Hydrology and Land Improvement Laboratory
 Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne     Haute-Mentue catchment - Introduction
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The Hydram Laboratory fixed some 20 years ago its priorities in terms of water research. In the aim of studying and modelling the hydrological processes, the Haute-Mentue basin has been chosen as the experimental catchment of the laboratory. This catchment forms the upper part of the Mentue basin which is monitored by the Swiss National Hydrological and Geological Service. The characteristics below concern only the Haute-Mentue catchment.

Research catchment history

1975: The Swiss National Hydrological and Geological Service installed the Dommartin flow gage.

1987: 4 new rain gages have been installed at Chardonney, Villars-Tiercelin, Froideville and Chalet de Villars.

1988: The catchment is under the responsability of the Hydrology and Land Improvement Laboratory; Several flow gages are operational: Corbassière, Corbamont, Alloux, Orsoud, GrandBois 1 et 2.

1992-1993: The measurement setup has been completed with new flow gages: Bois-Vuacoz, Ruzillon and Esserts and a meteorological station at Chalet de Villars.

1992-2004: Different other temporary equipement has been installed (piezometers, TDR, rainfall simulator, 3D electrical resistivity tomography) in the frame of several PhD researches (see Instruments).


The Haute-Mentue experimental catchment is located in the west part of Switzerland, 15 km north of Lausanne, in the canton of Vaud. This catchment belongs to the Swiss Plateau, which lies between the Jura (at west) and the Alps mountains (at east).


Fig.1 Geographical localization of the Mentue catchment (102 km2) in Switzerland


The Haute-Mentue (12.5km2) catchment forms the upper part of the Mentue River (105km2) watershed, which is a tributary of the Neuchatel Lake. The most intensive equipped region includes the upper part of the Haute-Mentue catchment named Corbassière (2km2) and its main subcatchments: Esserts (0.33 km2), Bois-Vuacoz (0.24 km2) and Ruzillon (0.18 km2).

Fig. 2 Haute-Mentue (left) and Corbassière (right) main catchments and subcatchments

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