Muwa – Early warning system for mudflows

The aim of the MUWA project is the (further) – development of the early warning systems for mudflows on behalf of and in cooperation with the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG). Relevant properties of the soil and topography for run-off and the formation of mudslides should be observed and statistical evaluation carried out.

Observation of precipitation

For this purpose, seven test sites were defined in which the observation of several mudslides had already been possible. Existing data material was expanded via appropriate surveys and ascertained with chronicles. The Nowcast and analysis model INCA from ZAMG came into action, in order to calculate precipitation analysis with a temporal resolution of 15 minutes. All available information on precipitation (station data and weather radar) flows into the analysis. The highest values within the test site per period of time are used and comprehensively averaged over different ranges. On the INCA grid (1km x 1 km grid), soil parameters like disposition density, drainage and roughness class can be determined.

Map and area: time series and spatial data

The time series and spatial data, presented in vector form, characterize every time period for every individual area. The chronicles were used to train a model in order to calculate a warning value wherever a similar precipitation pattern occurred. Different statistical approaches are suitable for this. As a further aspect must be taken into account, namely the minimisation of the calculation time, a multidimensional regression model is ultimately used. In summer 2014 the newly developed method was employed by ZAMG on its testing operation.

Project partner: ZAMG Regionalstelle Tirol und Vorarlberg

North-exposed, wide-stretched detritus at Hahntennjoch Passstraße. Tephra, primarily deposited through weathering and rockfall is transferred secondarily through fluvial and mud processes. The flutes are visible in the picture and form because of the concentrated surface flow from the couloirs above

Wide-strechted debris cone at Kaiserbrunnen above Planseestraße. Geomorphological tracks of mudflow activities are visible on the other side of the lake

Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW)
Austria, 1131 Vienna, Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8 | Tel.: +43 1 878 38-0

Autor: Fromm R.