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Sample records for surviving snow avalanches

  1. Frontal Dynamics of Powder Snow Avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louge, M. Y.; Carroll, C. S.; Turnbull, B.

    2012-04-01

    We model the dynamics of the head of dilute powder snow avalanches sustained by a massive frontal blow-out, arising as a weakly cohesive snow cover is fluidized by the very pore pressure gradients that the avalanche induces within the snow pack. Such material eruption just behind the front acts as a source of denser fluid thrust into a uniform ambient air flow at high Reynolds number. In such "eruption current", fluidization depth is inversely proportional to a bulk Richardson number representing avalanche height. By excluding situations in which the snow cover is not fluidized up to its free surface, we derive a criterion combining snow pack friction and density indicating which avalanches can produce a sustainable powder cloud. A mass balance involving snow cover and powder cloud sets avalanche height and mean density. By determining which solution of the mass balance is stable, we find that avalanches reach constant growth and acceleration rates for fixed slope and avalanche width. Under these conditions, we calculate the fraction of the fluidized cover that is actually scoured and blown-out into the cloud, and deduce from a momentum balance on the head that the avalanche accelerates at a rate only 14% of the gravitational component along the flow. We also calculate how far a powder cloud travels until its mean density becomes constant. Finally, we show that the dynamics of powder snow avalanches are crucially affected by the rate of change of their width, for example by reaching an apparent steady speed as their channel widens. If such widening is rapid, or if slope inclination vanishes, we calculate where and how powder clouds collapse. Predictions agree well with observations of powder snow avalanches carried out at the Vallee de la Sionne (Switzerland).

  2. Erosion dynamics of powder snow avalanches - Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sovilla, Betty; Louge, Michel

    2013-04-01

    Powder snow avalanches (PSA) entrain massive amounts of material from the underlying snow cover by erosion mechanisms that are not fully understood. Despite their inherent diversity, PSAs have recognizable flow features: they are fast, reaching velocity up to 80 m/s, they develop a tall, low density powder cloud and, at the same time, they can exert impact pressure with similar magnitudes of high density flow. In this talk, we report observations that underscore the interplay between entrainment and flow dynamics qualitatively shared by several PSAs at the Vallée de la Sionne test site in Switzerland. Measurements include time-histories of snow pack thickness with buried FMCW radar and time-histories of particle velocity using optical sensors, cloud density and cluster size using capacitance probes, and impact pressure measured at several elevations on a pylon. Measurements show that, at the avalanche front, a layer of light, cold and cohesionless snow is rapidly entrained, creating a turbulent and stratified head region with intermittent snow clusters. Fast and localized entrainment of deeper and warmer snow layers may also occur well behind the front, up to a distance of hundreds of meters, where pronounced stratification appears and snow clusters grow larger. In the avalanche head, impact pressure strongly fluctuates and is larger near the ground. Velocity profiles change throughout the avalanche head, with more abrupt changes localized where rapid entrainment occurs. A basal, continuous dense layer forms as deeper, warmer and denser snow cover is entrained and as suspended material starts to deposit. The thickness of the basal layer progressively increases toward the avalanche tail where, finally, deposition occurs en masse. Toward the avalanche tail, velocity profiles tend to become uniform, impact pressures are lower and nearly constant, while entrainment processes are negligible. These observations underscore the relevance of entrainment location and the

  3. Computational snow avalanche simulation in forested terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teich, M.; Fischer, J.-T.; Feistl, T.; Bebi, P.; Christen, M.; Grêt-Regamey, A.

    2014-08-01

    Two-dimensional avalanche simulation software operating in three-dimensional terrain is widely used for hazard zoning and engineering to predict runout distances and impact pressures of snow avalanche events. Mountain forests are an effective biological protection measure against avalanches; however, the protective capacity of forests to decelerate or even to stop avalanches that start within forested areas or directly above the treeline is seldom considered in this context. In particular, runout distances of small- to medium-scale avalanches are strongly influenced by the structural conditions of forests in the avalanche path. We present an evaluation and operationalization of a novel detrainment function implemented in the avalanche simulation software RAMMS for avalanche simulation in forested terrain. The new approach accounts for the effect of forests in the avalanche path by detraining mass, which leads to a deceleration and runout shortening of avalanches. The relationship is parameterized by the detrainment coefficient K [kg m-1 s-2] accounting for differing forest characteristics. We varied K when simulating 40 well-documented small- to medium-scale avalanches, which were released in and ran through forests of the Swiss Alps. Analyzing and comparing observed and simulated runout distances statistically revealed values for K suitable to simulate the combined influence of four forest characteristics on avalanche runout: forest type, crown closure, vertical structure and surface cover, for example, values for K were higher for dense spruce and mixed spruce-beech forests compared to open larch forests at the upper treeline. Considering forest structural conditions within avalanche simulations will improve current applications for avalanche simulation tools in mountain forest and natural hazard management.

  4. The structure of powder snow avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sovilla, Betty; McElwaine, Jim N.; Louge, Michel Y.

    2015-01-01

    Powder snow avalanches (PSAs) can be hundreds of metres high and descend at astonishing speeds. This review paints a composite picture of PSAs from data acquired at the Vallée de la Sionne test site in Switzerland, including time-histories of snow cover thickness from buried RADAR and, at several elevations on a pylon, impact pressures from load cells, air pressure, particle velocity from optical sensors, and cloud density and particle cluster size from capacitance probes. PSAs feature distinct flow regions with stratification in mean density. At the head, highly fluctuating impact pressures weaken with elevation, while vertical velocity profiles evolve rapidly along the flow, suggesting that surface snow layers of light, cold, cohesionless snow erupt into a turbulent, inhomogeneous, recirculating frontal cloud region. For hundreds of metres behind the head, cloud stratification sharpens with the deposition of suspended cloud particles, while a denser basal flow of increasing thickness forms as deeper, warmer and heavier parts of the weakened snow cover are entrained. Toward the tail, vertical velocity profiles are more uniform, impact pressures become lower and steadier as the flow becomes thinner, and snow pack entrainment is negligible.

