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Methods for reducing the risks of melting glaciers

The Laboratory of Hydraulic Constructions teamed up with other Swiss institutions on an eight-year research project on glacial retreat in Peru. Called GLACIARES+, the project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Under GLACIARES+, the Swiss team is taking a holistic approach to managing the risks of glacial retreat. EPFL researchers developed models for predicting the lake swells that would be caused if a piece of large rock or glacier formation suddenly broke off and fell into a lake, triggering impulse waves. Their model can be used to design more effective dikes and other structures. The GLACIARES+ project is being carried out in association with the NGO Care Peru as well as with a number of Peruvian universities and government agencies. Some 350 people have already received training on how to monitor glacial lakes.