• Period | 2017 - 2019
  • Country |
  • Market | Natural Hazards
  • Project Manager | Sylfest Glimsdal
  • Client | NGI - Norges forskningsråd
R&D program|


The scope of the MERRIC project is to perform research on processes relevant for erosion risk, i.e. processes influencing the probability and/or extent of erosion as well as the consequences of erosion. Another main goal is to develop knowledge and tools that can help our clients, and society at large, to reduce property damage and potential loss of life due to erosion.
Multi-scale Erosion Risk
under Climate Change

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Flooding, hydrology, sea level rise and storm surges has been defined by NGI as key strategic areas to study. Sea-level rise and storm surges are also considered important elements in municipal planning and a revised guide has been published by DSB in September 2016.

Water-related challenges in urban areas is expected to increase in the future due to climate change (flooding in suburban rivers, erosion, urban flooding, sea level rise, degradation in the coastal zone due to storm surge, contamination of treatment plants with poor capacity by flooding). There are also challenges related to increasing urbanization globally and particularly in developing countries, where urbanization is characterized by arbitrary development.

Project goals and main objective

The scope of the MERRIC project is to perform research on processes relevant for erosion risk, i.e. processes influencing the probability and/or extent of erosion as well as the consequences of erosion. This will imply investigations of the relevant processes in the transition between water and land in the coastal zone, along the riverbanks, in lakes.

The full range of erosion, both along the shore and in landslides, will be a central theme. The following research topics will be included:

  • Identification of conceptual models for erosive and mass-flow processes relevant for the scope of MERRIC.
  • Adaptation and/or development and testing of tools for simulation of erosive and mass-flow processes, including entrainment, sediment transport and sedimentation.
  • Development of strategies for site-specific analysis of effects of climate change on erosion risk.
  • Assessment of conditions affecting the extent of erosion.
  • Improved methods for erosion control, both with regard to efficiency and to ecology (link to H2020 application on Nature based solutions).
  • Innovative use of geophysical and remote sensing methods to monitor processes to verify and calibrate simulation results, if possible to collect input data for the simulation models and to be used as part of consequence mitigation.

Further goals include:

  • Interdisciplinary competence build up at NGI, including development of top competence on this topic at NGI; strengthen and enlarge the group at NGI with competence on erosion risk; application of erosion assessments within the different market areas at NGI.
  • Contribution to international Research.
  • Market-oriented developments and networking, in order to strengthen NGIs position within the market.
  • Dissemination of project results, both within NGI and within the scientific community.

Work packages

The project is subdivided into the following work packages, WP:

Period |

Project Manager

The five sub-projects (WP1–WP5) will coordinate and interact with each other, in order to ensure that MERRIC achieves the best possible results. It is the project manager's responsibility to ensure that the five projects make use of each other and are run in a coordinated manner. The list is to be reviewed at the end of each calendar year. The steering group may decide to terminate or continue existing sub-projects or to start new ones.

The project manager will coordinate the work packages and report progress to the steering group. The project manager is the contact person for both steering and reference group.

The organization of the project is shown below.

Merric org chart 2017 justert

Steering Committee

The MERRIC project will be financed through a combination of NGI's annual Research funding from The Research Council of Norway (RCN) and NGI's own contributions. The project Steering Committee, appointed by NGI, will therefore, and according to the mandate set up for these groups, function as the client for the project.

The group will elect its own chairperson, who will then set up and chair meetings in collaboration with the project manager. The project manager shall not be the chair of the steering group. The steering group's duties include:

  • Responsibility for ensuring that the activities of the project are in accordance with NGI's strategies and are providing multidisciplinary synergies and training that will benefit NGI as a whole.   
  • To work with relevant heads of department, who may be invited to meetings if required.   
  • To assess and approve project schedules and schedule changes, including sub-projects, budgets, progress schedules and milestone plans.   
  • To provide support for the project manager on technical and administrative issues.   
  • To monitor the project and ensure that it is being run within agreed limits and guidelines   
  • To liaise with relevant heads of department to ensure that the project is receiving the necessary resources.   
  • To ensure that the project is evaluated when the SP comes to an end.

Members of the MERRIC Steering Committee are:

  • Anders Solheim, Director for Natural Hazards market area at NGI (suggested leader of steering Group)
  • Amy Oen, Senior specialist, NGI
  • Thomas Langford, Head of Offshore geotechnics Section, NGI
  • Guro Grøneng, Director for Building, Construction and Transportation market area at NGI

Reference group

A reference group has been assembled by invited central professionals from organizations and institutes identified as potential users of the results developed within MERRIC. This both include end users and representatives from research. The purpose of the reference group is to provide feedback on project results and to suggest amendments or new important topic areas to focus on, based on their needs.

Members of the Reference Group:

  • Heidi Eriksen, Oppland County, Norway
  • Jim Bogen, NVE, The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate
  • Hege Berg Thurmann, Oslo Harbour KF, Norway
  • Geir Vatne, Bane Nor, Norwegian National Railway Infrastructure
  • Trond Børresen, NMBU, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • David Fuhrmann, Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
  • Thor Ugelvig Petersen, DHI, Denmark
  • Ton Peters, Deltares, The Netherlands

Work packages

The proposed work within the work packages (WP) is summarized below. A more thorough description of the proposed work in WP 1-5 in 2017 as well as a coarse description of work in 2018 and 2019 is shown under the heading "Sub-projects" above.

WP0 - Project administration and general functions
0.1 Project administration
0.2 Meetings with reference group and steering group

WP1 - Modelling of erosion processes in rivers, at the coast and in mass movements
1.1 Review and recommendations for erosion mechanisms that should be studied in MERRIC and for modelling approaches that appear promising
1.2 Development of analytical and numerical models for erosion mechanism, based on findings in 1.1

WP2 - Mobility of sediments in complex topography
2.1 Implementation of sediment in HEC-RAS model, sections of Flomselvi and Gudbrandsdalen
2.2 Field assessment of sediments in Gudbrandsdalen
2.3 Debris flow, parameters and type sediments

WP3 - Coastal hydrodynamic processes
3.1 Modelling of storm surge erosion and sedimentation transport in Delft3D
3.2 Erosion caused by ship currents

WP4 - Monitoring, warning and non-physical mitigation measures
4.1 Identify parameters in WPs 1-3 that can be measured and monitored by remote sensing and/or measured and modelled by geophysical methods. And identify open methodological gaps (internationally/at NGI)
4.2 Select one (or several methods) to be improved over the course of first project year. And select test case (where possible in conjunction with a commercial project) and carry out proof-of-concept study.

WP5 - Dissemination and knowledge sharing
5.1 Dissemination of project results
5.2 Internal seminars for knowledge sharing, synergy and progress reporting
5.3 External seminars

Reports and publications from the MERRIC Project will be presented here with link to the actual publications.


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