The WSL operates several unique instrumented field sites for mass movements. There researchers can investigate snow avalanches, debris flows, rockfall, and debris avalanches (or hillslope debris flows; Hangmuren in German) at a natural scale. The field sites are equipped with modern sensors, often developed at the WSL-SLF, which allow measurement of parameters such as flow speed, impact pressure, or shear stress, during an artificial release or a spontaneous natural event.
These data serve to increase our understanding of natural hazards processes. They also are used directly in various models (e.g. RAMMS), which are intended for use by practitioners and researchers for the analysis and evaluation of natural hazards and the production of hazards maps, as well as to support the development of hazard mitigation concepts.