DEUCALION - DEtermining and VisUalizing Impacts of Greenhouse Climate Rainfall in ALpIne Watersheds ON Torrential Disasters

Torrential processes like debris flows and debris floods represent a serious hazard in Alpine regions. Changing climatic conditions are likely to have direct and potentially drastic impacts on the frequency and ensuing magnitude of torrential disasters. One of the primary pre-conditions for a realistic determination of potential future hazards is a solid and as complete as possible time series on past and contemporary events. Based on retrospective analyses and predictions of changes of disposition and triggering conditions we aim to assess magnitude and frequency of potential future torrential disasters for three different watersheds in Austria. Scenario-defined hazard maps will be derived and the associated risks assessed. The results will help engineers and decision makers in the prevention of future disasters, their mitigation as well as for adaptation purposes.

Deucalion = son of Prometheus. When the anger of Zeus was ignited against the Pelasgians, he decided to put an end to the Bronze Age with a biblic deluge. Deucalion was saved from this disaster by building an ark (also see “Deucalian Flood”)


Contractors: Austrian Climate Research Programme, Vienna (Austria)

Project duration: 2011– 2013

Contact: Markus Stoffel


Schraml, K., Kogelnig-Mayer, B., Scheidl, C. , Stoffel, M., Kaitna, R. (2013): Magnitude-frequency relations of debris flows based on dendrogeomorphic data and semi-empirical relationships. Geomorphology 201: 80–85. [PDF]

Schneuwly, M., Corona, C., Stoffel, M. (2013): How to improve dating quality and reduce noise in tree-ring based debris-flow reconstructions. Quaternary Geochronology 18: 110–118. [PDF]

Procter E., Stoffel, M., Bollschweiler, M., Neumann M. (2012): Exploring debris-flow history and process dynamics using an integrative approach on a dolomitic cone in western Austria. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 37: 913–922. [PDF]