Flood disasters affect large numbers of people around the world each year and have severe social and economic impacts as well as ecological consequences. Large-scale, but also locally limited, floods also occur repeatedly in the European and Alpine regions, sometimes causing considerable damage.
Floods are, in principle, natural phenomena that can more or less regularly affect all river catchment areas in the world and thus also fulfill essential functions of the natural ecosystem. Due to the increased expansion of human settlement areas and the associated space requirements, the rivers are given increasingly less space under flood conditions. There is a lack of retention areas and floods are now mainly perceived because of their negative and not because of their positive effects.
Through active flood protection, such as extensive regulatory measures, certain river sections can be protected from flooding, but in most cases this only means shifting the phenomenon at the expense of areas further downstream. Knowledge of flood risk is a multidisciplinary task that requires an understanding of the processes and mechanisms, spatial and temporal forecasting, vulnerability assessment and the monitoring and modeling of the effects, including with regard to environmental and climate change.
Assoc.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. nat.techn.
Institut für Wasserbau und Wasserwirtschaft
Univ.Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.
Institut für Wasserbau, Hydraulik und Fließgewässerforschung