Natural science

Geologically painted relief of Chambéry
Geologically painted relief of the surroundings of Chambéry (France) 1:50,000, 40 x 56 cm Institut Géographique National IGN, 1960,
Map collection ETH, Zurich

Geology

Geologically painted reliefs have a long tradition, since in mountainous regions the geology is often very complicated. The three-dimensional models facilitate the understanding of spatial and temporal interrelations of different geological formations. However, beside the edges of the model, it is not possible to give a real 3D-image of the substratum; it remains a 2.5D representation. Only if the surface is transparent, underground features may be illustrated. Thus it is possible to for example show groundwater flows.

Transparent relief showing groundwater flows
Transparent relief showing groundwater flows in the surroundings of Winterthur (Switzerland),
Naturmuseum Winterthur
Model of the run-of river power station EglisauModel of the run-of river power station Eglisau
Hydraulic models of the run-of-the-river power station Eglisau (Switzerland) 1:100, used by the laboratory of hydraulics, hydrology and glaciology of the ETH, Zurich

Hydraulic models

Models of water bodies allow studying different cases. They help understand the morphologically dynamic processes of rivers to provide sustainable flood protection. It is possible to gather information about the behaviour of water in case of storm or flood and to understand internal flow features around bridge piers, preventing bridge collapses initiated by scour during a flood event. The consequences of hydraulic engineering projects on the flowing pattern can be studied.

Research model of braided river
Model used by the laboratory of hydraulics, hydrology and glaciology of the ETH, Zurich for studying the morphological dynamics in braided rivers.