Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory LHE

LHE website

Welcome on the LHE website.

Hydraulics and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Group

Le Laboratoire d'Hydraulique Environnementale (LHE, environmental hydraulics laboratory) is a laboratory of the Civil Engineering Institute (IIC) of the school of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC)


The Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory (Laboratoire d'Hydraulique Environnementale, LHE) is a laboratory within the Civil Engineering Institute of the School of Natural, Architectural and Constructed Environmental Sciences (Faculté Environnement Naturel, Architectural et Construit) (ENAC).

Scientific activities and applications

The LHE is a laboratory of environmental fluid mechanics whose research strives toward a better understanding of hydraulic processes in the environment, with particular emphasis on the problems encountered in the Alps. The laboratory also investigates how scientific knowledge is incorporated into land-use planning policies. The field of research covered within the LHE includes the following topics:

LHE in pictures

  • Cellule de cisaillement avec mesure par PTV.

    Particle segregation

    Experimental investigation of particle segregation in granular flows, a collaboration with the University of Manchester (prof. J.M.N.T. Gray).

  • Vague d'impulsion Grindelwald 2009 (Tages Anzeiger).

    Impulse wave

    Experimental and numerical investigation of impulse waves generated by snow avalanches (a collaboration with prof. M. Brocchini, university of Ancona).

  • Mesure du profil de vitesse par PIV-laser.

    Dam break problem

    PIV experiments to measure velocity profiles within granular suspension flows.

  • Expériences  de transport solide

    Particle flow

    Sediment transport experiments.

  • Etude du transport solide

    Torrential hydraulics

    Field investigation of bedload transport in the Navisence river (Val d Anniviers, VS) with CREALP and the university of Jaén (prof. P. Bohorquez).

  • Mesures rhéométriques

    Suspension rheology

    Couette cell and rheometric investigations of granular suspensions.

  • Canal de simulation d'avalanche de fluides.

    Viscoplastic flow

    Avalanche of a viscoplastic gel on a sloping bed

  • La Sionne

    Powder snow avalanches

    Dynamics of powder snow avalanches (Vallée de la Sionne, VS) with SLF (Dr B. Sovilla) and the University of Durham (prof. J. McElwaine).

  • Avalanche de Montroc février 1999.

    Scientific models and natural hazard mitigation

    Can we predict catastrophes? How can scientific expertise assist decision-makers in land use planning?

In memoriam

in memoriamOn 28 Jan 2012, Gaël Epely-Chauvin , PhD student in our laboratory, passed away in a diving accident just after he started exploring the "sources de la Chaudanne" (FR). Gaël was a shooting star, who lit up our lifes when passing overhead. .

LHE News

EPFL news
25/04/2016 : LHE on the cover page of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics
22/11/2015 : Climate Change and Avalanches
11/06/2015 : LHE on the cover page of Physical Review Letters
18/06/2011 : Avalanches and granular flows
25/05/2011 : Avalanches and rocket engines

Field of expertise of LHE

  • Geophysical fluid mechanics
  • Snow avalanches
  • Torrential hydraulics
  • Risk management (in mountain areas)
  • Rheology of suspensions
  • Particulate flows


Laboratoire d'Hydraulique Environnementale (LHE)

Station 18
CH-1015 Lausanne
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Tél: +41 (0) 21 693 23 75
Fax: +41 (0) 21 693 67 67