Category Archives: News

Michel Jaboyedoff received the DPRI Award 2017 in Kyoto University

Michel Jaboyedoff reciveing the DRPI Award from thge director of DPRI Prof. Kaoru Takara (Picture from

On February 21st, Michel Jaboyedoff received the DPRI Award (Disaster Prevention Research Institute – Kyoto University). He expressed his gratitude to DPRI and Prof. Chigira when he received his award. He delivered a Memorial Lecture entitled: “Emerging Techniques and Impact of Human Activities in Landslide Risk Management: 3D Analysis and Human Induced Landslides” (video). The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) received this award jointly.

DPRI Award: “The DPRI Award honours individuals and organizations that have contributed towards various joint research projects and activities of DPRI undertaken in Japan and abroad.” DPRI (from

Risk group @ RocExs 2017 – Barcelona

The Risk Group participated to 6th Interdisciplinary Workwhop on Rockfall Protection in Barcelona, Spain, on 22-24 May 2017.
The first two days, we followed the different presentations while the third day, we participated to a field trip in the Monserrat Massif whose theme was dedicated to rockfall management.
Presentations from the Risk Group:
  • 11 years of ground-based LiDAR monitoring in the West Face of the Drus (Mont-Blanc Massif, France) after the little rock avalanche of June 2005. Guerin et al.
  • The effect of slope roughness on 3D rockfall simulation results. Noël et al.
  • Multi-technique approach to assess rockfall propagation: a case study from Les Forges, Jura, Switzerland. Lefeuvre et al.

Fieldwork in the Yosemite Valley during October 2016

Antoine Guérin, François Noël and Emmanuel Wyser of the Risk Analysis Group (UNIL) went to Yosemite Valley from the October 6th to October 20th, 2016. They were there to pursue the yearly terrestrial LiDAR (TLS) acquisition of 3D model of most major cliffs (eg. El Capitan, Royal Arches, Three Brothers, Cathedral Rocks, Half Dome, etc.). This project was initiated by the University of Lausanne and financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The park’s geologist Dr. Greg Stock, of the National Park Service (NPS), and Dr. Brian Collins from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collaborate to the project.

The 63 TLS acquisitions were performed during about two weeks, when there was no rain or fog. Pictures of the cliffs were taken using a telephoto lens and a robotic camera mount to construct detailed gigapan mosaic pictures. The scree slope at the foot of Rhombus Wall was also characterized.

In memoriam Jacques Bechet

img_9698_2We have recently published two papers written with our former Master’s student Jacques Bechet who died tragically in a snow avalanches on 28 March, 2015. We dedicate these papers to Jacques Bechet (first author). Their content is an expression of his great ingenuity, curiosity and passion for research he shared with his co-worker Julien Duc. We will always remember his enthusiasm and his kindness. We sympathize with his family and with his friend Julien Duc who worked closely with him.

Bechet, J., Duc, J., Loye, A., Jaboyedoff, M., Mathys, N., Malet, J.-P., Klotz, S., Le Bouteiller, C., Rudaz, B., and Travelletti, J. 2016: Detection of seasonal cycles of erosion processes in a black marl gully from a time series of high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs), Earth Surf. Dynam., 4, 781-798, doi:10.5194/esurf-4-781-2016. PDF

Bechet, J., Duc, J., Jaboyedoff, M., Loye, A., and Mathys, N. 2015: Erosion processes in black marl soils at the millimetre scale: preliminary insights from an analogous model, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1849-1855, doi:10.5194/hess-19-1849-2015. PDF

Risk group at the 12th International Symposium on Landslides (ISL)

Four persons of the Risk Group participated to the 12th International Symposium on Landslides (ISL) in Napoli, Italy, on 12 to 19 June 2016. We presented one lecture and three orals. All contributions at the symposium are collected into three books.
It was a great opportunity for us to meet scientists we work with during the five days of the Symposium.

Human-Induced Landslides: Toward the analysis of anthropogenic changes of the slope environment. M. Jaboyedoff et al.

Rock slope pre-failure deformation database for improved transportation corridor risk management. R.A. Kromer et al.

Characteristics and influence of brittle structures and fold geometry in the development of slope deformations in Turtle Mountain (AB, Canada). F. Humair et al.

Minor landslides and floods events affecting transportation network in Switzerland, preliminary results. J. Voumard et al.


Location of the Symposium.


During the lecture on “Human-Induced Landlisdes”.

Two more PhD students completed their theses at the Risk Analysis group

On last 8th July Friday, two PhD students (Raja Mastouri and Zar Chi Aye) from the Risk Analysis group have successfully finished their public defenses and obtained their doctoral degrees in Geosciences. Congratulations!

