© 2013

Dating Torrential Processes on Fans and Cones

Methods and Their Application for Hazard and Risk Assessment

  • Michelle Schneuwly-Bollschweiler
  • Markus Stoffel
  • Florian Rudolf-Miklau


  • A comprehensive overview of dating methods for flows and floods on fans and cones

  • Provides a detailed practical checklist for field analysis

  • Includes assessment of the benefits, limitations and costs of various methods

  • Illustrates the importance of historical data on past events for hazards and risk assessment


Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 47)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxii
  2. Markus Stoffel, Michelle Schneuwly-Bollschweiler, Florian Rudolf-Miklau
    Pages 1-11
  3. Material Transport and Fan or Cone Formation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Roland Kaitna, Michelle Schneuwly-Bollschweiler, Thomas Sausgruber, Markus Moser, Markus Stoffel, Florian Rudolf-Miklau
      Pages 33-49
    3. Helmut Habersack, Andrea Kreisler
      Pages 51-73
    4. Dieter Rickenmann, Christian Scheidl
      Pages 75-93
  4. Dating Past Events

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 109-109
    2. Roland Kaitna, Johannes Huebl
      Pages 111-130
    3. Michelle Schneuwly-Bollschweiler, Markus Stoffel
      Pages 165-178
    4. Carlo Baroni, Rodolfo Gentili, Stefano Armiraglio
      Pages 187-201
    5. Adrian Gilli, Flavio S. Anselmetti, Lukas Glur, Stefanie B. Wirth
      Pages 225-242
    6. Susan Ivy-Ochs, Miriam Dühnforth, Alexander L. Densmore, Vasily Alfimov
      Pages 243-263
    7. Richard Chiverrell, Matthias Jakob
      Pages 265-282

About this book


Water-related processes such as floods, debris floods, flash floods, and debris flows represent major geomorphic hazards in mountain areas of the world. Recent decades have seen human pressures on these regions increase, aggravating conflicts between natural hazards and infrastructure. Detailed knowledge on frequency and magnitude of past flood or debris-flow events on alluvial fans and cones remains scarce, although it is widely accepted that such knowledge is of crucial importance for the assessment of hazards, mitigation of risks, and land-use planning. Archival records on the occurrence of past events are often fragmentary or even completely missing. Modern methods of historical dating of past debris-flow and flood events such as dendrochronology, radiocarbon dating, lichenometry and many more can provide valuable insights into past process activity and thus add key detail to the historical record.


This book provides a detailed overview on methods used for the dating of past torrential activity on fans and cones and fosters the discussion on the impact of past and potential future climate change on torrential processes. The book has a clear focus on the practical applications of these methods, complemented by case studies. The limits of each dating method in case of excessive natural and human interventions on fans and cones are shown.


dating method fans and cones geomorphic hazards hazards and risk assessment torrential processes

Editors and affiliations

  • Michelle Schneuwly-Bollschweiler
    • 1
  • Markus Stoffel
    • 2
  • Florian Rudolf-Miklau
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Berne, Laboratory of DendrogeomorphologyInstitute of Geological SciencesBerneSwitzerland
  2. 2.University of Berne, Laboratory of DendrogeomorphologyInstitute of Geological SciencesBerneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Forestry Environment &Water Management, IV/5 – Torrent & Avalanche ControlFederal Ministry for Agriculture,ViennaAustria

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Oil, Gas & Geosciences


From the reviews:

“The book contributes to fill the gap between scientists and engineers and planers by providing a detailed overview on methods for the dating of historical events and by fostering the discussion on the impact of past and potential future climatic changes on torrential processes. … an excellent book, which will help researchers, as well as engineers and planers to understand the complex processes of torrents in the Alpine realm. This publication will be a useful guide in the daily challenges of hazard and risk assessment.” (Thomas Hofmann, Jahrbuch der Geologischen Bundesanstalt, Vol. 152 (1-4), December, 2012)