Research orientations

Water management | Geoheritage and landscapes | Geomorphological mapping | Topoclimatology and climate risks
 

Water management

Research led at the Institute on water management mainly refers to the study of water uses and governance issues. Our work focuses on various geographical areas (mountain tourist resorts in the Alps, towns of piedmont in Morocco, periurban areas in Switzerland) and various fields of water management (irrigation, drinking water management, flood protection). Social sciences approaches (institutional arrangements, studies on actors’ participation) are mobilized as well as modeling methods (modeling of water resources and uses at the catchment scale, field measurements). The whole research is guided by questions on the effects of climatic and anthropogenic changes on water resources future availability and dynamic in various contexts (Switzerland, mountainous regions, arid regions).

Subtopics
Hydrological modeling / modeling of water uses / Integrated water resources management / integrated catchment management / participatory processes / common-pool water resource management / hydrological hazards.

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Geoheritage and landscapes

Research on geoheritage and landscapes are undertaken in close collaboration with the working group on Geomorphosites of the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG) and the Commission Geomorphology and Society of the International Geographical Union (IGU). Current works cover three main fields: development of methods to assess, map and manage geomorphosites and geodiversity; development of tools to promote geotourism, in particular in the field of cartography and geovisualization; analysis of Alpine landscape evolution, in particular by means of historical methods.

Subtopics
Geoheritage / geomorphosites / geodiversity / geotourism / geoconservation / landscape / palaeoenvironments.

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Geomorphological mapping

In addition to research on water management and geoheritages, this research group is active in geomorphological mapping and also studies mountain geomorphological processes.
 


Subtopics
Morphogenetic mapping / hazard mapping.

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Topoclimatology and climate risks

Research on topoclimates quantify the effects of regional and local topography on climate parameters such as temperatures (accumulation of cold air), precipitation (pluviometric gradient) and winds (thermal currents). These studies rely on field measurements and statistical analyses. They are carried out in several Swiss regions, and especially in the Alps of the canton of Vaud.
 
Research on climatic risks assess precipitation and extreme floods with return periods greater than the available measurement series, based on statistical analyses and meteorological and hydrological models. These studies aim to suggest efficient and effective protection measures against floods in Switzerland. Similar studies were carried out for extreme winds in Switzerland.
 
Subtopics
Topoclimatology / extreme precipitation and winds / statistical analyses of climatic datasets.
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