Just arrived in Moscow…

Hi all there

This is a blog from the ARCTIC RISK project to be carried out at the Khibiny teaching and research station of Lomonosov Moscow State University. On our way to Khibiny we just arrived in Moscow to organise the last administrative things… Here is a short impression of Moscow State University, our host for these first days:

Moscow State University

I am writing this from my small room here in the 18th floor of MSU main building, ahead of our trip to northern Russia. My name is Sven Fuchs, I am a researcher at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria, and I specialised in the assessment of mountain hazards and risk. We will report during the next three weeks or so from our field campaign, which is related to the spatiotemporal assessment of snow avalanche risk. So here is some background information on our project:

There is a relatively long tradition in the management of risk related to natural hazards in mountain regions of Europe. However, the concept of risk is static over time, while losses are the predictable result of interactions among three major dynamic systems: the physical environment, which includes hazardous events; the social and demographic characteristics of the communities that experience them; and the elements at risk such as buildings, roads, and other components of the built environment.

In our project, a model for the spatial and temporal development of avalanche risk will be developed. In order to systematically analyse a spatiotemporal development of hazard, elements at risk and vulnerability, the city of Kirovsk located adjacent to the Khibiny research station was chosen as test site. The city of Kirovsk in the administrative district of Murmansk was only founded in 1929, soon after large deposits of apatite and nepheline were discovered in the area. The study area is chosen because of (1) the almost unique situation of a mountain agglomeration prone to hazards with clearly regionally and temporarily defined construction activities; (2) the unique situation of an agglomeration heavily dependent on and influenced by industrial activities, including land development for plant construction, residential construction, and the construction of infrastructure lines; and (3) therefore clearly distinguishable categories of elements at risk, including settlements, industrial production sites, infrastructure facilities as well as road and railroad networks.

You want to know more on the output of our research activities? – Have a look here…

So this is it for now – thanks for your interest in our research!

Red Square at night

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