Snow Avalanche and Landslide Research Center
Snow Avalanche and Landslide Research Center, Public Works Research Institute


In heavy snow regions with harsh natural conditions, the people suffer from disasters caused by snow during winter, and landslide and other sediment disasters occur frequently in snow melting season, inflicting severe damage on houses, fields, roads etc. These conditions have resulted in an extremely strong demand by public for the prevention and mitigation of these snow and landslide disasters. In 1960, the Niigata Experimental Laboratory was established in Arai City (now Myoko City) in Niigata Prefecture in response to an urgent request by the Landslide Consultative Committee, and in particular, by the Governor of Niigata Prefecture.
The Mid-Niigata Prefecture Earthquake that struck Niigata Prefecture in October 2004, caused an unprecedented sediment disaster, sharply increasing its role in the sediment disaster research field. In response, it has changed its name in 2005 to the Snow Avalanche and Landslide Research Center in order to specialize in work related to research and development and technical guidance concerning snow and avalanches and landslides and perform its work more efficiently by strengthening its links with the Erosion and Sediment Control Research Group in Tsukuba.

Landslide Section
To purpose to mitigate the landslide disaster in snowy region like Hokuriku, where widely distributed Tertiary weak sediments, the Landslide Section conducts following projects.
(1) Occurrence mechanism of landslide by snowmelting, landslides induced by the Mid-Niigata earthquake.
(2) Investigation method development of optical-fiber sensor,development of investigation method for groundwater
(3) Management technique for landslide preservation facilities. Research on management and maintenance of anchor works for landslide prevention
(4) Observation and test of experimental areas of landslides:long-term activity observation of Tertiary landslide in Okimi experimental area of landslide

Snow Avalanche Section
Japan is one of the countries that have leading snow amount in the world. The snow giving rich to people, but on the other hand, it cause severe natural situation. In Japan, the snowy and cold latitudes areas occupying about 60% of the nation's land, and about 20% of the total population is living there. So, it is becoming very important to study the snow for support to secure the safety life of the residences of these regions in the winter season. This section had been studying the prevention for snow disaster of road from 1962, but the large scale avalanche disaster occurred in Maseguchi, Nou-machi, Niigata Prefecture lead us to carrying out investigation and research to reveal the occurring condition of avalanche, to upgrade the prediction method of occurring of avalanche, and for developing rational avalanche control structure.

Observation sites of snow avalanche research section

We are carrying out observation of avalanche activity in the frequently avalanche occurring areas such as in Maseguchi of Itoigawa City, Niigata Prefecture and Happo-one of Hakuba Village, Nagano Prefecture by using CCTV cameras. And, also conducting basic investigation for occurring mechanism of avalanche by observing cross section of snow cover.And, entrusting avalanche activity observation by using CCTV camera in two areas in Itoigawa and other in NiigataPrefecture. Furthermore, we established experimental areas for measurement of snow covering situation and effects of trees in Myoko city of Niigata Prefecture and Azumi Village of Nagano Prefecture.

Snow Avalanche and Landslide Research Center
Incorporated Administrative Agency Public Works Research Institute

2-6-8, Nishiki-cho, Myoko-City, Niigata-Pref, 944-0051, Japan
TEL:+81-255-72-4131 FAX:+81-255-72-9629

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