  5. Extended kinetic theory applied to snow avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauter, Matthias; Fischer, Jan-Thomas; Fellin, Wolfgang; Kofler, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    In this work we apply the extended kinetic theory, a three-dimensional rheological model for rapid granular flows, to the two-dimensional, depth-averaged shallow water framework, used in snow avalanche simulations. Usually, empirical relations are used to determine the basal friction, which represents the material behavior in the avalanche. Here we present an energy equivalent basal friction relation which accounts for energy dissipating processes in the avalanche body as predicted by the extended kinetic theory. The obtained relation is compared to traditional basal friction relations, e.g. the Voellmy model by conducting numerical simulations with both approaches. As reference, field measurements of runout, affected area and velocity are compared to the simulation results. Two avalanche events, that occurred at the Vallée de la Sionne and Ryggfonn test sites, are evaluated with this method. It is shown that the kinetic theory delivers a physically based explanation for the structure of phenomenological friction relations. However, the new form of the frictional terms explicitly takes the flow depth into account. As consequence, improvements in finding unified parameter sets for various observation variables and events of different sizes could be achieved.

  6. Communicators' perspective on snow avalanche risk communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charriere, M. K. M.; Bogaard, T.; Mostert, E.

    2014-12-01

    Among all the natural hazards, snow avalanches are the only ones for which a public danger scale is globally used. It consists of 5 levels of danger displayed with a given number and colour and for each of them, behavioural advices are provided. Even though this is standardized in most of the countries affected by this natural hazard, the tools (usually websites or smartphone applications) with which the information is disseminated to the general pubic differs, particularly in terms of target audience and level of details. This study aims at gathering the perspectives of several communicators that are responsible for these communication practices. The survey was created to assess how and why choices were made in the design process of the communication tools and to determine how their effectiveness is evaluated. Along with a review of existing avalanche risk communication tools, this study provides guidelines for communication and the evaluation of its effectiveness.

  7. Non-avalanche-related snow immersion deaths: tree well and deep snow immersion asphyxiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Tilburg, Christopher

    2010-09-01

    Non-avalanche-related snow immersion death (NARSID), or snow immersion asphyxiation, is a significant winter mountain hazard for skiers and snowboarders. This phenomenon occurs predominately in western North America, where large tree wells and deep snowpacks develop. Although statistics are difficult to procure, snow immersion asphyxiation has resulted in more than 70 documented deaths in the past 2 decades. The primary purpose of this review is to examine the existing literature on NARSID to help prevent such dangerous accidents through educating wilderness medicine professionals and fostering public awareness. The exact duration of burial to time of death and the cause of death are not precisely known but can be postulated from accident reports, experimental snow burial studies, and avalanche literature. In most cases, death probably occurs within 15 to 30 minutes from the time of burial. However, survival after prolonged burial in a tree well and deep snow is possible. The cause of death is asphyxiation, probably due to one of the mechanisms that produce asphyxia in avalanche burial victims: positional asphyxia, airway obstruction, or carbon dioxide displacement asphyxia. Prevention of snow immersion asphyxiation begins with skiers and snowboarders staying within the limits of their skills, using the proper tools for deep powder, staying in control at all times, and employing a buddy system. A skier or snowboarder who falls near or into a tree well should tuck, roll, and try to land upright, grab the tree trunk or a branch, and yell or blow a whistle to alert partners. If buried upside down, the person should stay calm and create an air pocket, which is probably of paramount importance. Skiers and snowboarders should use avalanche safety equipment to lessen the risk of snow submersion asphyxiation. Copyright 2010 Wilderness Medical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Influence of snow-cover properties on avalanche dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinkogler, W.; Sovilla, B.; Lehning, M.

    2012-04-01

    Snow avalanches with the potential of reaching traffic routes and settlements are a permanent winter threat for many mountain communities. Snow safety officers have to take the decision whether to close a road, a railway line or a ski slope. Those decisions are often very difficult as they demand the ability to interpret weather forecasts, to establish their implication for the stability and the structure of the snow cover and to evaluate the influence of the snow cover on avalanche run-out distances. In the operational programme 'Italy-Switzerland, project STRADA' we focus on the effects of snow cover on avalanche dynamics, and thus run-out distance, with the aim to provide a better understanding of this influence and to ultimately develop tools to support snow safety officers in their decision process. We selected five avalanches, measured at the Vallée de la Sionne field site, with similar initial mass and topography but different flow dynamics and run-out distances. Significant differences amongst the individual avalanches could be observed for front and internal velocities, impact pressures, flow regimes, deposition volumes and run-out distances. For each of these avalanches, the prevailing snow conditions at release were reconstructed using field data from local snowpits or were modeled with SNOWPACK. Combining flow dynamical data with snow cover properties shows that erodible snow depth, snow density and snow temperature in the snow pack along the avalanche track are among the decisive variables that appear to explain the observed differences. It is further discussed, how these influencing factors can be quantified and used for improved predictions of site and time specific avalanche hazard.

  9. Teaching Natural Hazards: The Use of Snow Avalanches in Demonstrating and Addressing Geographic Topics and Principles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, David R.

    1988-01-01

    Illustrates the importance of studying the snow avalanche as a natural hazard. Describes the various kinds of snow avalanches, the types of triggering mechanisms that produce them, the typical avalanche terrain, and the geomorphic and the vegetative evidence for snow avalanching. Depicts methods of human adjustment to the avalanche hazard.…

  10. Relief and snow avalanches in the Tatra Mts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rączkowska, Zofia; Długosz, Michał; Rojan, Elżbieta

    2015-04-01

    Snow avalanches are among the main factors influencing the high-mountain environment of the Tatra Mts. and their denudation system in the three uppermost geoecological belts. Dirty avalanches are assumed to be an important morphogenetic factor but also relief affects spatial differentiation of snow avalanche activity. The research aims to recognize the geomorphological conditions for avalanches and assessment of the morphogenetic role of avalanches in the whole Tatra Mts. For recognition of geomorphological conditions of snow avalanches activity was made map of avalanches paths, based on maps of snow avalanches occurred in the recent past, air- photos and digital terrain model. Starting zone and transition zone were specified within each path. For each type of designated zones the morphometric analysis was made, taking in account slope aspect and inclination. The map presents more than 3700 avalanche paths. The number of avalanche paths is more than double in the High Tatras than in the Western Tatras. Morphometric features and altitudinal range of avalanche paths also differ in individual parts of the Tatras what correspond with the relief differences. Length of avalanche paths reach up to 3138 m and in average is the biggest avalanche in the Bielanske Tatra. The paths are located about 200 m higher in the High Tatras than in other parts of the massif. There is no clear relationship between exposure of the slopes and the distribution of the avalanche path, while relationship with slope inclination is distinct. Over 70% of the avalanche paths occur on slopes 26-55o. Similar patterns were found in the distribution of avalanche accumulation zones. Detailed studies of morphogenetic role of avalanches are conducted in four chosen avalanche paths located both in the Western and the High Tatras. Measuring points of erosion, transport and accumulation installed there in the autumn 2012 are checked two times a year. It was found that effects of snow avalanches on the

  11. Automated detection of snow avalanche deposits: segmentation and classification of optical remote sensing imagery

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lato, M. J; Frauenfelder, R; Bühler, Y

    2012-01-01

    .... Avalanche warnings today are mainly based on meteorological information, snow pack information, field observations, historically recorded avalanche events as well as experience and expert knowledge...

