Natural hazards, hydrological and hydrogeological processes, and hydraulic engineering projects, as well as snow, ice and permafrost, are all impacted by climate change. We have the necessary expertise to comprehensively address the topics of water and climate and to develop pragmatic solutions.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Ongoing global warming is expected to have far-reaching effects on nature and society. For example, the water cycle is predicted to intensify significantly and permafrost regions could thaw. Our services include specific assessments of droughts, snow cover and avalanches, seasonal freezing and thawing processes, permafrost, water management, highland–lowland interactions, and urban resilience.
We investigate streams and rivers from hydrological and hydraulic perspectives, developing reliable protection concepts. For sediment transport, we also identify existing hazards and risks. In this way, we are able to supervise hydraulic engineering measures from conception to implementation. In the revitalisation of waterways, we help to restore the ecological balance of urban waterways and restore human access to important recreational areas. Our modelling expertise in 1D and 2D hydraulics includes dynamic flood simulations and debris flow modelling.
Groundwater resources are essential elements in the water cycle and are sometimes used intensively by people. However, excessively intensive use can damage the environment and create or intensify resource problems. Know-how and expertise are required to maintain the necessary balance.
Glaciers and Permafrost
Glaciers are formative elements of alpine landscapes. They play a prominent role as local and regional water reservoirs – a role that is increasingly endangered by the ongoing glacial retreat. We make forecasts and model future glacier development, as well as current and future glacier runoff, at the local and regional level. Glaciers can furthermore become a natural hazard. We develop appropriate solutions – for example, in the event of impending glacier runoff or glacial lake outbursts (GLOFs).
Along with glaciers, permafrost is heavily influenced by climate change, and its thawing can have serious consequences. We determine the permafrost distribution through measurements and modelling, calculate the expected water discharge, undertake the surveillance of high-risk zones, and supervise construction projects in permafrost areas.
Head office Zollikofen
GEOTEST Le Mont-sur-Lausanne