Raja Mastouri applied 3D seismic in combination with terrestrial laser-scanning and photogrammetry techiques to analyse faults and fractures in Eocene carbonate reservoirs, and to investigate basin tectonics in the Gulf of Gabes (Tunisia).

Zar Chi Aye developed a prototype web-based collaborative decision support platform for risk management of natural hazards. This platform aims to assist risk managers in analyzing impacts of natural hazards as well as authorities and decision makers in the decision-making process for selection of risk management measures in a collaborative and interactive manner.

If you are interested, check out the summary of their doctoral theses here and here, for more information.

Rapid Offline-Online Landslide Mapping tool (ROOl Map)

A prototype using open-source WebGIS technologies has been implemented to make data on hazard impacts, such as damaged infrastructure, landslides or flooding events available to authorities and the general public. This mobile application has been designed as a low-cost, rapid and participatory method for recording impacts from hazard events and includes geolocation (GPS data and Internet), visualize the map, drawing and adding a comment or feedback by public participation. It is possible to record such events and upload them through a server, where internet connections is available. This application can be accessed by a mobile phone (Android or iPhone) or a tablet as hybrid version for both offline and online versions.

Based on recent visit to Nepal, internet is available through mobile network however accessibility to the server was not easy. For this reason, an offline mobile application has been implemented to improve the lack of internet in rural area. This offline version has an interactive-offline map with satellites image added to improve the visibility and mapping landslides. After geolocation, the user can start mapping and save them into Geojson text file that can be easily uploaded to the server whenever internet is available. This prototype would be specifically targeted at conducting an assessment of landslides within a predetermined area to assess land use characteristics such as roads, forest area, rivers.

Following videos show the process of this offline-online landslide mapping tool. The area selected for this project is close to Pokhara, Nepal where so many landslides have been activated or reactivated after the last monsoon. More than 60 landslides during two days of field trips has been recorded.


Video 1: Offline Landslide Mapping tool: A case study from Nepal

Video 2: Online Landslide mapping tool: Uploading offline data into system

Video 3: Online Landslide Mapping Tool: Tutorial

The Risk group in the national French TV news

Le groupe Risk de l’UNIL au 20 heures de France2

On Tuesday 3rd November 2015, three minutes of the TV news of the French national channel France2 were dedicated to research activities that Ludovic Ravanel (CNRS, University of Savoie) and the Risk Group (ISTE, University of Lausanne) have together in the Mont-Blanc massif. This research takes place around the Drus Mountain, an iconic peak of the Chamonix valley. The 1000m high West face of the Drus is affected by intense rockfalls since the beginning of last century. In June 2005, a large event of 265’000 m3 (Ravanel and Deline, 2009) destroyed the Bonatti pillar and numerous legendary climbing routes. Since 2010, the Risk Group proceeds to laser scanning acquisitions (LiDAR) every year in late season. These data are used to build high resolution 3D models of the relief, to estimate volumes of rockfall events and to analyze the mechanisms involved (Matasci et al., in prep).
On 2nd November 2015, two reporters of France 2 accompanied Ludovic Ravanel (CNRS, University of Savoie), Antoine Guérin and Susanna Büssing (both from UNIL) for one day work in the field. Their TV report was broadcasted the following day in the main TV news of France2:,130396764.html
(from 28’20” to 31’40”)


GSRIDRR, Kyoto University, 19-20 March 2015

M. Jaboyedoff participated to the Second Global Summit of Research Institutes for Disaster Risk Reduction: Development of a Research Road Map for the Next Decadewhich was held at Uji Campus of Kyoto University on 19-20 March 2015.

ns2-007The goal of this meeting was to discuss the different challenges linked to disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience to disasters. M. Jaboyedoff presented how the Risk-Group of the ISTE deals with those challenges.

  • This meeting permitted to draft a Resolution that in process of finalization approved by 83 research organizations (51 non-Japanese) coming from 21 countries.
  • In addition, University of Kyoto proposed to create the Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GADRI). Secretariat of GADRI will be located at DPRI at University of Kyoto, Prof. Hirokazu Tatano acting as Secretary General.

The Dean of the Faculty of Geosciences and Environment, Prof. F. Bussy, has approved the participation of the faculty to GADRI.


Publication of a report on a hail event

The swiss Intercantonal Reinsurance (VKF/UIR) published a report on a hail event which occurred in Northern Switzerland in 2011. This report has been written in collaboration with our group. The study focuses on the Canton of Aargau, which was particularly affected by the event, and takes advantage of insurance data and hail intensity derived from meteorological radars.

The document is available online in french or in german.