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Laurent Astrade, Ludovic Ravanel and Pierre-Gil Salvador
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We thank the members of the organisation committee, Laurent Astrade (coordinator), Xavier Bodin and François Costard (Journée AFdP), Philip Deline (18th JGM), Ludovic Ravanel (JJG), Stéphane Jaillet, Fabien Hobléa and the doctoral students of the EDYTEM laboratory, who contributed to the scientific success of these events. We also thank the 10 readers who participated in the evaluation of the articles presented in this volume.

1From June 27 to July 1, 2016, the EDYTEM laboratory (Université Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication) organised three successive scientific events: the 18th Joint Geomorphological Meeting (JGM), the Journées des Jeunes Géomorphologues (JJG) and the day of the Association Française du Périglaciaire. The presentations took place on the premises of the Université Savoie Mont Blanc, in the city centre of Chambéry. Together these events assembled 105 persons. The 18th JGM hosted 7 contributions, of which 6 were invited, and 25 posters. The JJG hosted 19 lectures, divided into 4 themes: “High altitudes and steep slopes”, “Water and sediments in mountains”, “Fluvial hydromorphology” and “Historical and geo-archaeological geomorphology”. In addition 14 posters were presented by the authors. Two field excursions complemented these events. One took place on the Mont Blanc massif (Aiguille du Midi, site of Montenvers-Mer de Glace), and concentrated in particular on problems related to the morphodynamics of slopes. The other took place on the Bauges massif (the Semnoz, the cave of Bange and the system of Eaux-Mortes, the karst of Prérouge-Prépoulain, the glacio-karstic depression of Mariet, the plateau of the Féclaz, the cave of the Elaphes, the Revard) to discover the traces left by glaciers and karstic systems. These days of exchange and communication in the field of geomorphology have again highlighted the diversity of themes explored by our discipline, the continuing development of these themes in order to respond to contemporary environmental problems, and the growing use of technology to implement research and quantify phenomena.

2This number 2/2017 of the journal Géomorphologie, Relief, Processus, Environnement contains five articles, of which four resulted from the Journées des Jeunes Géomorphologues and one from the 18th Joint Geomorphological Meeting.

3The first article concerns the theme “High altitudes and steep slopes”. Adrien Favilliers et al. seek to evaluate the frequency of rockfall on a slope situated at the hill level of the Vercors massif using a dendrogeomorphological approach on the scale of a plot (0.6 hectare). The study consists of making an inventory of the scars left by the impacts of blocks of rock on the trunks of 1004 broad-leaved trees, associating with this an allometric curve (age/diameter) as well as work concerning the conditional probability of impact, in order to precisely quantify and map the period of recurrence of rockfall hazard on the slope. The applications concerning risk management related to rockfall prove worthwhile, as much to calibrate trajectographic models of rockfalls as to evaluate the frequency and intensity of the hazard, and this at a high spatio-temporal resolution.

4The two articles that follow illustrate the theme devoted to “Fluvial hydromorphology”. Axel Beauchamp et al. studied a small low-energy watercourse in Normandy, the Seulles, constricted along a good part of its course by a succession of watermills dating to the High Middle Ages. Supported by geomorphological (stratigraphy, granulometry) and geoarchaeological research, the authors retrace the evolution of this river over 2000 years. They show the decisive influence of the hydraulic works on the construction of the alluvial plain and in the dynamics of the watercourse (control of the slope and of the course), even though these manmade works are today abandoned. This research thus participates in the debate concerning the management of valley floors that have been affected by human activity in the distant past, and especially fuels the question of the re-establishment of ecological and sedimentary continuities. The objective of Hugo Jantzi et al. is to identify and measure the morphological adjustments of the middle Garonne over the last 200 years. Early topographical and cartographic data were used. Two phases of aggradation of the channel in the 19th century and one incision phase in the 20th century were identified; the interpretation considers that the factors of anthropic control (dykes, extraction of aggregates) exacerbated the natural evolution towards the reduction of hydro-sedimentary activity at the end of the Little Ice Age.

5The article by Pierre Taborelli et al. is integrated into the theme “Historical and geo-archaeological geomorphology”. It enters into the field of new research undertaken over the last few years on the battlefield landscapes of the Great War. The study concerns the sector of Berry-au-Bac, near Reims, and consists of the identification and characterisation of the morphological impacts of the war (shell-holes, craters, trenches...) that are still visible in the landscape. The identification of forms was carried out thanks to LiDAR data and to the principal plans positioning the networks of defence. The assemblage of data was subjected to spatial analysis in a GIS. The results show a complex weave of residual forms, often fitting into each other, which vary according to the geological substratum, the water conditions and the plant cover, and which could be chemically contaminated. The perspectives are the establishment of certain sites as national heritage sites in relation to the centenary of World War I (restoration of memories, conservation of characteristic battlefield sites).

6Finally, the article by Guiseppe Corrado et al. is part of the 18th Joint Geomorphological Meeting. It concerns the study of Pleistocene pyroclastic deposits from the volcano of Mont Vulture in southern Italy, to provide a key to reading the evolution of the foreditch of Bradano, situated southeast of the volcano. The approach is geomorphological and is also based on stratigraphic data. Moreover, the geochemical and mineralogical analyses carried out on palaeosoils and pyroclastic rocks contribute to the reconstruction of a morphoclimatic scenario in which humid periods and dryer periods alternated during the Pleistocene.

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Electronic reference

Laurent Astrade, Ludovic Ravanel and Pierre-Gil Salvador, « Editorial », Géomorphologie : relief, processus, environnement [Online], vol. 23 - n° 2 | 2017, Online since 03 July 2017, connection on 21 September 2017. URL :

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About the authors

Laurent Astrade

Laboratoire EDYTEM – UMR5204-CNRS, UFR Sciences et Montagne, Université Savoie Mont Blanc – 73376 Le Bourget du Lac cedex, France (

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Ludovic Ravanel

Laboratoire EDYTEM – UMR5204-CNRS, UFR Sciences et Montagne, Université Savoie Mont Blanc – 73376 Le Bourget du Lac cedex, France (

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Pierre-Gil Salvador

EA-Lille1/ULCO 4477-TVES, Université de Lille – Sciences et Technologies – Av. Paul Langevin, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq cedex, France (

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