In the Alpine regions of Europe, and mountainous areas across the world, landslides and debris flows caused by heavy rains pose a significant threat to life. For example, the Illgraben region of Valais, Switzerland, has seen 10 debris flows over the past summer, an unusually high number.
Specialist Meteomatics has been operating its autonomous weather drone in the area to remotely monitor these flows. The company notes the drone is able to locate the debris flows detected by the seismometers installed in the area and quantify the changes in the terrain, meaning that detailed observations can be made in hard-to-access, remote landscape, and without the need for risky physical observations.
This short video shows the mapping undertaken by the craft.