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Heidelberg, Germany

Resch B.,University of Heidelberg | Resch B.,Harvard University | Sagl G.,University of Heidelberg | Trnros T.,University of Heidelberg | And 5 more authors.
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information | Year: 2014

In the face of the broad political call for an -energy turnaround, we are currently witnessing three essential trends with regard to energy infrastructure planning, energy generation and storage: from planned production towards fluctuating production on the basis of renewable energy sources, from centralized generation towards decentralized generation and from expensive energy carriers towards cost-free energy carriers. These changes necessitate considerable modifications of the energy infrastructure. Even though most of these modifications are inherently motivated by geospatial questions and challenges, the integration of energy system models and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is still in its infancy. This paper analyzes the shortcomings of previous approaches in using GIS in renewable energy-related projects, extracts distinct challenges from these previous efforts and, finally, defines a set of core future research avenues for GIS-based energy infrastructure planning with a focus on the use of renewable energy. These future research avenues comprise the availability base data and their -geospatial awareness, the development of a generic and unified data model, the usage of volunteered geographic information (VGI) and crowdsourced data in analysis processes, the integration of 3D building models and 3D data analysis, the incorporation of network topologies into GIS, the harmonization of the heterogeneous views on aggregation issues in the fields of energy and GIS, fine-grained energy demand estimation from freely-Available data sources, decentralized storage facility planning, the investigation of GIS-based public participation mechanisms, the transition from purely structural to operational planning, data privacy aspects and, finally, the development of a new dynamic power market design.. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Kropacek J.,University of Tubingen | Kropacek J.,TU Dresden | Neckel N.,University of Tubingen | Neckel N.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research | And 9 more authors.
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2015

Since 2004, Halji village, home of the oldest Buddhist Monastery in north-western Nepal, has suffered from recurrent glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). A sudden englacial drainage of a supraglacial lake, located at a distance of 6.5 km from the village, was identified as the source of the flood. The topography of the lake basin was mapped by combining differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) measurements with a structure-from-motion (SFM) approach using terrestrial photographs. From this model the maximum filling capacity of the lake has been estimated as 1.06 × 106 m3 with a maximum discharge of 77.8 m3 s-1, calculated using the empiric Clague-Mathews formula. A simulation of the flooded area employing a raster-based hydraulic model considering six scenarios of discharge volume and surface roughness did not result in a flooding of the village. However, both the village and the monastery are threatened by undercutting of the river bank formed by unconsolidated sediments, as it already happened in 2011. Further, the comparison of the GLOF occurrences with temperature and precipitation from the High Asia Reanalysis (HAR) data set for the period 2001-2011 suggests that the GLOF is climate-driven rather than generated by an extreme precipitation event. The calculation of geodetic mass balance and the analysis of satellite images showed a rapid thinning and retreat of Halji Glacier which will eventually lead to a decline of the lake basin. As the basin will persist for at least several years, effective mitigation measures should be considered. A further reinforcement of the gabion walls was suggested as an artificial lake drainage is not feasible given the difficult accessibility of the glacier. © 2015 TAES.

Thiebes B.,Nanjing Normal University | Bell R.,University of Vienna | Glade T.,University of Vienna | Jager S.,Geomer GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Engineering Geology | Year: 2013

Physically-based models are frequently applied for local landslide analyses and predictions in order to prevent the potentially disastrous consequences of slope failures. Limit-equilibrium modelling approaches are very common. However, the application of such models can be very time-consuming, and due to its two-dimensional nature, it generally has to be repeated for each profile that is investigated. In this study, the physically-based two-dimensional landslide model CHASM (Combined Hydrology and Stability Model) was implemented within a web-based GIS (Geographical Information System) environment for a study area in the Swabian Alb, Germany. The required input data for CHASM modelling were derived from a variety of data sources including geological maps, drillings, geophysical investigations, hydrological monitoring, laboratory analyses and literature sources. The implemented CHASM decision-support system is based on open-source software and utilises the WPS (web processing service) standard to execute the model algorithms on a server. The presented system allows the user to select from a variety of input data and model parameters to quickly perform limit-equilibrium analyses of slope stability. Simulation results are automatically stored to a database and can be visualised for interpretation. The implemented CHASM decision-support system represents an innovative prototype which demonstrates a promising approach to engage landslide modelling. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Thiebes B.,Nanjing Normal University | Bell R.,University of Vienna | Glade T.,University of Vienna | Jager S.,Geomer GmbH | And 3 more authors.
Landslides | Year: 2014

Landslides are a significant hazard in many parts of the world and exhibit a high, and often underestimated, damage potential. Deploying landslide early warning systems is one risk management strategy that, amongst others, can be used to protect local communities. In geotechnical applications, slope stability models play an important role in predicting slope behaviour as a result of external influences; however, they are only rarely incorporated into landslide early warning systems. In this study, the physically based slope stability model CHASM (Combined Hydrology and Stability Model) was initially applied to a reactivated landslide in the Swabian Alb to assess stability conditions and was subsequently integrated into a prototype of a semi-automated landslide early warning system. The results of the CHASM application demonstrate that for several potential shear surfaces the Factor of Safety is relatively low, and subsequent rainfall events could cause instability. To integrate and automate CHASM within an early warning system, international geospatial standards were employed to ensure the interoperability of system components and the transferability of the implemented system as a whole. The CHASM algorithm is automatically run as a web processing service, utilising fixed, predetermined input data, and variable input data including hydrological monitoring data and quantitative rainfall forecasts. Once pre-defined modelling or monitoring thresholds are exceeded, a web notification service distributes SMS and email messages to relevant experts, who then determine whether to issue an early warning to local and regional stakeholders, as well as providing appropriate action advice. This study successfully demonstrated the potential of this new approach to landslide early warning. To move from demonstration to active issuance of early warnings demands the future acquisition of high-quality data on mechanical properties and distributed pore water pressure regimes. © 2013, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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