Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 8, 81-99, 2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
15 Feb 2008
Local protection against mountain hazards – state of the art and future needs
M. Holub and J. Hübl Institute of Mountain Risk Engineering, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Abstract. During the last decades, settlement activities increased in European mountain regions. Due to the scarceness of areas suitable for development, residential estates were extended into areas endangered by natural hazards such as mass movements. These settlements generally show a considerable vulnerability to tangible assets.

Integral risk management strategies to reduce the vulnerability to tangible assets are presented for the assessment of such endangered areas. Conventional mitigation and local structural measures are discussed with respect to the necessary delimitation of endangered areas, the preparedness of people and possible financial prevention. According to different natural hazard processes (flash floods with and without bedload transport, debris flows, land slides, rock falls and avalanches) and various structural elements of buildings, a catalogue of local structural measures is presented with respect to occurring process impacts and protection objectives. Thereby, different local structural measures are classified and recommended according to a possible implementation for newly-erected buildings and for upgrading existing buildings, respectively. Based on these recommendations, future needs for a sustainable and comprehensive reduction of risk in settlement areas endangered by mass movements are outlined. Above all, this includes a prescription of building codes and the re-introduction of an obligatory final inspection of buildings.

Citation: Holub, M. and Hübl, J.: Local protection against mountain hazards – state of the art and future needs, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 8, 81-99,, 2008.
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