Research interests

Gravitational mass flows Geomorphology Mountain Hazard Assessment


Find here a list of topics for a master thesis

871.322 Mountain Hazard Processes (co-teaching)

871.358 Dynamics of Geophysical Flows

871.192 Wildbach- und Lawinenverbauung (co-teaching)

871.312 Naturgefahren

871.343 Wassergefahren - Analyse und Bewertung (co-teaching)


Selected publications (** SCI)

**Nagl, G., Huebl, J., Kaitna, R. (2020): Velocity profiles and basal stresses in natural debris flows. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (

**Prenner, D., Hrachowitz, M., Kaitna, R. (2019): Trigger characteristics of torrential flows from high to low alpine regions in Austria. Science of the Total Environment 658, 958-972 (doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.206).

**Fischer, J.T., Kaitna, R., Heil, K., Reiweger, I. (2018): The heat of the flow - thermal equilibrium in gravitational mass flows. Geophysical Research Letters (doi: 10.1029/2018gl079585).

**Prenner, D., Kaitna, R., Mostbauer, K., & Hrachowitz, M. (2018): The value of using multiple hydrometeorological variables to predict temporal debris flow susceptibility in an Alpine environment. Water Resources Research 54 (doi: 10.1029/2018WR022985).

**Mostbauer, K., Kaitna, R., Prenner, D., and Hrachowitz, M. (2018): The temporally varying roles of rainfall, snowmelt and soil moisture for debris flow initiation in a snow-dominated system. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 3493-3513, (doi: 10.5194/hess-22-3493-2018).

Kaitna, R., Huber, T. (2017): Debris flow activity in permafrost regions in Austria during the 20th century. In: Mikos, M; Casagli, N; Yin, Y; Sassa, K (Eds.), Advancing Culture of Living with Landslides -Diversity of Landslide Forms 4, 707; Springer Nature, Cham, Switzerland; ISBN 978-3-319-53484-8.

Braun, M., Kaitna, R. (2016): Analysis of meteorological trigger conditions for debris flows on a daily time scale. In: Makarov, SA; Atutova, JV; Shekhovtsov, AI (Eds.), Debris flows: risks, forecast, protection: Materials of IV International Conference (Russia, Irkutsk – Arshan village (The Republic of Buriatia), Irkutsk. Publishing House of Sochava Institute of Geography SB RAS; ISBN: 978-5-94797-273-3.

**Heiser, M., Scheidl, Ch., Kaitna, R. (2017): Evaluation concepts to compare observed and simulated deposition areas of mass movements. Computational Geosciences, pp. 1-9 (doi: 10.1007/s10596-016-9609-9).

**Kaitna, R., Rickenmann, D., Huebl, J. (2016): Evaluation of model parameterization through laboratory investigations. International Journal of Erosion Control Engineering 9(3), pp. 130-134 (doi: 10.13101/ijece.9.130).

**Ballesteros-Cánovas, J.; Stoffel, M.; Corona, C.; Schraml, K.; Gobiet, A.; Tani, S.; Sinabell, F.; Fuchs, S. & Kaitna, R. (2016): Debris-flow risk analysis in a managed torrent based on a stochastic life-cycle performance. Science of The Total Environment 557, 142-153 (doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.03.036)

**Kaitna, R.; Palucis, M.; Yohannes, B.; Hill, K. & Dietrich, W.E. (2016): Effects of Coarse Grain Size Distribution and Fine Particle Content on Pore Fluid Pressure and Shear Behavior in Experimental Debris Flows. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface (doi: 10.1002/2015JF003725)

**Leonardi, A.; Cabrera, M.; Wittel, F. K.; Kaitna, R.; Mendoza, M.; Wu, W. & Herrmann, H. J. (2015): Granular front formation in free-surface flow of concentrated suspensions. Physical Review E 92, 052204 (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.92.052204)

**Schraml, K., Thomschitz, B., McArdell, B.W., Graf, C., Kaitna, R. (2015): Modeling debris-flow runout patterns on two alpine fans with different dynamic simulation models. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 15, 1483–1492 (doi:10.5194/nhess-15-1483-2015).

**Kaitna, R., Dietrich, W.E., Hsu, L. (2014): Surface slopes, velocity profiles and fluid pressure in coarse-grained debris flows saturated with water and mud. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, vol. 741, pp. 277-403 (doi: 10.1017/jfm.2013.675). [Awarded with the Best Paper Award of the “Jubiläumsfonds der Stadt Wien”]

**Arai, M., Huebl, J., Kaitna, R. (2013): Occurrence conditions of roll waves for three grain-fluid models and comparison with results from experiments and field observation. Geophysical Journal International Vol 195, Issue 3, p 1464-1480 (doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt352).

**Schraml, K., Kogelnig, B., Scheidl, C., Stoffel, M., Kaitna, R. (2013): Estimation of debris flood magnitudes based on dendrogeomorphic data and semi-empirical relationships. Geomorphology 201, p.80-85 (doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2013.06.009).

Kaitna, R., Hübl, J. (2013): Silent witnesses for torrential processes. In: M. Schneuwly-Bollschweiler, Stoffel M., Rudolf-Miklau F. (eds.) Dating torrential processes on fans and cones, Methods and their application for hazard and risk assessment. Advances in Global Change Research, vol. 47, Springer Netherlands (doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4336-6 5).

