The research of RFASE is rooted in the geomorphological mapping programme of the University of Amsterdam, which started in the mid-1950s and continued until the 1990s. With Vorarlberg in the centre, the work expanded to the adjacent mountains of Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The neighbouring Alpine foreland of soutern Germany – the depositional counterpart of the erosional area of the mountains – were subject of research from the mid-1970s onward.

Most of the research has been and still is carrried out in close cooperation with the University of Amsterdam. Some of the topics are: