Topographic Mapping for Snow Avalanche Hazard Modelling

RIEGL VZ-6000 scanning alpine terrain (which is only accessible by helicopter) in summer. (Image courtesy: Downer Ltd, Milford Road Alliance)

GIM International published an article featuring a team of avalanche mitigation specialists in Fiordland, New Zealand and how they are utilizing RIEGL LiDAR to manage avalanche hazards and assess risks. A RIEGL VZ-6000 ultra-long-range scanner is used to produce a snow-free DEM of avalanche terrain in summer as well as repeat mapping in winter to estimate snow depths. The scanner is also used for documenting avalanche paths after an event to calibrate the RAMMS avalanche model.

Learn more in the full article below on how the VZ-6000 creates a detailed view of the snow released in an avalanche, as well as the snow left behind.

Topographic Mapping for Snow Avalanche Hazard Modelling | GIM International (

RIEGL VZ-6000 scanner mapping avalanche terrain in Fiordland, New Zealand. (Image courtesy: Downer Ltd, Milford Road Alliance)

About the RIEGL VZ-6000:

This 3D VZ-Line Laser Scanner offers superior and unrivaled long range reflectorless measurement performance of more than 6,000 m.

RIEGL ́s unique V-Line technology is based on echo digitization and online waveform processing, which means that the VZ-6000 operates even in poor visibility and demanding multi target situations caused by dust, haze, rain, snow. Due to its laser wavelength the instrument is exceptionally well-suited for measuring snowy and icy terrain.

About RIEGL:

RIEGL is an international leading provider of cutting-edge technology in airborne, mobile, terrestrial, industrial and unmanned laser scanning solutions for applications in surveying.

RIEGL has been producing LiDAR systems commercially for over 40 years and focuses on pulsed time-of-flight laser radar technology in multiple wavelengths.

RIEGL’s core Smart-Waveform technologies provide pure digital LiDAR signal processing, unique methodologies for resolving range ambiguities, multiple targets per laser shots, optimum distribution of measurements, calibrated amplitudes and reflectance estimates, as well as the seamless integration and calibration of systems.

RIEGL’s Ultimate LiDARTM 3D scanners offer a wide array of performance characteristics and serve as a platform for continuing Innovation in 3D for the LiDAR industry.

From the first inquiry, to purchase and integration of the system, as well as training and support, RIEGL maintains an outstanding history of reliability and support to their customers.

Worldwide sales, training, support and services are delivered from RIEGL’s headquarters in Austria and in the USA; main offices in, Japan, China, Australia, Canada and the UK; and a worldwide network of representatives.

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