Education & Research Units
CCES Conference 2016 «Grand Challenges in Environmental and Sustainability Science and Technology»
The 6th CCES Winter School «Science meets Practice» successfully concludes for 2016
The CCES data platform for environmental research becomes the long-term WSL Envidat/OSPER infrastructure
Triggering of Rapid Mass Movements in Steep Terrain
Lab experiment to test a new IDAS fiber-optic AE detection system (Photo: P. Lehmann)
TRAMM was a research project of the ETH Competence Centre of Environment and Sustainability (CCES) with the aim to better understand mechanisms of rapid mass movements. While the first phase (2006-10) contained numerous dedicated field and lab experiments, such as an artificially released landslide on a steep forest slope, the second phase (2012-15) focused on further developing numerical models to make them usable in future early warning systems.
Recent progress has been achieved in
accounting for high-resolution precipitation information and hydro-geological impacts in landslide models, as well as in linking the triggering and runout of mass movements. In addition, our recent work has substantially
advanced the understanding and use of acoustic emissions as precursors of landslides and snow avalanches. In a workshop with practitioners, we have discussed limitations of current early warning systems (EWS) and how EWS can be further developed for a safe and timely recognition of imminent hazards. TRAMM research has also been presented to a broad audience at Scientifica 2013.
White paper "Strategies towards design of next-generation Early Warning Systems (EWS) for rapid mass movements" (Feb. 2014) -> download
- 11 Feb 2016: Special session on Early Warning Systems for Natural Hazards at the CCES conference 2016 at ETH Zürich.
- 31 March 2015: After 8.5 years the
project TRAMM (Triggering of Rapid Mass Movements in Steep Terrain) has officially drawn
to a close. However, our joint collaboration on that topic will continue in the frame of other projects.
- Okt/Nov 2014: The data and meta-data of the TRAMM field study Rufiberg are now available at http://www.swiss-experiment.ch/index.php/Rufiberg.
- 2-5 June, 2014: Test of fiber optic cables for measuring acoustic emissions in the large-scale laboratory of WSL. Contact: email@example.com
- Fan, L., P. Lehmann, and D. Or. 2015. Effects of hydromechanical loading
history and antecedent soil mechanical damage on shallow landslide
triggering, J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf., 120, 1990–2015,
- Frank, F.; McArdell, B.W.; Huggel, C.; Vieli, A., 2015:
The importance of entrainment and bulking on debris flow runout modeling: Examples from the Swiss Alps. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 15, 11: 2569-2583.
- Gaume, J.; Chambon, G.; Eckert, N.; Naaim, M.; Schweizer, J., 2015:
Influence of weak layer heterogeneity and slab properties on slab tensile failure propensity and avalanche release area. Cryosphere 9, 2: 795-804.
- Gaume, J.; Van Herwijnen, A.; Chambon, G.; Birkeland, K.W.; Schweizer, J., 2015:
Modeling of crack propagation in weak snowpack layers using the discrete element method. Cryosphere 9, 5: 1915-1932.
- Hürlimann, M., McArdell,
B.W., Rickli, C.: 2015. Field and laboratory
analysis of the runout characteristics of hillslope debris flows in Switzerland.
Geomorphology, 232: 20-32.
- Stähli, M., Sättele, M., Huggel, C., McArdell, B.W., Lehmann, P., Van
Herwijnen, A., Berne, A., Schleiss, M., Ferrari, A., Kos, A., Or, D. and
Springman, S. M. 2015. Monitoring and prediction in early warning systems for
rapid mass movements. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15: 905–917.
- Von Ruette, J., P. Lehmann, and D. Or. 2016, Linking rainfall-induced
landslides with predictions of debris flow runout distances, Landslides,
published online, DOI 10.1007/s10346-015-0621-2.
TRAMM synthesis report
Here you can download the TRAMM synthesis report summarizing the main activities and achievements of
TRAMM (phase 1) for natural hazard experts and decision makers. (accomplished in November 2010; 50 pages, 4.1 MB).
--> download the report
17-Mar, 2009: Successful landslide experiment at Rüdlingen (SH)
On 17-March, 2009, 03:23 a.m. a shallow landslide of approximately 150 m3 was triggered by irrigation at the experimental slope in Rüdlingen (SH). On the right, you can see images of the experimental slope after the release.
In-depth analysis of the data are currently made by the different involved groups.
A film of the landslide triggering made by A. Askarinejad (IGT ETH Zürich) based on images provided by D. Akca (IGP ETH Zürich) is available here.
Successful artificial landslide at Rüdlingen (SH)
TRAMM project partners
Dr. Manfred Stähli, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Mountain Hydrology and Torrents
Dr. Peter Lehmann, ETH Zürich, Soil and Terrestrial Environmental Physics
Prof. Dr. Sarah Springman, ETH Zürich, Institute for Geotechnical Engineering
Prof. Dr. Dani Or, Dr. Peter Lehmann, ETH Zürich, Soil and Terrestrial Environmental Physics
Prof. Dr. Lyesse Laloui, EPF Lausanne, Soil Mechanics Laboratory
Dr. Brian McArdell, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Avalanches, Debris and Rock Fall
Dr. Jürg Schweizer, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Snow and Permafrost Research
Prof. Dr. Alexis Berne, EPF Lausanne, Environmental Remote Sensing Laboratory
(PIs in TRAMM phase 1, 2006-10)
Prof. Dr. Christophe Ancey, EPF Lausanne, Environmental Hydraulics Lab
Dr. Laurent Tacher, EPF Lausanne, Engineering and Environmental Geology Laboratory
Phase 1: 2006 - 2010
Phase 2: 2012 - 2015