Dimitri Lague rewarded for his work on landscape dynamics

The EGU Ralph Alger Bagnold medal
detection of landslides triggered by the Kaikoura earthquake, New Zealand from repeated airborne LiDAR data (2021) © Dimitri Lague, (CNRS/Université de Rennes/Université de Rennes 2)

[Source : CNRS DR17]

Dimitri Lague, CNRS researcher and director of the Observatoire des sciences de l'Univers de Rennes (OSUR, CNRS/Université de Rennes/Université Rennes 2) receives this Thursday, April 27, 2023 in Vienna the Ralph Alger Bagnold medal for his research on the dynamics of landscapes and for his contribution to the development of open science. This medal, created in 2008 by the European Geosciences Union, is awarded to researchers in recognition of their outstanding scientific contributions in the field of geomorphology.

Dimitri Lague, CNRS researcher at the Laboratoire Géosciences Rennes (CNRS/Université de Rennes) and director of the Observatoire des sciences de l'Univers de Rennes (CNRS/Université de Rennes/Université de Rennes 2), is internationally recognized in the field of quantitative geomorphology. This recent Earth science discipline aims to understand the emergence, over geological time scales, of landscape forms, and to predict their evolution and associated hazards under the influence of climate, tectonic and anthropogenic processes. The representation of erosion and sediment transport processes is central to many landscape evolution models. Following initial models of simplified descriptions of river erosion, Dimitri Lague helped to identify the fundamental components of a complete model of mountain river evolution. The exploratory and innovative approach that Dimitri Lague developed at the beginning of his career resulted in a synthesis article that is now part of the "classics" of geomorphology (1).

In parallel with his research in river geomorphology, Dimitri Lague has been involved in the development and development of new methods and techniques in the field of quantifying the geometric properties of landscapes and in measuring current erosion rates. Initially, his research focused on the digitization of the topographies of experimental micro-landscapes carried out in the laboratory, in order to allow their systematic characterization and comparison with the reliefs in natura. With the development of LiDAR laser remote sensing in the early 2000s, Dimitri Lague developed a new approach to high-precision measurement of changes in natural landscapes from repeated LiDAR 3D measurements. He has developed open source algorithms made available to the scientific community that are references in the processing of 3D data far beyond the field of earth sciences.(2)

Director of OSUR since 2022, his current research focuses on the impact of extreme events (floods, earthquakes...) on geomorphological hazards, remote sensing LiDAR for river monitoring, Machine learning methods applied to 3D LiDAR data processing and the development of low environmental impact scientific research. The award follows the British Society of Geomorphology’s Gordon Warwick Medal in 2012 and the EGU’s Outstanding Young Geomorphologist Award in 2010.


Dimitri Lague détection de glissements de terrain déclenchés par le séisme de Kaikoura, Nouvelle-Zélande à partir de données LiDAR aéroportées répétées (2021
Dimitri LAGUE Detecting landslides triggered by the Kaikoura earthquake, New Zealand from repeated airborne LiDAR data (2021) © Dimitri Lague, (CNRS/Université de Rennes/Université de Rennes 2)

(1) The stream power river incision model: evidence, theory and beyond. Dimitri Lague. Earth surface processes and landforms, 23 août 2013. DOI : 10.1002/esp.3462

(2) Accurate 3D comparison of complex topography with terrestrial laser scanner: Application to the Rangitikei canyon (N-Z). Dimitri Lague, Nicolas Brodu, Jérôme Leroux. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 30 mai 2013. DOI : 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2013.04.009


For more information, see on OSUR website