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Projects in Georgia

Project “amies”, subproject B2, Photos of Natural Hazards /mudflows

Natural Hazards along the Georgian Military Road.
Since historic times, the “Georgian Military Road” is the main road connection between Georgia and Russia crossing the Greater Caucasus mountain chain. Snow avalanches and snow drifts can inhibit traffic in winter, enormous mudflows and strong floods may endanger the traffic during summer. The origin of natural hazards, hazard mitigation and hazard management are the main topics of this research subproject.
Types, locations and magnitude of natural hazards will be analyzed by geomorphological mapping and archive studies. The temporal trend of the hazard magnitude and frequency will be compared with trends of climate extremes (e.g. temperature and precipitation trends, extreme snowfall /snowmelt, flashfloods). Land-use change in the post soviet period (e.g. overgrazing, deforestation) may also contribute to an increase of mudflow and flood events. Actual hazard mapping (risk map) and hazard forecasting is intended, based on an interdisciplinary research approach that includes studies in climatology, glaciology, geomorphology, hydrology, landscape ecology, agronomy and socio-economy.
Mudflows along the Georgian Military Road (highway from Tbilisi to North Caucasus /Russia)

An enormous mudflow deposited a large debris cone around a small church at Mleta Giorgi-tsminda in May 2006. The picture displays the church after excavation.
The deposits with a volume of several million cubic meters consist of gravel, sand, and occasionally large boulders.
The church of Mleta after excavation.
Thus, the course of the Aragvi River was shifted towards the basement of the bridge, and strong lateral erosion of the river bank at the basement erosion induced a partial collapse of one highway line.
Natural hazards, especially mudflows and floods have also endangered the Georgian Military Road during the soviet era. This tunnel was built at the end of the soviet period to protect road traffic from mudflows. Meanwhile, the tunnel has been partly cover
The construction of large underbridges can prevent future road blockage by mudflow events.