Monitoring and prediction in early warning systems for rapid mass movements

Stähli, M.; Sättele, M.; Huggel, C.; McArdell, B. W.; Lehmann, P.; Van Herwijnen, A.; Berne, A.; Schleiss, M.; Ferrari, A.; Kos, A.; Or, D.; Springman, S. M.

Rapid mass movements (RMM) pose a substantial risk to people and infrastructure. Reliable and cost-efficient measures have to be taken to reduce this risk. One of these measures includes establishing and advancing the state of practice in the application of early warning systems (EWSs). EWSs have been developed during the past decades and are rapidly increasing. In this paper, we focus on the technical part of EWSs, i.e., the prediction and timely recognition of imminent hazards, as well as on monitoring slopes at risk and released mass movements. Recent innovations in assessing spatial precipitation, monitoring and precursors of the triggering and deformation of RMM offer new opportunities for next-generation EWSs. However, technical advancement can only be transferred into more reliable, operational EWSs with an adequate well-instructed dedicated staff. To this end, an intense dialog between scientists, engineers and those in charge of warning, as well as further experience with new comprehensive prototype systems jointly operated by scientists and practitioners, will be essential.

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Stähli, M. / Sättele, M. / Huggel, C. / et al: Monitoring and prediction in early warning systems for rapid mass movements. 2015. Copernicus Publications.

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