RESEARCH AREA GEO

Seemingly barren, yet sensitive and full of life, alpine regions around the globe are particularly vulnerable to environmental changes. Above all, the consequences of intensive land use and global climate change, pose numerous challenges. Risks and opportunities arising from this development provide the foundation of GEO, our research area dedicated to alpine natural hazards and risk management, hydrogeology, glaciers and permafrost.

PROJECT GlacierRocks

Cirque walls exposed by recent glacier retreat exhibit significantly increased rockfall activities. Despite their relevance as a growing risk factor, little is known about the thermal, mechanical and hydrological processes that operate at the glacier-headwall interface (randkluft). GlacierRocks will establish the worldwide first research site for long-term monitoring of stability-relevant processes inside a randkluft system, encompassing measurements of rock temperature, rock moisture and acoustic emissions. 

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PROJEKT Kyrgyz LMEWS

Tren a las Nubes

Radioactive waste and the legacies of uranium mining combined with massive landslides pose tremendous risks to vast areas of Kyrgyzstan and their inhabitants. These risks comprise the potential destruction of radioactive legacies and thus, the mobilisation of radioactive materials through streams and rivers into intensively cultivated agricultural areas. For risk reduction and based on cutting-edge technologies, GEORESEARCH is developing a spatial and temporal scalable landslide monitoring and early warning system (LMEWS) for the Mailuu Suu region. The project’s long-term aim is to increase the safety of Kyrgyz uranium legacy complex sites through optimised monitoring and remediation measures.

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PROJECT FutureLakes

Glacier retreat is one of the most visible consequences of recent climate warming. Glacier retreat can result in the formation of glacial lakes, as already observed at various glaciers in the European Alps and other mountain areas in the world. FutureLakes analyzes the formation and the development of future glacial lakes in Austria and thus, supports essential adaptation strategies to high-alpine landscape change driven by glacier retreat.

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PROJECT CirqueMonHT

Glacierized cirques are defining high-alpine landscape elements which react sensitively to climatic changes. Within the ‘Arge Alp’-funded project CirqueMonHT we at GEORESEARCH, together with our partners, are establishing a monitoring system in the Ödenwinkelkar (Stubachtal Salzburg) aiming at the long-term observation of changes relevant to rock stability.

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PROJECT Tren a las Nubes

Tren a las Nubes

Since March 2017 we are working, funded by Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft mbHand together with national and Argentinian partners, on our newest venture: Tren a las Nubes: Development potentials of an extreme mountain railway. The aim of the project is to define the chances and risks of the further development of the rail-bound freight transport along this railway connection between Argentina and Chile by using an interdisciplinary research approach. Natural hazards in this mountainous region may cause relevant costs in respect to maintenance and operation. GEORESEARCH is developing an innovative method based on cutting-edge satellite and drone technologies to detect natural hazard “hot spots”.

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PROJECT KaWaMon

The hydrogeological properties of karst mountain areas have severe impacts on the water supply of adjacent settlement areas and can be used as indicators of imminent high water or dry periods. The long-term monitoring project KaWaMon (Karst Water Monitoring) comprises the continuous supervision of karst water occurrence in the Northern Calcareous Alps (i.a. Untersberg, Hagengebirge, Tennengebirge, Leoganger Steinberge) and the Hohe Tauern (Kitzsteinhorn). The collected data is consequently used to analyze, among other things, the drainage behavior and to gain information on the storage capability of the mountains.

PROJECT HydroFault

Interactions between hydrogeological, structural and geomorphic processes in fault zones are of severe importance for geological engineering and water management concerns. Building on research data collected at the fault zone of the Torrener-Joch (federal states Salzburg, AT & Bavaria, DE), the project HydroFault aims to quantify and analyze, under a holistic and interdisciplinary approach, the hydrology of fault zones and its correlation with structural geological and geomorphological processes.