Our environment is in constant change. In contrast to many natural processes, knowledge about these natural or human-induced changes in the context of landslides is very limited, also with respect to climate change. Landslides are among the most frequently occurring natural hazards in Lower Austria, while at the same time detailed knowledge about spatio-temporal slope dynamics is very rudimentary. In order to quantify the basic dynamics and the changes, a long-term monitoring system including punctual and areal surface and subsurface data are necessary.

The Core Facility "Earth Surface Dynamics Lab (eSurfLab)" of the Department of Geography and Regional Research is an essential contribution to this topic. The following research approaches and project goals are anticipated in the "eSurfLab":

  • Improved understanding of the spatio-temporal dynamics of landslides including the preparatory, triggering and controlling factors
  • Implementation of long-term monitoring systems (10+ years) for continuous observation of landslides
  • Quantification of the slope dynamics with all the influencing factors and especially the changes triggered by anthropogenic climate change.
  • Estimation of the risk for population and infrastructure
  • Beyond "classical" methodological applications, continuous development and application of new and innovative methods
  • Development and implementation of an early warning system

The core competences of the "eSurfLab" include the planning of data acquisition in the field, competent data collection, online transmission and processing, and on-demand provision of various services (see cost structure). Years of experience in research on landslides as well as estimation of hazard situations in this context complement the competences.