Welcome to Research Center for Fluvial and Coastal Disasters

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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.

Sedimentation Disaster

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,

  1. Monitoring and predicting the sediment dynamics in the sediment transport system
  2. Improving precision of prediction for sedimentation disaster occurrence
  3. Understanding the water - sediment - ecosystem structure
  4. Comprehensive sediment control within the sediment transport systems

Urban Flood Control

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:

  1. Mechanism and prediction of urban flood
  2. Flood inundation modeling considering urban characteristics
  3. Urban disasters caused by Tsunami and their modeling
  4. Design and evaluation of countermeasures against urban flood

River Disaster Prevention System

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:

  1. Mechanisms and prevention/mitigation schemes of river and sediment disasters
  2. Hydro and sedimentary dynamics on hydraulic structures
  3. Strength evaluation and maintenance methods of river disaster prevention facilities such as river dykes
  4. Interdisciplinary hydraulics - Ecology, Biology, Hydroscience and Hydraulic Engineering
  5. Mechanisms and prevention/mitigation schemes of multiple - or chain - type river disasters
  6. Real-time information system for river disaster prevention
  7. Field survey on flood and sediment disasters

Coastal Sedimentary Environment

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:

  1. Event-accentuated sediment transport and evolution of coastal landform
  2. Subaqueous sediment gravity flows and depositional processes
  3. Coastal groundwater environmentsg
  4. Integrity of sedimentary barriers against events such as storm surges, severe waves and tunamis

Field Research Section for Fluvial and Coastal Hazards

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:

  1. Observational research on the water and energy transport and circulation
  2. Integrated observation of disasters in the atmosphere and hydrosphere
  3. Development and application of integrated model for disasters in atmosphere, river and coast for forecastCoastal groundwater environmentsg

Laboratories and Observatories