Mountain spaces encompass dramatic landscapes and unique ecosystems that have fascinated humans for centuries. These same mountain spaces provide society with a variety of goods and services, such as water or recreational space. However, they also pose considerable hazards and risks, which are exacerbated in the context of climate and consequent environmental change. Geomorphological processes in the mountain system - such as glacier retreat and the resulting formation of lakes, warming and melting of permafrost ice, landslides, rockfalls and mudflows - are often closely coupled with each other. They can affect the foreland on different spatial and temporal scales over several sub-steps as so-called cascade effects and lead to damage, in the worst case even to catastrophes. The Cascade working group tries to contribute to the understanding of the geomorphological process relationships, but also of the corresponding human-environment interactions, in mountainous areas and thus to improve the basis for an adequate handling of the corresponding opportunities and risks. This requires the combination of different competences and methods. In particular, the focus is also on the transfer of knowledge and skills to learners of different levels.
Projects of the Cascade working group
Our research activities can be grouped into five distinct areas: Natural Hazards Area, Glacial-Periglacial Area , Speleology Area ; Weathering Area , and Man-Environment Area. Cascade's current research projects are funded to a significant extent by external funding, and some projects are also internally funded. We cooperate nationally with partners in the fields of geography, conservation, environmental protection, forestry, hydraulic engineering, geology, climatology, and natural hazards research. In addition, we have a wide range of international collaborations not only with neighboring countries, but also with partners around the world. Our research areas cover mountain regions worldwide, with current focal points in the Alps, the tropical Andes and the Caucasus.