Stoffel Markus

Long-term monitoring of fluvial morphology and related processes in the Spöl River (Swiss National Park)

Project Number: CH-6000
Project Type: Master
Project Duration: 01/04/2017 - 05/31/2018 project completed
Funding Source: other ,
Leading Institution: University of Geneva, Insitute for Environmental Sciences (ISE)
Project Leader: Prof. Markus Stoffel
Full Professor
Climate Change Impacts and Risks in the Anthropocene (C-CIA)
Institut des Sciences de l`Environnement
Université de Genève
Boulevard Carl Vogt 66
1205 Genève
Phone: +41 (0) 79 340 39 89 ; +41 (0) 22 379 06 89
FAX: +41 (0) 22 379 32 10
e-Mail: markus.stoffel(at);

related to this project.
for which the project has a relevance.

Research Areas:

hydrology, limnology, glaciology
earth sciences

fluvial geomorphology, hydraulics, sediment transport, unmanned aerial system (UAS) data gathering (i.e., hyperspatial and multispectral imagery), high resolution topography.

Long-term monitoring of fluvial morphology and related processes in the Spöl River (Swiss National Park) Natural morphodynamics of rivers and fluvial processes have been altered for centuries, but recently, the paradigm in river management has changed. One benchmark example is the Spöl River, where a long-term artificial flood program started in 2000 to recover part of its mountain river character. After 16 years, many studies showed that the artificial floods mitigated some of the effects of the river regulation. However, the morphodynamics effects of such events are still not fully understood and to date there is not a detailed morphological map of the Spöl available. Moreover, the differences in flow regimes (regulated and more natural) between the upper and the lower (up- and downstream the Ova Spin Reservoir) parts of the river may lead to different morphologies, but this has not been analysed in detailed so far. Other natural processes, such as natural recruitment of instream wood to the river are still limited under the flow regulation. This limitation can be solved partly by adding artificial wood, however, instream wood dynamics in the Spöl has not been analyzed till now and many open questions remain. The aim of this research project is to fill these gaps. To do this unmanned aerial surveys will be carried out to gather hyperspatial and multispectral imagery, which will then allow construction of highaccuracy digital surface models. During the first phase of the project the main fluvial landforms will be identify, classify and map along the Spöl, which will also allow to compare the upper and lower river reaches. The second phase will be focused on analyzing morphological changes after artificial floods, and the third phase will aimed to analyze instream wood dynamics. The expected results will improve the understanding of regulated flow effects on the river morphodynamics and related processes and about the use of unmanned aerial systems to monitor fluvial processes; outcomes will also contribute to the biological and ecological monitoring of the Spöl (e.g., characterizing physical habitats) and will be of interest of other river restoration programs.

Last update: 3/15/19
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2020)
Update the data of project: CH-6000

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