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Authors: Thibert, Emmanuel* 
Bellot, Hervé* 
Ravanat, Xavier* 
Ousset, Frédéric* 
Pulfer, Gaëtan* 
Naaim, Mohamed* 
Naaim-Bouvet, Florence* 
Nishimura, Koichi* 
Ito, Yoichi* 
Baroudi, Djebar* 
Prokop, Alexander* 
Schön, Peter* 
Soruco, P. Alvaro* 
Vincent, Christian* 
Limam, Ali* 
Pesaresi, Damiano* 
Title: The full-scale avalanche test site, Lautaret, France
Issue Date: 7-Oct-2013
Keywords: Avalanche
full-scale experiments
Subject Classification05. General::05.08. Risk::05.08.01. Environmental risk 
Abstract: The Lautaret full-scale avalanche test site in the southern French Alps has been used by IRSTEA (Cemagref) Research Institute since 1973. Over the recent years two avalanche paths are used to release small to medium avalanches 3 or 4 times each winter. Avalanche flows are generally dense, whether wet or dry, sometimes with a powder part. Main path n°2 (track length 800 m) is dedicated to avalanche dynamics. Within the flow of the avalanche, flow height and vertical profiles of pressure and velocity are measured along a 3.5 m tripod. The snow volume released in the starting zone is quantified by a differential analysis of laser scanning measurements set before and after triggering. A high rate positioning of the avalanche along the track is determined from terrestrial oblique photogrammetry. Above the dense layer, the saltation layer and the powder part are characterized by particles and air fluxes measurements. In path n°1 smaller in size, medium-size avalanches (track length 500 m) make this track of particular interest for experiments on structures. A macroscopic sensor-structure is set nearly 150 m downhill from the starting zone, that is, in the area where avalanches generally reach their maximum velocity. It consists is a one square-meter plate supported by a 3.5 m high steel cantilever fixed in the ground, facing the avalanche. Impact pressures are reconstructed from the cantilever deformations, while avalanche velocity is measured from optical sensors. Seismic signals generated by avalanches of those 2 paths are recorded by a 3-axial broadband seismometer. Around those experimental devices dedicated to the understanding of avalanche physics, a national and international partnership has been developed from years to years, including INSA de Lyon, CNRS and Université Joseph Fourier (France), Aalto University (Finland), Nagoya University (Japan), Boku University (Austria), IGEMA (Bolivia), OGS (Italy)
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