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Abstract

Sediment archives from a mountain lake are used as indicators of seismotectonic activity in the Grenoble area (French western Alps, 45°N). Sedimentological analysis (texture and grain-size characteristics) exhibits several layers resulting from instantaneous deposits in Lake Laffrey: six debris flow events up to 8 cm thick can be attributed to slope failure along the western flank of the basin. Dating with 210Pb and 137Cs gamma counting techniques and the reconnaissance of historical events, provide a constrained age-depth model. Over the last 250 years, five of such debris flow deposits could be related to historical earthquakes of MSK intensities greater than VI over an area of <60 km. One debris flow deposit triggered at the beginning of the last century can be related to an historical landslide possibly triggered by the artificial regulation of the lake level.