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Avalanches

Among the core activities of the SLF, serving the purpose of safeguarding the population against natural hazards in the long term, is the research it conducts in the disciplines of avalanche formation, dynamics and protection. Although we now have a good understanding of how avalanches arise, which enables the SLF to publish reliable avalanche bulletins to warn tourists, users of transportation routes and residents in the Alps, we cannot (yet) predict exactly why, when and where an avalanche will be released.

Rutschblock

Avalanche formation

The key to improving avalanche warnings is a thorough understanding of how avalanches form. Even though avalanches are major, violent natural events, their cause lies in tiny details. >> more

Lawine

Avalanche flow properties

Avalanches observe extremely complex physical laws. The SLF conducts various laboratory and field experiments in order to enhance scholars' understanding of the relevant processes. The analyses play a significant role in averting danger. >>more

Schneeprofil

Avalanche warning

For more than 60 years, the SLF has been informing the public about the current snow and avalanche situation in the Swiss Alps. In the winter, the avalanche warning service releases avalanche bulletins twice a day, alongside a series of other products. >> more

Schneenetz

Avalanche protection

Avalanche protection measures seek as far as possible to shield people, settlements and infrastructure against avalanches. A distinction is made between structural, planning, silvicultural and temporary measures to protect against avalanches. Life in the Alps would be inconceivable without avalanche protection. >> more

Staublawine

Avalanche events

The SLF analyses, evaluates and records avalanche events and accidents. The purpose of evaluation is to understand both the sequence of events and the natural processes involved, and to classify occurrences alongside past events. >> more