  12. Physically-sound scaling laws for snow avalanche impact pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faug, T.; Chanut, B.; Caccamo, P.; Naaim, M.

    2012-04-01

    Estimating the force on obstacles stemming from snow avalanches is a non trivial task in avalanche-flow regimes at low velocity for which inertia does not prevail. In addition to the gravity force -proportional to the weight of the undisturbed incoming flow- that takes place at low velocity, extra forces induced by friction for granular snow avalanches, or by some possible viscosity effects for more fluid-like snow avalanches, should be considered. We discuss here the case of a wall-like obstacle overflowed by a granular snow avalanche. Recent small-scale discrete numerical simulations and laboratory tests with granular flows have allowed developing and validating an analytical model to predict the force on the wall. This model shows that the force is the sum of the inertial force, the gravity force of the undisturbed flow and an additional contribution caused by the presence of a stagnant zone formed upstream of the wall and co-existing with an inertial zone above. The model is used to derive a physically-sound scaling law giving the pressure relative to the typical inertial force of the undisturbed flow as a function of the Froude number. Rheological properties of the granular flowing material such as the typical friction angles of the granular material as well as the restitution coefficient of granules are included in the proposed scaling law. With appropriate values of those rheological properties for flowing granular snow, the scaling law can be used to interpret existing pressure data from full-scale snow avalanches and can be cross-compared to classical approaches used in snow avalanche engineering.

  13. Physical vulnerability of reinforced concrete buildings impacted by snow avalanches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Bertrand

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the assessment of physical vulnerability of civil engineering structures to snow avalanche loadings. In this case, the vulnerability of the element at risk is defined by its damage level expressed on a scale from 0 (no damage to 1 (total destruction. The vulnerability of a building depends on its structure and flow features (geometry, mechanical properties, type of avalanche, topography, etc.. This makes it difficult to obtain vulnerability relations. Most existing vulnerability relations have been built from field observations. This approach suffers from the scarcity of well documented events. Moreover, the back analysis is based on both rough descriptions of the avalanche and the structure. To overcome this problem, numerical simulations of reinforced concrete structures loaded by snow avalanches are carried out. Numerical simulations allow to study, in controlled conditions, the structure behavior under snow avalanche loading. The structure is modeled in 3-D by the finite element method (FEM. The elasto-plasticity framework is used to represent the mechanical behavior of both materials (concrete and steel bars and the transient feature of the avalanche loading is taken into account in the simulation. Considering a reference structure, several simulation campaigns are conducted in order to assess its snow avalanches vulnerability. Thus, a damage index is defined and is based on global and local parameters of the structure. The influence of the geometrical features of the structure, the compressive strength of the concrete, the density of steel inside the composite material and the maximum impact pressure on the damage index are studied and analyzed. These simulations allow establishing the vulnerability as a function of the impact pressure and the structure features. The derived vulnerability functions could be used for risk analysis in a snow avalanche context.

  14. Prediction reliability and return times of natural snow avalanche occurrence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perona, P.; Daly, E.; Porporato, A.

    2012-04-01

    The process of snow avalanche formation is inherently complex and different type of avalanches may occur as a result of the interactions of different factors, resulting in some degree of both space and time unpredictability. We model the occurrence of natural snow avalanches by means of the state-dependent stochastic point process in continuous time formerly presented by Perona et al. (2009), the full analytical solution of which has now been obtained. The time dynamics of snow depth h is mathematically described as marked Poisson snowfall events, after which h decreases deterministically because of snowmelt and compaction. Avalanches are also treated as a stochastic Poisson process, whose frequency depends on the state of the variable h, and acts as a renewal event for the entire process, i.e resetting the variable h to zero for the sake of mathematical tractability. In this paper, we show the statistical distributions for the snow depth, the avalanche size and intertime of occurrence, as a function of snowfall, slope aspect and compaction rate parameters. By using classic Peak over Threshold theory we also compute the Return Time (RT) of both snowfalls and avalanche sizes. We then use such results in order to inquire the origin of the different RT that are often observed between avalanches and preceding intense snowfalls. We find that a gradual decorrelation occurs between size and RT of avalanche events from that of intense snowfalls as the terrain slope decreases within the range of instability (i.e., slopes > 25°). This is due to the important role played by the snow compaction dynamics, which is on the contrary less influent on high slopes where the load increase due to new snow alone drives the detachment. Hence, we discuss how the spatial variability of hydroclimatic conditions (i.e., precipitation and compaction rate), and topographic characteristics (i.e., slope) influence our ability of predicting the statistics of detachment catchmentwise. Although

  15. Erosion dynamics of powder snow avalanches - model of frontal entrainment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louge, Michel; Sovilla, Betty

    2013-04-01

    We analyze entrainment at the head of powder snow avalanches (PSA) behaving as an eruption current. Instead of invoking an erosion model or other fitted parameters, the analysis assumes that erosion is sustained by a massive blow-out arising as the snow cover is fluidized by the very pore pressure gradients that the avalanche induces within the snow pack. The stability of a mass balance involving snow cover and flow in the PSA's head region then sets frontal speed, height, mixed-mean density, snowpack fluidization depth, frontal impact pressure and static pressure. We show that acceleration of the front is insensitive to local slope, but effectively depends on the rate of change in cloud width. We compare predictions with data collected at the Vallee de la Sionne.

  16. Particle-based Powder-snow Avalanche Simulation Using GPU

    OpenAIRE

    Yndestad, Leif Kåre Hornnes

    2011-01-01

    The main focus of this thesis was the simulation of a powder-snow avalanche flow. The simulation were implemented using the particle-based simulation solution SPH, from a mathematical model describing powder-snow flow dynamics. The simulation was accelerated by applying the computational power of the GPU, in order to provide a faster simulation time than would have been achieved on the CPU.

