WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF Link zu SLF Hauptseite Link zu WSL Hauptseite


Snow research contributes substantially to a deeper insight into the occurrence of natural hazards in the Alps, such as avalanches and flooding, and the interaction of snow with the climate. Only by performing work of this kind can progress be made in avalanche forecasting and climate research.


Snow as a substance

Snow masses are reshaped by extreme temperature changes, melting and mechanical forces. Research conducted into the snow microstructure facilitates a greater understanding of the avalanche formation processes. >>more


Atmosphere, snow and soil

The investigation of the exchange processes that take place between soil, snow and the atmosphere is key to improving our knowledge of avalanche formation. We develop models in order to simulate the surface processes that occur in the mountains. >> more


Snow as a water resource

Hydropower plant operators and the flood prevention authorities need to know how much snow is present in a catchment zone, quantify the melt water runoff, and forecast the timing of the runoff. >>more


Snow and climate change

For over 60 years, the SLF has been measuring various snow parameters daily in a network of stations, of which there are now more than 100. The accumulated set of data serves as a unique resource in the quest to answer a variety of questions concerning snow certainty and climate change. >>more


Technical snow

Winters that are accompanied by little snow pose a major challenge to winter resorts. Technical snow is one response that is being used with increasing frequency. We investigate the economic, social and ecological consequences of snowmaking in winter sports resorts. >> more


Industrial applications

Snow is indispensable for sport and tourism. Sports equipment, such as skis and toboggans, as well as snowmobiles and snow cannons, are products that have to operate flawlessly in the snow. >>more


Polar research

The WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) has conducted research in polar regions for a number of years, in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. >>more