13. Dezember 2021

Practical guide for debris flow and hillslope debris flow protection nets: available in English

Debris flow and hillslope debris flow protection nets have only been available on the market in Switzerland for a few years and complement the range of possible measures for integral protection against natural hazards. The practical guide provides an overview of the state of the art concerning debris flows and hillslope debris flow protection nets in Switzerland.

Debris flow and hillslope debris flow protection nets complement the range of measures
Debris flows and hillslope debris flows endanger people and property in mountainous regions. In addition to spatial planning, organizational and nature based protection measures, protection structures are an important element for integral protection against natural hazards. Properly designed and maintained, they are fullfilling a long-term protective function. In addition to the traditional, rather rigid types of structures, lighter and flexible solutions such as net barriers have been developed in the recent past.

Debris flow protection net Trachtbach (left © Geobrugg AG) and hillslope debris flow protection net Baltisberg (right © Pfeifer-Isofer)
Debris flow protection net Trachtbach (left © Geobrugg AG) and hillslope debris flow protection net Baltisberg (right © Pfeifer-Isofer)


A collaborative work for practitioners
In December 2021, a practical guide for debris flow and hillslope debris flow protection nets was published by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. As to the authors and publishers knowledge, it is the first document worldwide that gives a comprehensive overview on general and technical aspects of this rather novel technology for debris flow and hillslope debris flow protection. The original document (in German) has been financially supported by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Swiss Federal Office for Roads (FEDRO) and is now available in English.

Overview of the state of the art
The practical guide provides an overview of the state of the art concerning debris flows and hillslope debris flow protection nets in Switzerland. Important topics such as possible applications, limitations as well as the design and dimensioning of this type of protection nets are covered. Decision support charts help for considerations whether, for a specific situation, a net barrier is an appropriate protection structure, and which aspects should be taken into account for its planning and implementation.

Schematic view of the components and arrangement of a debris flow protection net (©Practical guide for debris flow and hillslope debris flow protection nets WSL Berichte 113 / 2021)
Schematic view of the components and arrangement of a debris flow protection net (©Practical guide for debris flow and hillslope debris flow protection nets WSL Berichte 113 / 2021)


The practical guide is available in English, German and French
The practical guide is available online

English: Practical guide for debris flow and hillslope debris flow protection nets 

German: Praxishilfe Murgang- und Hangmurenschutznetze

French: Guide pratique pour les filets de protection contre les laves torrentielles et les coulées de boue