Studienreise 2007 - Norwegen
Study trip 2007 to Norway
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Flood management in Norway
Norway has a long tradition of managing floods due to its wet climate, many rivers and mountainous terrain. The hydrological regime in Norway is influenced by the northern position of the country with long winters having low runoff and snowfall accumulation and high spring flows due to snowmelt. High autumn and winter flows are also experienced in the milder coastal climate in the west of the country. Runoff times are generally short due to small catchments and shallow soils. Many rivers in Norway have steep and short courses and the topography is in many parts, similar to that of the Alpine region of Central Europe. Problems associated with erosion, sediment transport and deposition are therefore also of major concern in terms of damage mitigation along rivers. There is also risk of severe accidents caused by quick clay slides in Norway. The country is sparsely populated, with a density of on average 14 people per km2. The population in the inland is usually concentrated along the valley floors. Good farmland was found on the flood plains and formed the basis for early settlement. Further development and infrastructure such as roads and railways consequently follow the valley floor, and are subject to flooding. Until 1995 flood risk management was very much dominated by traditional physical flood protection works such as flood levees and erosion protection consisting of stone rip rap. The major actor at a national level dealing with flood risk management, The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), dates back to 1804.