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Research XXL: nature as laboratory
Some research at WSL reaches quite stunning dimensions: On any given day, one researcher may trigger large avalanches of 200 metres width, whilst another drops 16-ton concrete blocks into rockfall netting. Yet another may irrigate an entire forest section for experimental purposes.
Naturally, this kind of researchs requires elaborate electronics, mechanics, construction works and computer technology. And it takes a lot of patience. Often, nature determines the start of the experiment and thus the onset of the scientists' measurements. Large-scale experiments are hugely helpful to improve forcasting of natural hazards and gain a realistic impression of the long-term change of ecosystems.