  17. Snow avalanche hazard of the Krkonose National Park, Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Blahůt, Jan; Klimeš, Jan; Balek, Jan; Hájek, P.; Červená, L.; Lysák, J.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 13, č. 2 (2016), s. 86-90 ISSN 1744-5647 R&D Projects: GA MV VG20132015115 Institutional support: RVO:67985891 Keywords : snow avalanches * hazard * inventory * hazard mitigation * Krkonoše Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography Impact factor: 2.174, year: 2016

  18. Snow avalanche friction relation based on extended kinetic theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rauter

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Rheological models for granular materials play an important role in the numerical simulation of dry dense snow avalanches. This article describes the application of a physically based model from the field of kinetic theory to snow avalanche simulations. The fundamental structure of the so-called extended kinetic theory is outlined and the decisive model behavior for avalanches is identified. A simplified relation, covering the basic features of the extended kinetic theory, is developed and implemented into an operational avalanche simulation software. To test the obtained friction relation, simulation results are compared to velocity and runout observations of avalanches, recorded from different field tests. As reference we utilize a classic phenomenological friction relation, which is commonly applied for hazard estimation. The quantitative comparison is based on the combination of normalized residuals of different observation variables in order to take into account the quality of the simulations in various regards. It is demonstrated that the extended kinetic theory provides a physically based explanation for the structure of phenomenological friction relations. The friction relation derived with the help of the extended kinetic theory shows advantages to the classic phenomenological friction, in particular when different events and various observation variables are investigated.

  19. Snow drift: acoustic sensors for avalanche warning and research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Lehning

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on wind tunnel measurements at the CSTB (Jules Verne facility in Nantes and based on field observations at the SLF experimental site Versuchsfeld Weissfluhjoch, two acoustic wind drift sensors are evaluated against different mechanical snow traps and one optical snow particle counter. The focus of the work is the suitability of the acoustic sensors for applications such as avalanche warning and research. Although the acoustic sensors have not yet reached the accuracy required for typical research applications, they can, however, be useful for snow drift monitoring to help avalanche forecasters. The main problem of the acoustic sensors is a difficult calibration that has to take into account the variable snow properties. Further difficulties arise from snow fall and high wind speeds. However, the sensor is robust and can be operated remotely under harsh conditions. It is emphasized that due to the lack of an accurate reference method for snow drift measurements, all sensors play a role in improving and evaluating snow drift models. Finally, current operational snow drift models and snow drift sensors are compared with respect to their usefulness as an aid for avalanche warning. While drift sensors always make a point measurement, the models are able to give a more representative drift index that is valid for a larger area. Therefore, models have the potential to replace difficult observations such as snow drift in operational applications. Current models on snow drift are either only applicable in flat terrain, are still too complex for an operational application (Lehning et al., 2000b, or offer only limited information on snow drift, such as the SNOWPACK drift index (Lehning et al., 2000a. On the other hand, snow drift is also difficult to measure. While mechanical traps (Mellor 1960; Budd et al., 1966 are probably still the best reference, they require more or less continuous manual operation and are thus not suitable for remote locations

  20. Snow drift: acoustic sensors for avalanche warning and research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehning, M.; Naaim, F.; Naaim, M.; Brabec, B.; Doorschot, J.; Durand, Y.; Guyomarc'h, G.; Michaux, J.-L.; Zimmerli, M.

    Based on wind tunnel measurements at the CSTB (Jules Verne) facility in Nantes and based on field observations at the SLF experimental site Versuchsfeld Weissfluhjoch, two acoustic wind drift sensors are evaluated against different mechanical snow traps and one optical snow particle counter. The focus of the work is the suitability of the acoustic sensors for applications such as avalanche warning and research. Although the acoustic sensors have not yet reached the accuracy required for typical research applications, they can, however, be useful for snow drift monitoring to help avalanche forecasters. The main problem of the acoustic sensors is a difficult calibration that has to take into account the variable snow properties. Further difficulties arise from snow fall and high wind speeds. However, the sensor is robust and can be operated remotely under harsh conditions. It is emphasized that due to the lack of an accurate reference method for snow drift measurements, all sensors play a role in improving and evaluating snow drift models. Finally, current operational snow drift models and snow drift sensors are compared with respect to their usefulness as an aid for avalanche warning. While drift sensors always make a point measurement, the models are able to give a more representative drift index that is valid for a larger area. Therefore, models have the potential to replace difficult observations such as snow drift in operational applications. Current models on snow drift are either only applicable in flat terrain, are still too complex for an operational application (Lehning et al., 2000b), or offer only limited information on snow drift, such as the SNOWPACK drift index (Lehning et al., 2000a). On the other hand, snow drift is also difficult to measure. While mechanical traps (Mellor 1960; Budd et al., 1966) are probably still the best reference, they require more or less continuous manual operation and are thus not suitable for remote locations or long

  1. Communicators' perspective on snow avalanche risk communication using smartphone applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charrière, Marie; Bogaard, Thom; Junier, Sandra; Mostert, Erik

    2015-04-01

    Among all the natural hazards, snow avalanches are the only ones for which a public danger scale is used globally. It consists of 5 levels of danger displayed with a given number and colour, and for each of them behavioural advices are provided. Even though this is standardized in most of the countries affected by this natural hazard, the smartphone applications with which the information is disseminated to the general public differ, particularly in terms of target audience and level of details. This study aims to gather the perspectives of several persons that are responsible for these avalanche risk communication practices. The survey was created to assess how and why choices were made in the design process of the applications and to determine how their effectiveness is evaluated. Along with a review of existing avalanche risk communication smartphone applications, this study provides guidelines for communication and the evaluation of its effectiveness.

