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Project: Research


This European Commission FP7 funded project was concerned with the forecasting of flash floods and debris flows (FF and DF), particularly in Switzerland and the Mediterranean area of Spain, France and Italy. Lancaster University contribution to the project was primarily in the area of a methodology for flash flood forecasting given different types of rainfall inputs and forecasts, and the conceptual development of fuzzy rules for DF forecasting when knowledge about particular sites was scarce.

The ultimate objective of IMPRINTS was to contribute to the reduction of loss of life and economic damage through the improvement of the preparedness and the operational risk management of FF & DF generating events, as well as contributing to sustainable development through reducing damages to the environment. To achieve this objective, the project is oriented to produce methods and tools to be used by practitioners of the emergency agencies and utility companies responsible for the management of FF & DF risks and associated effects. Impacts of future changes, including climatic, land use and socioeconomic changes will be also analysed, in order to provide guidelines for mitigation and adaptation measures.

Specifically, the consortium has developed three methodologies of different complexities to provide FF & DF forecasting and warnings: (i) an early warning FF & DF system based on simplified calculations, (ii) an integrated probabilistic forecasting FF & DF system, and (iii) a probabilistic rule-based forecasting system adapted to the operational use by practitioners. The practitioner partners of IMPRINTS, namely the risk management authorities and the utility company managers in charge of emergency management in these areas, will supervise these tests. The development of such systems will be carried out using, and capitalising on, the results of the previous and ongoing research on forecasting and warning systems for FF & DF, in which several of the partners have already played a prominent role.

One major result of the project has been a prototype of the operational platform including the tools and methodologies developed under the project. This prototype will be designed under the premise of its ultimate commercialisation and use worldwide.
Effective start/end date15/01/0915/07/12


  • European Commission: £181,878.00

Research outputs