Studienreise 2011 Island
Study trip 2011 Iceland
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From the Editor
"Iceland – the volcanic island in the Northern Atlantic Sea was the place to visit during the 2011 study trip of the Society of Engineers in the Austrian Torrent and Avalanche Control. Until the end of the 19th century, most people in Iceland were killed on the sea; but in the 20th century over 200 people perished in avalanches. The majority of fatal avalanches occurred in and around coastal villages located on narrow, flat terrain between steep mountainsides and the shoreline. Following two avalanches which devastated the villages of Flateyri and Súðavik and killed 34 people in 1995, the Government of Iceland set an aggressive goal to orchestrate the development and coordination of protection against avalanches. One of the first measures taken was the installation of an expert commission to evaluate these avalanches and propose further plans for protection and prevention measures. One of the experts involved was Josef Hopf, at this time head of the Torrent and Avalanche Control in Tyrol. From this time on contacts grew between experts in the field of natural hazards in Iceland and Austria. Based on this, a group of 20 experts visited Iceland in 2011 to see what had been done during the last 15 years and to get further knowledge for their daily work in Austria. This issue of Wildbach- und Lawinenverbau is, on one hand, a documentation of this study trip from the eastern part of Iceland via the northern to the western part and, on the other hand, should help carry out the similarities and also the different approaches in avalanche hazard mapping and on avalanche control measures. A journey in pictures at the end of this issue will help to complete the picture of a scenic and informative technical trip around Iceland. Thank you especially Tomas and Eirikur for guiding us during this week."