Monthly Archives: April 2014

Bioengineering for landslide mitigation in Nepal

Landslides in deep weathered soils are a major concern for roads and other infrastructures in Nepal. The Risk group has developed a multi-disciplinary research program in the mid-hill areas (West and East of Kathmandu) for these last five years: slope stability and floods assessment, hazard and risk analysis, vulnerability and resilience of rural population, conflict of populations with hydroelectric programs. Since 2012, the group is involved in pilot studies on using bioengineering to increase the stability of some critical sites. This project is done with local engineers (S. Devkota) and several sites have been prepared, mostly with Vetiver plants. Karen Sudmeier, Ivanna Penna and Geoffroy Leibundgut are presently in the field to monitor these site by terrestrial laser scanning and to assess the potential of these methods (as well from a technical point of view than from a social one).

Nepal April 2014

CHANGES meeting, at Les Diablerets – 7 to 11 April 2014

Group picture 1 small

On 7 to 11 April 2014 the group risk of ISTE, University of Lausanne, organized the CHANGES meeting at Les Diablerets. CHANGES is an ITN European project entitled: “Changing Hydro-meteorological Risks as Analyzed by a New Generation of European Scientists (A Marie Curie Initial Training Network – Jan 2011 to Dec 2014).

The meeting was attended by 24 members and PhD students of the project. The program was related to:

  • Professional skill course 6: Project Management
  • Workshop 2: Environmental changes
  • Workshop 5: Web-based platforms

The Risk-Group provided courses with the support S. Lévy (Responsable prévention des dangers naturels) of the Forest Office of canton de Vaud, who is one of our former students:

  • Changes in risk management in Developing countries (Karen Sudmeier, UNIL & UNEP)
  • Risk Management in Switzerland (Sébastien Levy, Etat de Vaud)
  • EconoMe: Risk calculation method (Pierrick Nicolet, UNIL)
  • Flood damage in Les Diablerets (M. Jaboyedoff, UNIL)
  • Hazard and risks in Les Diablerets Michel Jaboyedoff
  • Small project: Analysis of changes in Les Diablerets (P. Nicolet & M. Jaboyedoff)

The two PhD students of the project based in Lausanne: ZarChi Aye and Roya Olyazadeh, are really thanked for the organization of this week, which was appreciated by all participant, in particular the social day at le Glacier des Diablerets.

Workshop « lidar et milieux naturels – Caen 10 April 2014 »

The Risk group has been working for a couple of years with the universities of Caen (S. Costa, P. Letortu and O. Maquaire) and Bretagne Occidentale (C. Delacourt) on coastal erosion and evolution. Clément Michoud and Dario Carrea (PhD students) have contributed to this project by making possible laser scanning from boat coupling a terrestrial lidar with an inertial navigation system. Around 20 km of coast could be scanned in 2012 and 2013 in the area of Dieppe. During this workshop first results from embarked lasers scanning were presented: spatial resolutions, rock fall detection, and in particular the landslide of Dieppe (100’000 m3).


The Dieppe landslide
The Dieppe landslide

Martina Böhme PhD defense

On March 20 2014, Martina Böhme defended her PhD in Trondheim at NTNU entitled “Spatial and temporal variability of rock slope instabilities and failures within western Norway” she has been supervised by Prof. B. Nilsen (NTNU), Prof. L. Blikra (Uni Tromsö), and Prof. M. Jaboyedoff (UNIL). She gave a presentation on “Complex landslides” and a second one on her PhD subject. She successfully passed the exams, by answering brilliantly to the questions of 3 opponents: Dr. A. Blais-Stephens, Dr. V. Kveldsvik and Prof. S.J. Lippard. Martina spends more than 3 months at UNIL in several stages to collaborate with our group, in particular Dr. Derron and Dr. Pedrazzini. We congratulate Martina for her excellent PhD. She has now a permanent position at the Geological Survey of Norway.

