Physical Geography

Geohazards and hydrology

The landscape is part of the physical framework for human activities, defining both our limits and potential. The processes that shape the land vary over space and time driven by changing environmental conditions. To organize our society in a safe and sustainable manner requires an understanding of how these changes have manifested themselves in the past - both the period covered by historical records, and beyond.

Pål Ringkjøb Nielsen

According to observed and predicted changes in climate we can expect changes in the frequency, distribution and magnitude of climate-driven geohazards. In a west Norwegian context this implies more frequent severe floods and may also have implications for mass movements in the characteristic steep slopes framing many catchments in western Norway. On-going research at the department focuses on western Norway and how the hydrologic system responds to environmental changes, both natural and man-made. To investigate how the intensity of processes change over time, we integrate traditional field studies and modern monitoring equipment with state-of-the art remote sensing techniques. The overarching goal is to establish a methodological workflow that allows researchers and governing bodies to efficiently map a large sensitivity to environmental change over large areas (e.g. a catchment) . This in turn will serve as input to science based planning schemes. This approach requires a strong interdisciplinary orientation across social and natural sciences.