Kaitna, R., Schneuwly-Bollschweiler, M., Sausgruber, T., Moser, M., Stoffel, M., Rudolf-Miklau, F. (2013): Susceptibility and Triggers for Debris Flows: Emergence, Loading, Release and Entrainment. In: M. Schneuwly-Bollschweiler, Stoffel M., Rudolf-Miklau F. (eds.), Dating torrential processes on fans and cones, Methods and their application for hazard and risk assessment. Advances in Global Change Research, vol. 47, Springer Netherlands (doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4336-6 5).

**Scheidl, C., Chiari, M., Kaitna, R., Muellegger,M., Krawtschuk, A., Zimmermann, T., Proske, D. (2012): Analysing Debris-Flow Impact Models, Based on a Small Scale Modelling Approach. Surveys in Geophysics 34: 121–140 (doi: 10.1007/s10712-012-9199-6).

**Schneider, D., Kaitna, R., Dietrich, W.E., Hsu, L., Huggel, C., McArdell, B.W. (2011): Frictional behavior of granular gravel-ice mixtures in vertically rotating drum experiments and implications for rock-ice avalanches. Cold Region Science and Technology Vol 69, p 70-90 (doi:10.1016/j.coldregions.2011.07.001).

**Schneider, D., Huggel, C., Haeberli, W., Kaitna, R. (2011): Unraveling driving factors for large rock-ice avalanche mobility. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. (doi: 10.1002/esp.2218).

**Kaitna, R., Chiari, M., Kerschbaumer, M., Kapeller, H., Zlatic-Jugovic, J., Hengl, M., Huebl, J. (2011): Physical and numerical modelling of a bedload deposition area for an Alpine torrent. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 11: 1589-1597 (doi:10.5194/nhess-11-1589-2011).

**Proske, D., Kaitna, R., Suda, J., Hübl, J.. (2008): Estimation of a debris flow impact force against protection structures made of structural concrete. Bautechnik, 85(12), 803-811. ISSN 0932-8351

Fuchs, S.; Kaitna, R.; Scheidl, C. & Huebl, J. (2008): The application of the risk concept to debris flow hazards. Geomechanics and Tunnelling 1, 120-129 (doi: 10.1002/geot.200800013).

Kaitna, R., Rickenmann, D. (2007): Flow of different material mixtures in a rotating drum. In Cui P., Cheng Ch. (eds.): Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Prediction, and Assessment. Proceedings of the 4th International DFHM Conference Chengdu, China, September 10-13 2007, Millpress, Rotterdam.

**Kaitna, R., Rickenmann, D. (2007): A new experimental facility for laboratory debris flow investigation. Journal of Hydraulic Research. Vol.45, No.6, pp. 797-810.

**Kaitna, R.; Rickenmann, D. & Schatzmann, M. (2007): Experimental study on rheologic behaviour of debris flow material. Acta Geotechnica 2, 71-85 (doi: 10.1007/s11440-007-0026-z)

Kaitna, R.; Rickenmann, D. & Schneiderbauer, S. (2006): Comparative rheologic investigations in a vertically rotating flume and a moving-bed conveyor belt flume. In G. Lorenzini C.A. Brebbia, D. E. (Ed.) Monitoring, simulation prevention and remediation of dense and debris flows, 1, 89-98, WIT Press.

Klik, A.; Kaitna, R. & Badraoui, M. (2002): Desertification hazard in a mountainous ecosystem in the high Atlas region, Morocco. 12th International Soil Conservation Organization Conference Proceedings, 4, 636-644.

Academic career

June 2016 - current: Associate Professor at the Insitute of Mountain Risk Engineering (IAN), University for Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria March 2013 - June 2013: Teaching and research visit at the University of Minnesota, USA October 2012 - May 2016: Assistant Professor at IAN, BOKU, Vienna July 2010 – August 2010: Visiting researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, USA. November 2009 – September 2012: University Assistant at IAN, BOKU, Vienna November 2008 – October 2009: Post-doc at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California at Berkeley, USA September 2006 – October 2008: University Assistant at IAN, BOKU, Vienna August 2002 – July 2006: PhD student at the IAN, BOKU, Vienna (advisor: Dieter Rickenmann) Juny 2002: Degree in ‘Kulturtechnik & Wasserwirtschaft’ (Environmental engineering) May 2001 – February 2002: Student research associate at the Institute of Hydraulics and Rural Watershed Management, BOKU, Vienna March 2001 – June 2001: Research visit at the Université HassanII, Rabbat, Marokko (Project: ‘Données de base pour une gestion durable des ressources naturelles dans un écosystème montagnard’). September 1998 – June 1999: Civil Engineering programm at the University of Bristol, UK

Awards and fellowships

2014: Best paper award for the Publication “Surface slopes, velocity profiles and fluid pressure in coarse-grained debris flows saturated with water and mud”, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 741, 2014, pp. 377-403 (Jubiläumsfonds der Stadt Wien). 2013: Occasional Lecturer Fund, Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). 2012:  Fulbright Fellowship 2008:   „Erwin Schrödinger Mobilitätsstipendium“ (FWF Austrian Science Fund) 2006:   Scholarship for the Summerschool Alpbach 2006: „Monitoring of Natural Hazards from Space“ (FFG Austrian Research Promotion Agency) 2006:   „Claus Fischer Price for Innovations“ 2001:   Short term research scholarships 1998:   Erasmus scholarship 1991:   Student award in bridge design