect of building the HRUs with different elevation steps (250 m and 500 m) is tested for two alpine catchments. In total 5000 parameter combinations were generated for simulation. The results of modelled snow covered area were compared with thirty MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) snow cover maps for the melting periods in 2003-2011. Based on a contingency table the comparisons were evaluated by different skill measures. Finally, the pareto optimal parameter settings of each skill measure were detected. Evaluation of runoff variability within the MCS and their pareto optimal runs show reduced variances of model output resulting from an improved simulation of the snow covered area. © Author(s) 2012. CC Attribution 3.0 License.

Gems B.,University of Innsbruck | Achleitner S.,University of Innsbruck | Plorer M.,University of Innsbruck | Schoberl F.,University of Innsbruck | And 2 more authors.
Advances in Geosciences | Year: 2012

Sediment transport in mountain rivers and torrents is a substantial process within the assessment of flood related hazard potential and vulnerability in alpine catchments. Focusing on fluvial transport processes, river bed erosion and deposition considerably affects the extent of inundation. The present work deals with scenario-specific bed-load transport modelling in a large alpine valley in the Austrian Alps. A routing scheme founding on empirical equations for the calculation of transport capacities, incipient motion conditions and drag forces is set up and applied to the case study area for two historic flood events. The required hydraulic data result from a distributed hydrological-1-D-hydraulic model. Hydraulics and bed-load transport are simulated sequentially providing a technically well-founded and feasible methodology for the estimation of bed-load transport rates during flood events. © 2012 Author(s).

Schmidt P.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Steiger R.,Center for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | Matzarakis A.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Meteorologische Zeitschrift | Year: 2012

Winter sport, especially ski tourism - is one of those sectors of tourism that will be affected by climate change. Ski resorts across the Alps and in the adjacent low mountain ranges react to warm winter seasons by investing in artificial snowmaking. But snowmaking in warm winter seasons is fraught with risk, because sufficiently low air temperature will become less frequent in the future. The present study deals with the ski resort Feldberg, which has 14 ski lifts and 16 ski slopes which is the biggest ski resort in the German Federal state Baden-Württemberg. The impact of climate change in this region is extraordinary important because winter tourism is the main source of revenue for the whole area around the ski resort. The study area is in altitudinal range of 850 to 1450 meters above sea level. At the moment, it is possible to supply one third of the whole area with artificial snow, but there is plan for artificial snowmaking of the whole Feldberg area by the year 2020. Based on this, more detailed investigations of season length and the needed volume of produced snow are necessary. A ski season simulation model (SkiSim 2.0) was applied in order to assess potential impacts of climate change on the Feldberg ski area for the A1B and B1 emission scenarios based on the ECHAM5 GCM downscaled by the REMO RCM. SkiSim 2.0 calculates daily snow depth (natural and technically produced snow) and the required amount of artificial snow for 100 m altitudinal bands. Analysing the development of the number of potential skiing days, it can be assessed whether ski operation is cost covering or not. Model results of the study show a more pronounced and rapid shortening of the ski season in the lower ranges until the year 2100 in each climate scenario. In both the A1B and B1 scenario runs of REMO, a cost-covering ski season of 100 days cannot be guaranteed in every altitudinal range even if snowmaking is considered. In this context, the obtained high-resolution snow data can provide a useful tool and decision-making aid for the economy and policies. © 2012 by Gebrüder Borntraeger.

Theuretzbacher F.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Theuretzbacher F.,Center for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | Lizasoain J.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | Menardo S.,Center for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | And 5 more authors.
Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus | Year: 2014

A highly promising energy crop for biogas production can be Miscanthus x giganteus. It has multiple advantages, which include low soil requirements and the existence of genotypes adapted to dry conditions in comparison to other energy crops. Miscanthus cannot be used in the biogas plant without a pretreatment due to the recalcitrant nature of lignocelluloses. One of the most efficient pretreatment methods for lignocellulosic biomass is steam explosion. This includes heating the biomass at high temperature values, followed by mechanical disruption of the biomass fibres by a rapid pressure drop. The objective of this study is to analyse the effect of the steam explosion pretreatment on the specific biogas and methane production of miscanthus. In addition methane hectare yields are calculated and compared to those of maize. Steam explosion pretreatment was carried out in a laboratory scale facility in Ås, Norway. The miscanthus was mixed with water and heated up to the desired temperature. After a defined pretreatment time the pressure in the reaction vessel was reduced rapidly, which caused the liquid water to vaporize immediately. The material was cooled down in a flushing tank and was then stored at 5°C until further analytical procedures. Pretreatment temperatures were 190°C and 210°C; holding times were 5, 10 and 15 minutes. Determination of the specific methane yield was done in triplicate using batch tests according to VDI 4630. The material was inoculated with the liquid fermentation residue of a biogas plant. The produced gas was collected in eudiometers and then analysed for the CH4 and CO2 content.

Menardo S.,Center for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | Menardo S.,University of Turin | Bauer A.,Center for Climate Change Adaptation Technologies | Bauer A.,University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna | And 6 more authors.
Bioenergy Research | Year: 2013

The costs of producing protected vegetables comprise up to 78 % of the total operating costs in greenhouses. These expenses mainly result from energy consumption. Increasing energy efficiency and expanding the use of renewable energy sources are essential for global competitiveness. The aim of this study is to optimize methane production from miscanthus and to evaluate the potential use of miscanthus as a source of electrical energy, heat, and CO2 in vegetable greenhouses. To optimize methane yield, miscanthus was pretreated by steam explosion using different time/temperature combinations. Pretreatment resulted in a more than threefold increase of methane yield from anaerobic digestion (374 lN kgVS-1) compared with untreated miscanthus. Based on technical parameters from two greenhouses (in Northern and Southern Europe), four different energy balances were established. The balances showed that using methane produced by pretreated miscanthus in vegetable greenhouses can enhance the entire process and therefore make it more sustainable. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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