The long-term development of avalanche risk in settlements considering the temporal variability of damage potential

Fuchs, S.; Keiler, Margreth; Zischg, Andreas Paul; Bründl, M. (2005). The long-term development of avalanche risk in settlements considering the temporal variability of damage potential. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 5(6), pp. 893-901. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/nhess-5-893-2005

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Recent studies on the avalanche risk in alpine settlements suggested a strong dependency of the development of risk on variations in damage potential. Based on these findings, analyses on probable maximum losses in avalanche-prone areas of the municipality of Davos (CH) were used as an indicator for the long-term development of values at risk. Even if the results were subject to significant uncertainties, they underlined the dependency of today's risk on the historical development of land-use: Small changes in the lateral extent of endangered areas had a considerable impact on the exposure of values. In a second step, temporal variations in damage potential between 1950 and 2000 were compared in two different study areas representing typical alpine socio-economic development patterns: Davos (CH) and Galtür (A). The resulting trends were found to be similar; the damage potential increased significantly in number and value. Thus, the development of natural risk in settlements can for a major part be attributed to long-term shifts in damage potential.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Geomorphology
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR) > MobiLab

UniBE Contributor:

Keiler, Margreth, Zischg, Andreas Paul


900 History > 910 Geography & travel
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
500 Science




Copernicus Publications




Mirjam Stawicki

Date Deposited:

01 Sep 2015 11:17

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:49

Publisher DOI:





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