New research project: Alert system for dang

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In recent years, there have been repeated flash floods in Germany, some with devastating effects, which were triggered by localized heavy rains. Until now, it has often not been possible to prevent such events because their origins are complicated and they usually occur quickly and are spatially very limited. A new research project aims to fill this gap in the warning system. It is coordinated by Prof. dr. Marc Weiler, hydrologist at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources of the University of Fribourg. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project, which will last three years.

Scales from all over Germany down to the municipal level

The new research project is called AVOSS (which stands for Impact-based predict of heavy rain events and flash floods at different scales: prospects, uncertainties and limitations). It is intended to provide prototype warnings at different spatial scales, from the whole of Germany to individual federal states and down to the municipal level.

“Existing warning tools for heavy precipitation and its consequences refer only to the precipitation forecast and do not take into account the current hydrological conditions,” says Weiler. Hydrological properties, such as current soil moisture and land cover, as well as slope or soil properties, are ultimately decisive in determining whether a heavy rain event also triggers a flash flood. “A reliable flash flood warning system must therefore take account of hydrological factors in addition to meteorological factors”, explains the researcher from Fribourg.

Map hazards in near real time

Meteorological, hydrological and hydraulic information should be linked in the project and combined to form a warning system that can describe the current risk of flash flooding in near real time. To this end, several universities and research institutes throughout Germany are collaborating with meteorologists and engineering offices within the framework of the interdisciplinary AVOSS project. In addition, practical actors such as state authorities and municipalities are involved.

This is to ensure the practical suitability of the warning tools to be developed. In addition, prototype applications for pilot regions are planned to assess the quality and resilience of flash flood warnings.

For more information about AVOSS on the project homepage: www.avoss.uni-freiburg.de

Overview of the facts:

  • The AVOSS research project is coordinated at the University of Fribourg. Also involved are Leibniz University Hanover, GFZ Helmholtz Center Potsdam, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, AtmoScience GmbH Gießen (subsidiary of Kachelmann AG), BIT Ingenieure AG Freiburg and HYDRON GmbH Karlsruhe.
  • The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project under the funding measure “WaX – Hydrological Extreme Events” with approximately 2.6 million euros for a period of three years.
  • Project coordinator Prof. dr. Marc Weiler is Professor of Hydrology at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources of the University of Fribourg. His research interests include the identification and modeling of the dominant processes of runoff formation under various meteorological and hydrological conditions, in particular also with regard to the occurrence of heavy rains and the resulting flood risks.

Contact:
Teacher. Dr. Markus Weiler
Professor of Hydrology, Head of the Chair
Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources
University of Friborg
Such. : 0761/203-3530 or -3535
E-mail: [email protected]
[email protected]

Annette Kollefrath-Persch
Office of Academic and Scientific Communications
University of Friborg
Such. : 0761 / 203-8909
Email: [email protected]


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