Disaster Prevention Research Institute
The Research Center has two missions. First of all, it promotes in-depth studies of fluid and sediment processes that may bring about serious disasters and environmental changes, frequently through chain reactions, to watersheds, reaches, reservoirs, estuaries and coastal oceans. These studies are inherently interdisciplinary and are covered by the Center's five research sections: the Sedimentation Disasters; the River Disaster Prevention System; the Urban Flood Control; the Coastal Sedimentary Environment; and the Field Research Section for Fluvial and Coastal Hazards.
Secondly, yet equally important, the Center's unique facilities are open to the partners for field and experimental studies on disaster prevention and environmental preservation in the river-coast system. The attached Ujigawa Open Laboratory, one of the largest experimental stations in Japan, is dedicated for experimental research that focuses on the dynamics of fluvial, estuarine and coastal hazards. Such experimental studies have a close relation with observational studies that have been conducted at the Center's three field stations (Hodaka Sedimentation Observatory; Shirahama Oceanographic Observatory; and Shionomisaki Wind-effect Laboratory). With these facilities actively promoting collaborative researches, the academic staff at the Center has developed cutting-edge technology for predicting complex processes in hydrosphere, together with disaster reduction methodology.
In a sediment transport system from mountainous area to coastal area, disasters occur due to the various kinds of sediment transport phenomena. These sediment transport phenomena triggered by natural causes as well as by human activities also impact on ecosystem within the sediment transport system. To mitigate the disasters and to understand the dynamics of sediment transport and water - sediment - ecosystem structure in the sediment transport system, various field observations, hydraulic experiments, and development of simulation models are carried out in our division
Major research themes are,
Unexpected disasters may occur in highly developed multi-storied urban areas. In this section, fluvial and marine disasters in the urban areas are studied. Recent urban flood disasters are reviewed, and numerical simulation models are developed and calibrated by hydraulic experiments. Through the application of models, the mechanism and prediction method of urban flood are discussed. Also, urban flood countermeasures of both structural and non-structural types are studied.
The main research topics are as follows:
In order to establish a disaster prevention system over the whole river basin, this research field investigates prevention/mitigation schemes of river and sediment disasters due to heavy rainfall, taking in the perspective of desirable river preservation and the recovery and creation of ecological environment and landscapes. Also, countermeasures against multiple- or chain-type river disasters (occurring with earthquake, landslide, tsunami and storm surge), and collecting/transmitting system of real-time information related with river disasters, are investigated. Furthermore, we are trying to understand the mechanisms of river and sediment disasters, by means of fundamental experiments, hydraulic experiments, numerical simulations, field surveys and observations on flood disaster and sediment transport.
The main topics are as follows:
This research section promotes studies of morpho-dynamics of sediment routing systems that connect river basins, estuaries and coastal oceans. The particular emphasis is placed on clarifying and describing complex fluid-sediment interactions that can lead to serious consequences in low-lying waterfront areas.
The ongoing research projects include the following:
The mission of this section is to perform the continuous field observation on meteorological, fluvial and hydrodynamic issues, related to the disasters in the atmosphere and hydrosphere. This section includes the following four observational facilities for the filed research, education and training and open to the co-research. The observational results describe the real behavior of disasters in the atmosphere and the hydrosphere and clarify those mechanisms and are also utilized for the development of numerical simulations and forecasting models.
The current major research themes are:
Laboratories and Observatories