Conference Dates

June 18-21, 2006


Geohazards are events related to geological features and processes that cause loss of life and severe damage to property and the natural and built environment. The most common and destructive geohazards in Norway are snow avalanches, clay-, debris- and rock slides, and floods, which together caused more than 2000 deaths during the last 150 years. Statistically, about 10 large slides and avalanches are expected to occur in Norway the next 50-100 years, each with possibly 20-100 deaths, unless preventive planning and actions are made. In addition to the loss of lives, geohazards pose a large impact on infrastructure and the daily life in many parts of Norway. A possible increase of extreme weather events in the next 50 years may lead to change in the type and frequency of slides and avalanches. The main objective of the four year research project GeoExtreme is therefore to assess the geohazard situation in Norway in a changing climate over the next 50 years. The initial step is a statistical analysis of the relationships between meteorological conditions and geohazards. To do this, a national database of slide events has been established. The time and location of these events will be compared to interpolated meteorological datasets for the last 100 years. Results of this analysis will be used in combination with climate scenarios for the next 50 years to produce a picture of possible future geohazards in Norway. The effects on the local society are studied in detail in four study areas representing different climate areas in Norway. An important part of the project is the assessment of socioeconomic consequences of geohazards in Norway, both in the past, and in the future, under the predicted climate scenarios. Important parameters here are cost related to damage by natural disasters as well as to mitigation measures, ability to learn by experience, changes in preparedness, and impact on policy makers. The first results show a high predictability of slide events by standard meteorological observations. Also the vulnerability pattern shows significant changes from hazard for residential areas to transport lines and leisure time activities. The presentation gives a general overview over the project and presents some of the first results of the analyses.

Jaedicke_et_al_Geoextreme.pdf (2515 kB)