Skip to content

Freie Universität Bozen

AGR Faculty unibz news

Research on Floods. Chilean Researchers Visit South Tyrol

A delegation from Chile, invited by unibz and the Civil Protection Agency, visited South Tyrol to learn about flood protection.

The aim of this international cooperation project is to facilitate networking and the dissemination of research results through the organization of conferences, seminars, and workshops. During their stay, Chilean flood protection experts met with counterparts from the Free University of Bolzano and colleagues from the Civil Protection Agency. The program included two excursions led by Fabio De Polo, Director of the Mountain Basins Functional Area, Pierpaolo Macconi from the Provincial Functional Centre, Rudi Nadalet from the Provincial Hydrology and Dams Office of the Civil Protection Agency, and Andrea Andreoli, a researcher in agricultural and forestry hydrology at the Free University of Bolzano.

The delegation had the opportunity to visit the Gadria monitoring and warning station in Laas-Lasa, Vinschgau-Val Venosta, which has been operational for just over ten years. Here, they observed the importance of the knowledge gained regarding the formation and dynamics of debris flows, both for scientific research and for managing hydrogeological risks. The delegation also visited the Ponte Stelvio hydrometric station, which is only one year old, to closely examine sediment monitoring, specifically the measurement of suspended and bedload sediment transport. Understanding the relations between water discharge, sediment transport and channel morphology is crucial for planning flood protection measures, as well as for other aspects linked to water ecology and climate change. The quantification of bedload transport is based on the vibrations generated by the sediment on a steel plate. The calibration of the geophonic sensors installed under the steel plates is carried out by periodical sampling of transported sediment.

Additionally, the Chilean delegation participated in the workshop “Management of Forested Watersheds” held at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. In the coming weeks, the group of Chilean experts will share the results obtained in South Tyrol through seminars and workshops in their home country. The delegation consisted of Professor Galo Valdebenito, Director of the RiNA Centre (Núcleo de Investigación en Riesgo Naturales y Antropogénicos) at the Universidad Austral de Chile; Professor Virginia Vásquez Fierro, architect and land-planner at the Instituto de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Facultad de Arquitectura y Artes, Universidad Austral de Chile; Engineer David Alvarado, a researcher at the Núcleo de Investigación RiNA of the Universidad Austral de Chile and Alejandro Ricardo Dussaillant from the British Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and CIEP, Centro de Investigación en Ecosistemas de la Patagonia.