  2. Measuring snow properties relevant to slab avalanche release

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, Benjamin; Proksch, Martin; Löwe, Henning; van Herwijnen, Alec; Schweizer, Jürg

    2014-05-01

    The release of a slab avalanche is preceded by a sequence of fractures. The main material properties relevant for the fracture processes are the specific fracture energy of the weak layer, as also the elastic modulus and the density of the overlying slab layers. The snow micro-penetrometer (SMP) is the method of choice for snow stratigraphy measurements in the field with high resolution. Recent advances in signal processing allow us to derive the most needed material properties to model the fracture behaviour of snow. On a smaller scale, the three dimensional structure of snow samples is obtained from snow micro-tomography (CT) providing snow density directly. By modelling the mechanical behaviour of the ice matrix the elastic properties of the snow sample can be calculated. At the macro-scale, fracture mechanical field tests with particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) allow observing the in-situ fracture behaviour. Specific fracture energy and slab stiffness are derived from PTV measurement by fitting an analytical beam equation to the observed deformation field. Over the past years we were able to generate two datasets of overlapping SMP and CT as well as SMP and PTV measurements. SMP measurements and micro-tomography of snow samples show that snow density is well reproduced with current SMP signal processing algorithms. Also the specific fracture energy as derived from the SMP signal is in agreement with PTV results. The effective modulus, however, being the most sensitive parameter in fracture covers three orders of magnitude depending on measurement method. The present work discusses observed similarities and differences arising from measurement methods, theoretical assumptions and process scales. Reliable methods to determine the parameters describing the fracture process are key to snow instability modelling based on either snow cover simulations or field measurements. Preliminary modelling results from ongoing spatial variability studies illustrate the

  3. SNOW AVALANCHE ACTIVITY IN PARÂNG SKI AREA REVEALED BY TREE-RINGS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. MESEȘAN

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Snow Avalanche Activity in Parâng Ski Area Revealed by Tree-Rings. Snow avalanches hold favorable conditions to manifest in Parâng Mountains but only one event is historically known, without destructive impact upon infrastructure or fatalities and this region wasn’t yet the object of avalanche research. The existing ski infrastructure of Parâng resort located in the west of Parâng Mountains is proposed to be extended in the steep slopes of subalpine area. Field evidence pinpoints that these steep slopes were affected by snow avalanches in the past. In this study we analyzed 11 stem discs and 31 increment cores extracted from 22 spruces (Picea abies (L. Karst impacted by avalanches, in order to obtain more information about past avalanches activity. Using the dendrogeomorphological approach we found 13 avalanche events that occurred along Scărița avalanche path, since 1935 until 2012, nine of them produced in the last 20 years. The tree-rings data inferred an intense snow avalanche activity along this avalanche path. This study not only calls for more research in the study area but also proves that snow avalanches could constitute an important restrictive factor for the tourism infrastructure and related activities in the area. It must be taken into consideration by the future extension of tourism infrastructure. Keywords: snow avalanche, Parâng Mountains, dendrogeomorphology, ski area.

  4. On the complementariness of infrasound and seismic sensors for monitoring snow avalanches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Kogelnig

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The paper analyses and compares infrasonic and seismic data from snow avalanches monitored at the Vallée de la Sionne test site in Switzerland from 2009 to 2010. Using a combination of seismic and infrasound sensors, it is possible not only to detect a snow avalanche but also to distinguish between the different flow regimes and to analyse duration, average speed (for sections of the avalanche path and avalanche size. Different sensitiveness of the seismic and infrasound sensors to the avalanche regimes is shown. Furthermore, the high amplitudes observed in the infrasound signal for one avalanche were modelled assuming that the suspension layer of the avalanche acts as a moving turbulent sound source. Our results show reproducibility for similar avalanches on the same avalanche path.

  5. A new web-based system to improve the monitoring of snow avalanche hazard in France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourova, Ekaterina; Maldonado, Eric; Leroy, Jean-Baptiste; Alouani, Rachid; Eckert, Nicolas; Bonnefoy-Demongeot, Mylene; Deschatres, Michael

    2016-05-01

    Snow avalanche data in the French Alps and Pyrenees have been recorded for more than 100 years in several databases. The increasing amount of observed data required a more integrative and automated service. Here we report the comprehensive web-based Snow Avalanche Information System newly developed to this end for three important data sets: an avalanche chronicle (Enquête Permanente sur les Avalanches, EPA), an avalanche map (Carte de Localisation des Phénomènes d'Avalanche, CLPA) and a compilation of hazard and vulnerability data recorded on selected paths endangering human settlements (Sites Habités Sensibles aux Avalanches, SSA). These data sets are now integrated into a common database, enabling full interoperability between all different types of snow avalanche records: digitized geographic data, avalanche descriptive parameters, eyewitness reports, photographs, hazard and risk levels, etc. The new information system is implemented through modular components using Java-based web technologies with Spring and Hibernate frameworks. It automates the manual data entry and improves the process of information collection and sharing, enhancing user experience and data quality, and offering new outlooks to explore and exploit the huge amount of snow avalanche data available for fundamental research and more applied risk assessment.

  6. Analysis of the snow-atmosphere energy balance during wet-snow instabilities and implications for avalanche prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Mitterer

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Wet-snow avalanches are notoriously difficult to predict; their formation mechanism is poorly understood since in situ measurements representing the thermal and mechanical evolution are difficult to perform. Instead, air temperature is commonly used as a predictor variable for days with high wet-snow avalanche danger – often with limited success. As melt water is a major driver of wet-snow instability and snow melt depends on the energy input into the snow cover, we computed the energy balance for predicting periods with high wet-snow avalanche activity. The energy balance was partly measured and partly modelled for virtual slopes at different elevations for the aspects south and north using the 1-D snow cover model SNOWPACK. We used measured meteorological variables and computed energy balance and its components to compare wet-snow avalanche days to non-avalanche days for four consecutive winter seasons in the surroundings of Davos, Switzerland. Air temperature, the net shortwave radiation and the energy input integrated over 3 or 5 days showed best results in discriminating event from non-event days. Multivariate statistics, however, revealed that for better predicting avalanche days, information on the cold content of the snowpack is necessary. Wet-snow avalanche activity was closely related to periods when large parts of the snowpack reached an isothermal state (0 °C and energy input exceeded a maximum value of 200 kJ m−2 in one day, or the 3-day sum of positive energy input was larger than 1.2 MJ m−2. Prediction accuracy with measured meteorological variables was as good as with computed energy balance parameters, but simulated energy balance variables accounted better for different aspects, slopes and elevations than meteorological data.

  7. The role of spatially variable terrain slope and compaction processes on snow avalanche occurrence statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perona, P.; Daly, E.; Porporato, A. M.

