International Lecture 2021


19. Oktober 2021, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas LANG

In Europe, remodelling of river channels for navigation, flood protection or hydropower purposes is commonplace. Engineering measures dominate the flux of water and sediment from the uplands to the oceans since more than a century. The functioning of river systems however, has shifted from natural to human dominated already much earlier: land use has release large amounts of sediment, much more than the river systems can carry. This surplus has transformed the functioning of rivers, initiating for example the meandering patterns of many river channels. Today, where meandering patterns have survived the engineering measures, such meanders are often considered ‘natural’ and used as management targets for river restoration. Using examples, the talk will highlight such caveats and use the discussions around the term Anthropocene to rethink the man-environment relationship. In large parts of Europe humans have been the dominant force since centuries and the natural, unaltered state of the Earth’ surface has long been lost - beyond retrieval. more

International Lecture 2021


25. Mai 2021, Andrew CUNLIFFE

Throughout history, our observations of the natural world have been fundamental to deriving information, knowledge and understanding. Through detailed observation, we are often able to reveal the inconsistencies in our conceptual and numerical models that undermine our ability to explain and predict environmental phenomenon. Given the magnitude, speed and severity of changes happening in environmental systems across our planet, there has never been a greater need to consolidate, and act on, environmental insights. This lecture will explore the use of fine-scale observations, particularly drone photogrammetry, to refine understanding of ecosystem structure and function. more

International Lecture 2019


18. Nov 2019, Michael Krautblatter

Comparing studies of rock slope erosion and soil slope erosion, no governing equation similar to the universal soil loss equation for rock slopes are available. Rock masses in contact with the atmosphere are affected by a suite of physical, chemical and biological processes which degrade intact rock, creating new fractures and extending existing flaws. Complex feedbacks must be explored between changing slope... more

International Lecture 2019

Raum-zeitlich hochauflösende bildbasierte Methoden in der Geomorphologie und Hydrologie

12. Juni 2019, Anette Eltner

Bilder besitzen ein hohes Potenzial zur Beantwortung geomorphologischer und hydrologischer Forschungsfragen. Die Erdbeobachtung mit Bildsequenzen ermöglicht eine qualitative und quantitative Bewertung von Erdoberflächenprozessen und deren Veränderungen. Im Rahmen des Vortrags werden anfangs Grundlagen zum... more

International Lecture 2018

The geomorphologic perils of neglecting history: from large floods to small-scale turbulence

30. Mai 2018, Elowyn Yager

A wide range of processes from the long-term evolution of mountain ranges, to the complex interactions of vegetation, flow and sediment involve the use of geomorphologic models. In such models, the histories (e.g. sequences of flows) of a channel, hillslope or even an individual particle are often neglected either for the sake of simplicity or because little is known about preexisting conditions. Here, we use a combination ... more

International Lecture 2017

Analyzing geomorphological changes after disasters

13. Dezember 2017, Cees Van Westen

Large scale disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tropical cyclones, and forest fires have a large impact on the human and natural environment. They may changing the landscape, landforms, active processes, and vegetation in such a manner that ... more

International Lecture 2016

Making the world differently: prospective uses of emerging technologies to inform river science and management

7. Dezember 2016, Gary Brierley

Working with nature is a key premise of effective approaches to river science and management. Emerging technologies give us an amazing capacity to develop place-based understandings of landscapes. In this talk I will present an overview of prospective uses of emerging technologies to inform river science and management. Building upon principles such as ‘Respect diversity’, ‘Work with change’ and ‘Know your catchment’, I will discuss ... more

International Lecture 2015

Geomorphology and the Anthropocene

09. November 2015, Andrew Goudie

The talk considers the definition and length of the Anthropocene, discusses the history of anthropopogeomorphology, and then analyses the drivers of geomorphological change through time, and the impacts that humans have had on landscapes of construction and excavation, coasts, the critical zone, lakes, mass movements and soil erosion, river morphologies, ground subsidence, and the state of glaciers. ... more

International Lecture 2015

Messy Rivers are healthy Rivers

12. Jänner 2015, Ellen Wohl

I examine factors that create physical complexity, and the implications of complexity for habitat abundance and diversity, sensitivity and resilience to disturbances, retention of water, sediment and nutrients, and connectivity within the riverine system and landscape. Effective river restoration involves characterizing natural complexity, understanding its effects on ecosystem function, and assessing the degree to which it can be restored. ... more

International Lecture 2014

The legacy of 19th century gold mining in Fraser River

08. Jänner 2014, Mike Church

The geomorphic impact of 19th century placer mining along Fraser River is studied by estimating the volume and grain size distribution of excavated sediment, evaluating the transport potential for the sediment in Fraser River, and discussing the relation between placer waste sediment and observed morphodynamics of the lower river. ... more

International Lecture 2013

Invisible Geomorphology: The Geophysics and Geochemistry of Erosion

29. April 2013, Niels Hovius

Much of geomorphology and what it is concerned with is not seen. By employing techniques and approaches borrowed from other Geosciences, and by considering the far field effects of geomorphic processes, we can better resolve the dynamics of landscapes and increase the visibility of Geomorphology.  For example, seismological techniques can be used to determine what happens where in a landscape, when and with what magnitude. ... more

International Lecture 2012

Uncovering the potential of statistical tools in geomorphology

14. Mai 2012, Alexander Brenning

Statistical tools are critically important for geomorphological research and practice. Among the milestones of geomorphology that required such tools are Horton's stream law, the Universal Soil Loss Equation, and the Hjulstrom-Sundborg curves. Today, whether landslide susceptibility is modeled or frequency-magnitude relationships of floods are analyzed, statistical tools allow geomorphologists to examine environmental controls and make predictions while assessing the underlying uncertainties. ... more

International Lecture 2011

Should we trust the sedimentary record?

11. April 2011, Tom Coulthard

Sedimentary records are widely used to infer causes of change in drainage basins. These are predominantly climate change, tectonics and land cover changes. However, recent work has suggested that internal non linear – or autogenic – processes can cause considerable variation in sediment delivery on their own. ... more

International Lecture 2010

Are we overlooking the Geomorphic Dimension of Global Change?

9. Juni 2010, Antonio Cendrero

Concern about global change has focussed basically on climate and biodiversity, but changes affecting the earth’s surface have received limited attention. Concepts such as human geomorphic footprint, human geomorphic pressure and global geomorphic change have not made their way into the public or general scientific opinion; only into some geomorphologic circles. ... more

International Lecture 2009

The Balance of Nature and the Nature of Balance

18. Mai 2009, Jonathan Phillips
Concepts of steady-state equilibrium in geomorphology (as well as in
ecology and other sciences) are inextricably tied to a “balance of nature”
perspective which postulates normative, self-maintaining states. Recent
work on complexity in geomorphic systems, however, shows that there
are no goal functions in earth surface systems ... more

International Lecture 2008

The Role of Mountain Geomorphology in Global Change

11. Juni 2008, Olav Slaymaker
Three of the fundamental drivers of global change are relief, hydroclimate/
runoff and human activity. Mountain systems make a disproportionately
large contribution to our understanding of global change because the spatial and temporal variations of all three drivers of change ... more

International Lecture 2007

Sediment Budgets and Fluvial Geomorphology

23. April 2007, Stanley W. Trimble
Sediment budgets describe the input, transport, storage, and export of
sediment from a geomorphic system. Because all aspects of the system
are affected, sediment budgets have been considered to be an organizing
framework in fluvial geomorphology ... more