Projects

Hydrogeomorphic exploration of local headwater streams in low mountainous environment
Comprehensive field survey of the physiographic context and channel morphology is a key to characterize hydrogeomorphic reaches of a watercourse. In this research field data are collected during seasonal campaigns following a field survey protocol. Complementary information is conducted from cartographic materials and digital elevation models to map diverse sections of local streams in low mountains. Geological, geomorphological and anthropogenic effects are considered as decisive factors in recent fluvial development, with emphasis on the sediment transport influenced by woody debris. It is also supposed that woody debris accumulations, made up of tree trunks, branches and roots have significant influence on the channel evolution of local streams. Furthermore, the expected results on the hydrogeomorphic conditions of these small watersheds with intense relief provide useful information for understanding the flash floods occurring in these regions.
Participating researchers: Fábián, Szabolcs Ákos dr., Víg, Balázs
Possible ecological control of flood hazard in the hilly regions of Hungary and Slovenia - Summary of the NKFIH research project SNN 125727
The main objective of the proposed project is to find ecologically acceptable (environmentally friendly) solutions for the reduction of flood and erosion hazard, inexpensive but efficient ways of prevention and mitigation of flood damage (focussing on small streams in the hilly regions of Slovenia and Hungary). The requirements of modern integrated and sustainable watershed management call for the re-evaluation of existing approaches to reduce runoff and flood hazard in hill regions, incorporating some traditional techniques (like spill channels and retention ponds) as well as novel technologies. Although the principles of runoff reduction and soil conservation have been established in both countries for a long time, inappropriate land use and water management still leads to flooding problems. In the first step this investigation requires a comprehensive survey of factors influencing runoff generation. We evaluate the level of provision for one of the most important ecosystem services, floodwater retention. The assessment of land use, landscape pattern and individual landscape elements from the aspect of water retention would allow the comparison of best practices (historical, present-day and possible future solutions) between small catchments in losss-mantled hilly pilot areas in Hungary (Transdanubia) and Northeast-Slovenia along the Mura and Drava Rivers. Since river floods usually affect the lowland sections of big rivers most severely, where flood control efforts are concentrated. For the purposes of flood control and the protection of large human settlements and valuable built infrastructure, engineering solutions are generally preferred. The optimal operation and long-term maintenance of engineering structures, however, involves several problems, including the transformation of the natural environment (topography, drainage network, microclimate, soils etc.). Within the ongoing project we check our assumption that alternative solutions for the mitigation of flood and erosion hazard, i.e. establishing a large number of small retention areas (e.g. existing fish-ponds on small tributary streams) can be equally efficient as large-scale and expensive engineering solutions. To find ecologically more acceptable solutions, optimal land use and landscape pattern are analysed. Flood and erosion hazard can be efficiently reduced if the concentrated water is retained in the upper parts of catchments and does not reach the big rivers in the lowland. Land use and landscape elements (terraces, hedges, tree rows etc.) there reduce slope length and thus moderate runoff. Modern approaches (surveys by unmanned airborne vehicles, DEM interpretation, soil moisture monitoring, hydrological modelling) are used to reveal the spatial distribution of such elements and their impact on runoff. The role of fish-ponds can also be important in preventing flooding, but it has not been studied in sufficient depth yet. The project leader is Dénes Lóczy, DSc, work coordinator is Gábor Nagy, assistant research fellow. Participants in the research are Szabolcs Czigány, PhD, Szabolcs Ákos Fábián, PhD, Richárd Balogh, Ervin Pirkhoffer, PhD, Gábor Varga, PhD, Alexandra Gradwohl-Valkay.
Participating researchers: Lóczy, Dénes dr., Nagy, Gábor, Czigány, Szabolcs dr., Balogh, Richárd, Fábián, Szabolcs Ákos dr., Pirkhoffer, Ervin dr., Varga, Gábor dr., Gradwohl-Valkay, Alexandra
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