    2011-12-01

    Avalanche hazard forecasting is an important issue in relation to the protection of people and the built environment in mountain regions. Moreover, avalanche events contribute to the snow redistribution from high to low gradient slopes, thus affecting the mechanisms of glacier recharge and freshwater availability during the melting season. The process of snow avalanche formation is inherently complex and different type of avalanches may occur as a result of the interactions of different factors, resulting in some degree of both space and time unpredictability. Regression analysis and physically based models show that avalanche occurrence is influenced by the amount of snow fallen in consecutive three snowing days and the state of the settled snow at the ground. However, these methods hardly explain the different return period statistics that are often observed between avalanche size and related occurrence frequency from that of intense snowfall. In this work, we explore how compaction processes and terrain slope influence the statistics of a prototypical minimalist state-dependent stochastic process mimicking the probabilistic occurrence of natural snow avalanches at a point. We propose a model to describe the time dynamics of snow depth, h. After snow events, mathematically described as a marked Poisson, h decreases deterministically because of snowmelt and compaction. Avalanches cause sudden drops of snow depths, considered here resetting the variable to zero for the sake of mathematical tractability. In particular, avalanches are again treated as a stochastic Poisson process, whose frequency depends on the state of the variable h, and acts as a renewal event for the entire process. The model allows for the exact derivation of the probability distributions of the snowdepth, and the time between avalanches and their size. This simplified modeling framework explains the gradual decorrelation occurring between size and return time of avalanche events from that of

  8. Automated detection of snow avalanche deposits: segmentation and classification of optical remote sensing imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Lato

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Snow avalanches in mountainous areas pose a significant threat to infrastructure (roads, railways, energy transmission corridors, personal property (homes and recreational areas as well as for lives of people living and moving in alpine terrain. The impacts of snow avalanches range from delays and financial loss through road and railway closures, destruction of property and infrastructure, to loss of life. Avalanche warnings today are mainly based on meteorological information, snow pack information, field observations, historically recorded avalanche events as well as experience and expert knowledge. The ability to automatically identify snow avalanches using Very High Resolution (VHR optical remote sensing imagery has the potential to assist in the development of accurate, spatially widespread, detailed maps of zones prone to avalanches as well as to build up data bases of past avalanche events in poorly accessible regions. This would provide decision makers with improved knowledge of the frequency and size distributions of avalanches in such areas. We used an object–oriented image interpretation approach, which employs segmentation and classification methodologies, to detect recent snow avalanche deposits within VHR panchromatic optical remote sensing imagery. This produces avalanche deposit maps, which can be integrated with other spatial mapping and terrain data. The object-oriented approach has been tested and validated against manually generated maps in which avalanches are visually recognized and digitized. The accuracy (both users and producers are over 0.9 with errors of commission less than 0.05. Future research is directed to widespread testing of the algorithm on data generated by various sensors and improvement of the algorithm in high noise regions as well as the mapping of avalanche paths alongside their deposits.

  9. THEORY AND PRACTICE OF INDIVIDUAL SNOW AVALANCHE RISK ASSESSMENT IN THE RUSSIAN ARCTIC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandr Shnyparkov

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the Government of the Russian Federation considerably increased attention to the exploitation of the Russian Arctic territories. Simultaneously, the evaluation of snow avalanches danger was enhanced with the aim to decrease fatalities and reduce economic losses. However, it turned out that solely reporting the degree of avalanche danger is not sufficient. Instead, quantitative information on probabilistic parameters of natural hazards, the characteristics of their effects on the environment and possibly resulting losses is increasingly needed. Such information allows for the estimation of risk, including risk related to snow avalanches. Here, snow avalanche risk is quantified for the Khibiny Mountains, one of the most industrialized parts of the Russian Arctic: Major parts of the territory have an acceptable degree of individual snow avalanche risk (<1×10-6. The territories with an admissible (10-4–10-6 or unacceptable (>1×10-4 degree of individual snow avalanche risk (0.5 and 2% of the total area correspond to the Southeast of the Khibiny Mountains where settlements and mining industries are situated. Moreover, due to an increase in winter tourism, some traffic infrastructure is located in valleys with an admissible or unacceptable degree of individual snow avalanches risk.

  10. Recent and potential future effects of climate change on snow-avalanche activity in western Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laute, Katja; Beylich, Achim A.

    2017-04-01

    Meteorological records for western Norway show the general trend that the last 100 years, and especially the last three decades, have been warmer and wetter than the time periods before. As snow-avalanche formation is mainly governed by meteorological conditions as, e.g., air temperature fluctuations, heavy precipitation and wind conditions, it is likely that the frequency and magnitude of both ordinary and extreme snow-avalanche events is and will be modified through the documented effects of current and future climate change. This work focuses on recent and possible future effects of climate change on snow-avalanche activity along the western side of the Jostedalsbreen ice cap representing one of the areas with the highest snow-avalanche activity in entire Norway. We have analyzed long-term homogenized meteorological data from five meteorological stations in different elevations above sea level, three of them with a long-term record of 120 years (1895-2015). Daily precipitation and air temperature data are analyzed from the highest situated meteorological station (located 872 m asl.) in order to reveal the percentage share of precipitation which occurs actually as snow within the snow avalanche source areas (generally located at this and higher elevations above sea level). In addition to the statistical analyses of long-term datasets, gained results and insights from a four-year (2009-2012) high-resolution snow avalanche monitoring study conducted in the same study area are incorporated. The statistical analyses of mean monthly air temperature, monthly precipitation sums and mean monthly snow depths showed that there is a trend of increasing air temperatures and precipitation sums whereas no clear trend was found for mean snow depths. Magnitude-frequency analyses conducted for three defined time intervals (120, 90, 60 years) of monthly precipitation sums exhibit an increase of precipitation especially during the last 30 years with the tendency that more

  11. Snow avalanche activity in the High Tatras Mountains: new data achieved by means of dendrogeomorphic methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tichavsky, R.

    2016-12-01

    The High Tatras Mountains are permanently affected by the occurrence of hazardous geomorphic processes. Snow avalanches represent a common hazard that threatens the infrastructure and humans living and visiting the mountains. So far, the spatio-temporal reconstruction of snow avalanche histories was based only on existing archival records, orthophoto interpretation and lichenometric dating in the High Tatras Mountains. Dendrogeomorphic methods allow for the intra-seasonal dating of scars on tree stems and branches and have been broadly used for the dating of snow avalanche events all over the world. We extracted the increment cores and cross sections from 189 individuals of Pinus mugo var. mugo growing on four tali in the Great Cold Valley and dated all the past scars that could correspond with the winter to early spring occurrence of snow avalanches. The dating was supported by the visual analysis of three orthophoto images from 2004, 2009 and 2014. In total, nineteen event years of snow avalanches (10 certain events, and 9 probable events) were identified since 1959. Historical archives provided evidence only for nine event years since 1987, and three of them were confirmed dendrogeomorphically. Geomorphic effect of recent snow avalanches identified by the spatial distribution of scarred trees in individual years corresponds with the extent of events visible from the orthophotos. We can confirm higher frequency of snow avalanche events since 1980s (17 out of 19 events) and significant increase during the last ten years. The future expected climatic changes associated with the changes in temperature and precipitation regime could significantly influence on the frequency of snow avalanches. Therefore, our results can become the starting line for more extensive dendrogeomorphic survey in the High Tatras Mountains in order to create a catalogue of all natural hazards for the future prediction and modelling of these phenomena in context of environmental changes.

