How can people better handle themselves against flood disasters like in West Germany? A scientist in Potsdam is focusing on a research area that is still in its infancy.
Potsdam (DPA) — Scientist Michael Dietz of the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam relies on research into tidal waves caused by erosion to better warn populations.
“Research on this is still in its infancy, but it has immense potential to warn populations of such floods at the earliest – not only in Germany, but in many endangered areas around the world,” he said on Friday. said on Friday.
Erosion processes are difficult to predict because they occur very quickly. Satellite images and seismometers are used to try to follow tidal waves in near real time. Weather forecasts can also be fed into hydrological models for flood forecasting.
In view of the flood disaster in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, he said that water had so much power because it quickly eroded the Earth’s surface in large quantities and took things with it. The researcher said that after a large amount of heavy rain, the water runs off the surface and can reach very high speeds. The higher the speed, the higher the slope, the deeper the river, the more force the water can develop on land.
“Where it flows, it pulls with a force of several kilograms,” Dietz said. This is enough to tear off sand, stones and rubble. “They hit the ground, roads and house walls and in the process cause heavy erosion.” Once parts of it are attacked, the underlying material can be moved more easily. This can cause huge damage in a short time.