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The mission of Topic 3 is to develop the next generation of observation systems and interpretation and modeling framework in order to provide robust and innovative methods for long-term hazard assessments and short-term forecasting of the most threatening geohazards.

Our Focus:

Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis or landslides endanger billions of people worldwide. Only if we know more about the underlying physical processes can the effects be minimized. To this end, we are developing the next generation of Earth observation systems as well as innovative techniques for modeling and reliably interpreting the data. We are expanding our understanding of the drivers of the relevant geological processes. Our focus is on identifying, and understanding, the preparatory phase of hazardous events, including multi-hazard cascade processes.

To achieve this we focus on the following objectives:

To understand why and where geohazards are occurring by the analysis of their drivers. We ex-ploit the unique set of multidisciplinary competences and research facilities provided by the invol-ved institutes to study the fundamental processes and interactions.

To detect changes in the solid earth system over various temporal and spatial scales. We use ob-servables from land-sea-space monitoring frameworks and innovative data-mining strategies. The ultimate goal is to evaluate if and how the preparatory phases of catastrophic events can be detec-ted and integrated into warning systems and time-dependent hazard assessments.

To characterize, understand, and model past, present, and future extreme and high impact events. We review the archives of previous events and develop new approaches to forecast events and cascade effects.

To develop a shared vision of the unexpected to improve preparedness. We develop scenarios of future events, disseminate the potential associated losses, offer innovative training programs, and develop citizen science and crowdsourcing methods.

To establish a globally unique onshore-offshore monitoring framework. We will integrate marine and terrestrial expertise of the members of the Topic partners.

To establish a framework for the distribution of observations and model simulations to the global geoscience and stakeholder communities in a free and open manner.

Recent HighlightsStructure | Subtopics | Participating Centers | Contact

Recent Highlights

Detection and potential early warning of catastrophic flow events with regional seismic networks

A mass wasting and flood event on 7 February 2021 in Uttarakhand, India, killed more than 200 people and damaged two hydropower plants. Cook et al. discovered that teleseimic signals from the beginning of this event were recorded at different stations on a regional seismic network in northern India. The signals were observed up to 100 kilometers from the disaster and demonstrate the potential for these far-away monitoring stations to be useful for early warning. This discovery suggests a different way to monitor such remote Himalayan valleys for mass wasting hazards. —BG


Graphic Representation of Subtopics

Subtopics in Detail

Links to Cross-Cutting Activities (CCAs)

Cross-Cutting Activities (distinguished as CARFs and CTAs*) serve the overall objectives of the Helmholtz Association to bridge Research Fields, to promote thematic profiling and networking in the Research Fields and to strengthen and organize links with the German scientific community.

*CARFs = Cooperations across Research Fields, CTAs = Cross-Topic Activities

Digital Earth (DE)
Advanced Earth System Modeling (ESM)

Participating Centers