  12. Rockfall and snow avalanche impacts leave different anatomical signatures in tree rings of juvenile Larix decidua.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoffel, Markus; Hitz, Oliver M

    2008-11-01

    Rockfall and snow avalanche events often cause injury to European larch (Larix decidua Mill.) trees, giving rise to the formation of callus tissue and tangential rows of traumatic resin ducts (TRDs). We analyzed and quantified anatomical reactions of juvenile trees injured before the start of the growing season by snow avalanches (15 trees, 324 cross sections) or rockfalls (18 trees, 270 cross sections). Traumatic resin ducts were observed in the growth ring formed following injury in 94.3% of the rockfall samples and 87.3% of the snow avalanche samples. Traumatic resin ducts were formed at the beginning of the new annual ring around wounds caused by rockfalls. In contrast, in trees injured by snow avalanches, TRDs were not formed until after the formation of several rows of early earlywood (EE) tracheids (mean +/- SD = 4.19 +/- 2.56 rows). The dimensions of the EE tracheids observed in the snow avalanche samples were greatly reduced in the tissues bordering the wound, with radial width reaching an average of only 50% and lumen cross-sectional area an average of only 46% of pre-event values. It is therefore possible to differentiate injuries due to past snow avalanches from injuries due to rockfall based on anatomical growth reactions in the tissues bordering scars.

  13. Wet-snow avalanche interaction with a deflecting dam: field observations and numerical simulations in a case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Sovilla

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In avalanche-prone areas, deflecting dams are widely used to divert avalanches away from endangered objects. In recent years, their effectiveness has been questioned when several large and multiple avalanches have overrun such dams.

    In 2008, we were able to observe a large wet-snow avalanche, characterized by an high water content, that interacted with a deflecting dam and overflowed it at its lower end. To evaluate the dam's performance, we carried out an airborne laser scanning campaign immediately after the avalanche. This data, together with a video sequence made during the avalanche descent, provided a unique data set to study the dynamics of a wet dense snow avalanche and its flow behavior along a deflecting dam.

    To evaluate the effect of the complex flow field of the avalanche along the dam and to provide a basis for discussion of the residual risk, we performed numerical simulations using a two-dimensional dense snow avalanche dynamics model with entrainment.

    In comparison to dry dense snow avalanches, we found that wet-snow avalanches, with high water content, seem to be differently influenced by the local small-scale topography roughness. Rough terrain close to the dam deflected the flow to produce abrupt impacts with the dam. At the impact sites, instability waves were generated and increased the already large flow depths. The complex flow dynamics around the dam may produce large, local snow deposits. Furthermore, the high water content in the snow may decrease the avalanche internal friction angle, inducing wet-snow avalanches to spread further laterally than dry-snow avalanches.

    Based on our analysis, we made recommendations for designing deflecting dams and for residual risk analysis to take into account the effects of wet-snow avalanche flow.

  14. Validating numerical simulations of snow avalanches using dendrochronology: the Cerro Ventana event in Northern Patagonia, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casteller, A.; Christen, M.; Villalba, R.; Martínez, H.; Stöckli, V.; Leiva, J. C.; Bartelt, P.

    2008-05-01

    The damage caused by snow avalanches to property and human lives is underestimated in many regions around the world, especially where this natural hazard remains poorly documented. One such region is the Argentinean Andes, where numerous settlements are threatened almost every winter by large snow avalanches. On 1 September 2002, the largest tragedy in the history of Argentinean mountaineering took place at Cerro Ventana, Northern Patagonia: nine persons were killed and seven others injured by a snow avalanche. In this paper, we combine both numerical modeling and dendrochronological investigations to reconstruct this event. Using information released by local governmental authorities and compiled in the field, the avalanche event was numerically simulated using the avalanche dynamics programs AVAL-1D and RAMMS. Avalanche characteristics, such as extent and date were determined using dendrochronological techniques. Model simulation results were compared with documentary and tree-ring evidences for the 2002 event. Our results show a good agreement between the simulated projection of the avalanche and its reconstructed extent using tree-ring records. Differences between the observed and the simulated avalanche, principally related to the snow height deposition in the run-out zone, are mostly attributed to the low resolution of the digital elevation model used to represent the valley topography. The main contributions of this study are (1) to provide the first calibration of numerical avalanche models for the Patagonian Andes and (2) to highlight the potential of textit{Nothofagus pumilio} tree-ring records to reconstruct past snow-avalanche events in time and space. Future research should focus on testing this combined approach in other forested regions of the Andes.

  15. Validating numerical simulations of snow avalanches using dendrochronology: the Cerro Ventana event in Northern Patagonia, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Casteller

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available The damage caused by snow avalanches to property and human lives is underestimated in many regions around the world, especially where this natural hazard remains poorly documented. One such region is the Argentinean Andes, where numerous settlements are threatened almost every winter by large snow avalanches. On 1 September 2002, the largest tragedy in the history of Argentinean mountaineering took place at Cerro Ventana, Northern Patagonia: nine persons were killed and seven others injured by a snow avalanche. In this paper, we combine both numerical modeling and dendrochronological investigations to reconstruct this event. Using information released by local governmental authorities and compiled in the field, the avalanche event was numerically simulated using the avalanche dynamics programs AVAL-1D and RAMMS. Avalanche characteristics, such as extent and date were determined using dendrochronological techniques. Model simulation results were compared with documentary and tree-ring evidences for the 2002 event. Our results show a good agreement between the simulated projection of the avalanche and its reconstructed extent using tree-ring records. Differences between the observed and the simulated avalanche, principally related to the snow height deposition in the run-out zone, are mostly attributed to the low resolution of the digital elevation model used to represent the valley topography. The main contributions of this study are (1 to provide the first calibration of numerical avalanche models for the Patagonian Andes and (2 to highlight the potential of Nothofagus pumilio tree-ring records to reconstruct past snow-avalanche events in time and space. Future research should focus on testing this combined approach in other forested regions of the Andes.