PhD defense of Catherine Cloutier ULAVAL Québec

On the 10th of February 2014, Catherine Cloutier held her PhD defense at ULAVAL Québec. During her PhD, she spent 3 months at university of Lausanne in the risk group in 2011. Her PhD committee was composed of Prof. J. Locat (director, ULAVAL), Dr. R. Couture (GSC), C. Froese (ERCB), Prof. M. Grenon (Ulaval) and M. Jaboyedoff (UNIL). The PhD entitled “Évaluation du comportement cinétique et du risque associé aux glissements de terrain rocheux actifs à l’aide de mesures de surveillance: Le cas du glissement de Gascons, Gaspésie, Canada” was dedicated to the understanding of a rock slide affecting a train line in Gaspésie, to the development of a full monitoring system of this instability and a risk assessment of this situation. The whole team of “IGAR” congratulates Catherine for her outstanding PhD. This PhD leads to papers together with ULAVAL and UNIL. We wish her a great success for her future academic career.

This trip was also the opportunity to talk about research projects, student exchange programs, and future events such as the next 3ème Journée de rencontre des risques et dangers naturels which will be linked to 1ere rencontre francophone des risques naturels.

Congratulation to Dr. Jean-Philippe Malet

0n 14th January 2014, our colleague Dr. Jean-Philippe Malet defended his HDR (habilitation à diriger des recherches) at the University of Strasbourg. It was an honor for M. Jaboyedoff to be a member of this committee with Dr. C. Weber, Prof. GB Crosta, Prof. R. Cojean, Prof. M. Cara, Prof. C. Delacourt and Prof. F. Masson. Dr. Malet showed the great quality of his work during an outstanding presentation.


Member of the PhD committee of André Stumpf at University of Strasbourg under the supervision of J.-P. Malet

On December 18th December 2013, M.Jaboyedoff participated to the PhD committee of André Stumpf at the University of Strasbourg. The title of the PhD (under the supervision of J.-P. Malet) was: “Landslide recognition and monitoring with remotely sensed data from passive optical sensors”. The work of A. Stumpf was considered as outstanding by the Jury. It demonstrates the great potential of image analysis for landslide monitoring purpose. He presented his work with great skill. Several people of the risk group were associated with him within the project SAFELAND, which will lead to publications together. The group of Risk at UNIL-FGSE congratulates André for his great job, and wish him great success in his future academic career.

Erosion monitoring – Project Roubinette is operational

The Institute of Earth Sciences is monitoring erosion dynamics in a study site in Draix (SE France), in cooperation with several other research groups, as part of Benjamin Rudaz’ PhD project, and in continuation of previous studies (A. Loye, P. Béchet, J. Duc).

This region is characterized by black marls outcrops, wheathered and eroded by the alpine mediterranean climate, resulting in a pluricentimetric annual erosion rate, which can be quantified and observed through high-resolution LiDAR-acquired DTMs. LiDAR campaigns began in 2007 for the Roubine catchment (~1400 m2), and thanks to a research grant from the Herbette Foundation, it will continue and develop on the Roubinette, a first-order gully of 140 m2 situated right by the Roubine.

The goals of this new research is to increase the precision when comparing LiDAR scans, by removing the vegetation, scanning from a higher position and combining LiDAR and photogrammetric methods.

Higher scanning position has been achieved with a 4 meters steel-beam tower, on top of which sits the LiDAR pad. This allows the scanner to view nearly 100% of the incised terrain. Also perched on the tower are 2 Harbotronics time-lapse packages, taking high-quality digital photograph every hour during the day. Their separation, as with human eyes, will allow 3D reconstruction of the terrain, on an hourly basis. This will complement LiDAR scans, which can be only done every few months. Finally, the setup is accompanied by a meteorological station, soil humidity sensors, and a concrete sediment catch which captures the outgoing water and sediments.

The installation was finalized during a field trip in march 2014, and is thus now fully operational. Stay tuned for future exciting results!


Pièce jointeRoubinette tower from catchment summit

Andrianantenaina Rabemanantsoa: Analyse du risque liés aux glissements de terrain à l’échelle du canton de Vaud

Andrianantenaina Rabemanantsoa
Director: Prof. Michel Jaboyedoff
Supervisor: Pierrick Nicolet

Le but de ce projet est d’estimer de manière globale le risque lié aux glissements de terrain dans le canton de Vaud, en incluant les différentes sources d’incertitude et en utilisant plusieurs types de données pour la définition de l’aléa, en particulier les cartes indicatives de danger et les cartes de danger.

L’analyse se concentre surtout sur deux types de glissements de terrain, à savoir les glissements de terrain profonds et les glissements de terrain superficiels, et inclut les pertes possibles lors d’une activation ou réactivation d’un glissement.