An article published in Nature Scientific Reports: Huge decrease of frost frequency in the Mont-Blanc Massif under climate change


Benjamin Pohl, Daniel Joly, Julien Pergaud, Jean-François Buonchristiani, Paul Soare & Alexandre Berger, Nature Scientific reports volume 9, Article number : 4919 (2019)           


This study co-signed by 5 members of the laboratory Biogéosciences (Dijon) was led in the framework of the ANR project « VIP-Mont-Blanc » about the consequences of climate change in the Mont Blanc massif. It is based on 13 models of simulated temperatures used to define the IPCC’s climate scenarios. These data have a coarse spatial resolution, i.e. grid cells of a 100 to 200 km, but have a very high temporal resolution: a daily value of minimum and maximum temperature from 1850 to 2100, amounting to 55 000 days! The algorithm developed by the Bourgogne Franche-Comté team aims at reducing this data’s spatial inaccuracy by “downscaling”. Eventually, the coupling of physical and geographical models provided very high spatio-temporal resolution climate data. At a 200 m resolution over the entire Mont Blanc massif and for 55 000 days, each of the 13 simulations were downscaled according to two scenarios, optimistic vs pessimistic.

Until the middle of the 20th century, the study shows few differences between scenarios but in the second half, strong evolutions arise. Under the pessimistic scenario, every third day will be frostless on the Mont Blanc summit in summer, with a risk of rock wall destabilization and collapse all over the range. Things will be not better in winter with very little snow in the valley.


Mont Blanc JC

                   Mont Blanc massif from the Brévent ; Credit photo : Jean-Christophe Foltête

Last Updated: Monday, 08 April 2019 13:17

PixScape software, devoted to the modelling of landscape visibility, is published in the journal “Transactions in GIS”

PixScape software proposes to integrate a large set of functions for modeling landscape visibility while remaining interfaced with GIS software. This software can be used to perform a complete landscape assessment by computing a wide range of original landscape metrics. It performs tangential analysis in addition to viewshed analysis, which can produce more realistic outcomes. Because landscape visibility analysis over large areas implies significant computation time, the software also integrates a multi‐resolution process intended to speed up calculations while also taking into account the cognitive abilities of human vision.


Yohan Sahraoui, Gilles Vuidel, Daniel Joly, Jean-Christophe Foltête. Integrated GIS software for computing landscape visibility metrics. Transactions in GIS, Wiley, 2018

DOI : 10.1111/tgis.12457

Pixscape website



Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2018 13:01

Fractalopolis, the multifractal urban planning model, now published in the journal “Computers, Environment and Urban Systems”

A fifteen pages article synthesizes the planning premises that inspired applying the concept to the Grand Besançon agglomeration, thus outlining the second step of applying fractal models for urban and regional purposes.

Fractalopolis allows conceiving development plans on an urban and regional scale, based on five basic principles: a hierarchized polycentric urban development; a development linked to transportation axes; a locally concentrated development of residential areas avoiding diffuse sprawl, the interpenetration of green areas and urban areas across scales; the preservation of an interconnected network of green and natural areas of different size. The article focusses on the formal frame, which allows integrating all at once these five planning principles. The article starts by introducing the theoretical multifractal planning concept and explains then, more deeply, the software simulation tool, which allows applying the model to real world situations. A detailed description of the different modules and the application to the Great Besançon urban area illustrate the stepwise construction of such a planning scenario. I.) Choosing the central places of different hierarchical order as well as their catchment areas. II.) Evaluation of the performance of these areas with respect to the accessibilities to different types of amenities III.) Analysis and calibration of the spatial configuration of residential development according to the purposes of existing master plans.


Frankhauser P., Tannier C., Vuidel G., Houot H. (2018), An integrated multifractal modelling to urban and regional planning, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 67, 132–146.

Fractalopolis's webside


fig fratcalopolis site thema


Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2018 13:01
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