Hydrogeological and meteorological monitoring
Tiret rouge


A laboratory responsible for managing the fleet of piezometers and for monitoring the hydrogeological and meteorological conditions on the Cadarache site.​​​​​

The LMTE laboratory is tasked not only with modelling the transfer and interaction of radionuclides and chemical species in the environment, but also with carrying out health and environmental impact assessments linked to chronic or accidental releases from facilities belonging to the CEA Energy Division (DES); these releases may concern the atmosphere, surface water, soil or water table.
Thanks to its experience in these fields, the LMTE has been made the DES reference unit for health and environmental impact assessments, as well as for hydrogeological studies.
Tools and methods reflecting the specific hydrogeological and meteorological conditions of our sites must be developed to perform the operational studies in response to the needs of the DES facilities. To meet this objective, the LMTE is also tasked with the implementation of measuring instruments on the Cadarache site and with providing support to the Marcoule site in the same field. The laboratory is responsible for managing the extensive network of piezometers (over 400, including 230 equipped with autonomous pressure sensors) monitoring water table levels at the CEA Cadarache site. The LMTE also has a set of specific instruments designed to measure weather parameters (sonic anemometers, tipping-bucket and weight-type rain gauges, Sodar, etc.) and hydrology indicators (speed radar, level radar, ADCP, etc.), as well as characterise unsaturated areas of the soil (tensiometers, water content sensors, etc.).
The specific upper-air characteristics (valley winds) of the Cadarache site required two field campaigns - called Kascade - that were conducted in 2013 and 2017 to establish the atmospheric dispersion modelling. The wind and temperature profiles were recorded along a vertical line using a tethered balloon and atmospheric sounders; these measurements were then interpreted as part of research for two theses underway at the laboratory. Continuous upper-air monitoring is also ensured by the Grande Bastide meteorological tower (wind and temperature profiles at different heights).
Finally, the LMTE is also developing IT tools used to visualise, process and exploit data on a continuous basis. It is currently developing a hydro-meteorological remote weather monitoring and forecasting platform, with one of the objectives being to predict the risk of flooding due to fast rising water tables. To meet this need, the LMTE developed and patented the PERISCOP tool in 2018. It is also working closely with the Instrumentation, Systems and Methods Laboratory (LISM) to design a low-power radio-transmission device called IRIS-C2T.

​Activités. © IRESNE/CEA​​


  • Earth sciences and the environment (hydrogeology, meteorology, hydrology, geochemistry, ecology),
​Equipements majeurs. © IRESNE/CEA

Major equipment

  • Upper-air characterisation systems,
  • Equipment for monitoring meteorological,
  • Hydrological and hydrogeological parameters.
​​Chiffres clés. © IRESNE/CEA​​

​Key figures

  • 23 people
  • 5 staff members,
  • 5 R&D projects.
​​Partenaires. © IRESNE/CEA​​


  • CEA centres,
  • CNRS,
  • INRA,
  • Universities,
  • EDF,
  • ANDRA,​
  • Orano,
  • IRSN,
  • Orano Mines,
  • VALE,
  • China (BRIUG, CIRP),​
  • India (IGCAR).