technology, engineering

History of technology as the production of industrial and manufactured items, processing of raw material from nature (e.g. melting and metal work) and its impact on nature and society; history of tools and machinery (in particular technology of land use, e.g. tractors in modern agriculture).

Based on a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) the historical and near-natural alluvial Danube River and its floodplains around 1849 are studied. The area analysed is located within the borders of Vienna City and covers an 18 km long stretch of the course of the Danube. The aim is to derive hydromophological parameters at different water levels of the Danube in order to describe the characteristic historical terrain topography and river ecosystem prior to its channelisation in 1870 - 1875.

Based on numerous historical maps and additional historical sources the approximately 18 km long section of the Danube in Vienna was reconstructed using ArcGIS. The period covered extends from the year 1529 until the present for which the historical state of the river landscape was reconstructed for 11 points in time. The reconstructions provide the basis for a sound analysis of the river morphological characteristics and the natural and human induced alterations of the Danube river landscape within the past 500 years.

In the Danube River Basin multiple pressures affect the river system as a consequence of river engineering works, altering both the river hydrodynamics and morphodynamics. The main objective of this paper is to identify the effects of hydropower development, flood protection and engineering works for navigation on the Danube and to examine specific impacts of these developments on  sediment transport and river morphology.

What do we know about the natural productivity of riparian forests on large rivers prior to regulation and about their function as a source of raw materials and renewable energy? Can we draw conclusions for a sustainable resource management based on a historical reconstruction of the available timber resources centuries ago?
The project "Enough wood for city and river? Vienna’s wood resources in dynamic Danube floodplains" is designed to answer these questions.