  16. Linking snow depth to avalanche release area size: measurements from the Vallée de la Sionne field site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veitinger, Jochen; Sovilla, Betty

    2016-08-01

    One of the major challenges in avalanche hazard assessment is the correct estimation of avalanche release area size, which is of crucial importance to evaluate the potential danger that avalanches pose to roads, railways or infrastructure. Terrain analysis plays an important role in assessing the potential size of avalanche releases areas and is commonly based on digital terrain models (DTMs) of a snow-free summer terrain. However, a snow-covered winter terrain can significantly differ from its underlying, snow-free terrain. This may lead to different, and/or potentially larger release areas. To investigate this hypothesis, the relation between avalanche release area size, snow depth and surface roughness was investigated using avalanche observations of artificially triggered slab avalanches over a period of 15 years in a high-alpine field site. High-resolution, continuous snow depth measurements at times of avalanche release showed a decrease of mean surface roughness with increasing release area size, both for the bed surface and the snow surface before avalanche release. Further, surface roughness patterns in snow-covered winter terrain appeared to be well suited to demarcate release areas, suggesting an increase of potential release area size with greater snow depth. In this context, snow depth around terrain features that serve as potential delineation borders, such as ridges or trenches, appeared to be particularly relevant for release area size. Furthermore, snow depth measured at a nearby weather station was, to a considerable extent, related to potential release area size, as it was often representative of snow depth around those critical features where snow can accumulate over a long period before becoming susceptible to avalanche release. Snow depth - due to its link to surface roughness - could therefore serve as a highly useful variable with regard to potential release area definition for varying snow cover scenarios, as, for example, the avalanche

  17. Forecasting of wet snow avalanche activity: Proof of concept and operational implementation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobiet, Andreas; Jöbstl, Lisa; Rieder, Hannes; Bellaire, Sascha; Mitterer, Christoph

    2017-04-01

    State-of-the-art tools for the operational assessment of avalanche danger include field observations, recordings from automatic weather stations, meteorological analyses and forecasts, and recently also indices derived from snowpack models. In particular, an index for identifying the onset of wet-snow avalanche cycles (LWCindex), has been demonstrated to be useful. However, its value for operational avalanche forecasting is currently limited, since detailed, physically based snowpack models are usually driven by meteorological data from automatic weather stations only and have therefore no prognostic ability. Since avalanche risk management heavily relies on timely information and early warnings, many avalanche services in Europe nowadays start issuing forecasts for the following days, instead of the traditional assessment of the current avalanche danger. In this context, the prognostic operation of detailed snowpack models has recently been objective of extensive research. In this study a new, observationally constrained setup for forecasting the onset of wet-snow avalanche cycles with the detailed snow cover model SNOWPACK is presented and evaluated. Based on data from weather stations and different numerical weather prediction models, we demonstrate that forecasts of the LWCindex as indicator for wet-snow avalanche cycles can be useful for operational warning services, but is so far not reliable enough to be used as single warning tool without considering other factors. Therefore, further development currently focuses on the improvement of the forecasts by applying ensemble techniques and suitable post processing approaches to the output of numerical weather prediction models. In parallel, the prognostic meteo-snow model chain is operationally used by two regional avalanche warning services in Austria since winter 2016/2017 for the first time. Experiences from the first operational season and first results from current model developments will be reported.

  18. Wet snow detection by C-band SAR in avalanche forecasting

    OpenAIRE

    Hopsø, Ingrid Strømsvik

    2013-01-01

    Avalanches usually occur in steep, snow-covered mountain sides under special conditions. The stability of the snowpack depends, among other things, on the melting and freezing of the snowpack. If a snow covered area has not undergone a melt/freeze-process, it could potentially be unstable due to depth hoar or buried layers of frost, and therefore pose an avalanche risk if the area is located at a steep enough mountain side. Additionally, when the snow has been wet early in the winter, it can ...

  19. Assessment and mapping of snow avalanche risk in Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seliverstov, Yuri; Glazovskaya, Tatiana; Shnyparkov, Alexander; Vilchek, Yana; Sergeeva, Ksenia; Martynov, Alexei

    The term 'risk' can be defined as the probability of unfavourable consequences or negative effects. Risk can be expressed by means of various indices, such as collective or social risk (possible number of dead), individual risk (probability of a person's death within a certain territory during 1 year), probability of losses, etc. This paper is a case study of the small-scale assessment and mapping of individual avalanche risk focused on the two regions of Russia with the highest levels of avalanche activity: the northern Caucasus and the mountainous parts of Sakhalin island. The basic indices applied for individual avalanche risk estimation are: recurrence interval of avalanches (avalanche frequency), percentage of the whole investigated territory that is occupied by avalanche-prone areas, duration of avalanche danger period, probability of a person's stay in an avalanche-prone area during 1 day (24 hours) and during 1 year, total population of the area and its density. The results of individual avalanche risk assessment, undertaken for the territory of Russia as a whole, show that its values generally do not exceed the admissible level (from 1 × 10-6 to 1 × 10-4). However, some areas of the northern Caucasus, including famous alpine skiing resorts (Krasnaya Poliana, Dombai, the Mount Elbrus region, etc.), and of Sakhalin, including the environs of towns (Kholmsk, Nevel'sk) and other smaller human settlements, are characterized by an unacceptable level of risk. In the aggregate, areas with an unacceptable (>1 × 10-4) level of individual avalanche risk comprise about 7% of the whole avalanche-prone territory of the northern Caucasus, those with an admissible level comprise 52% and those with an acceptable level (<1 × 10-6) 41%. The corresponding values for Sakhalin are 0.1%, 14.8% and 85.1%.

  20. Regional snow-depth estimates for avalanche calculations using a two-dimensional model with snow entrainment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchi Janetti, Emanuela; Gorni, Elisa; Sovilla, Betty; Bocchiola, Daniele

    The currently adopted approach for avalanche-hazard mapping in Switzerland includes avalanche-dynamics modelling coupled with estimation of the greatest annual 3 day snowfall depth, H72, for high-return periods, used as the release depth. New advances in avalanche dynamics show that this approach can be improved using models with mass entrainment, requiring in turn a statistical definition of the erodible snow cover. We propose a regional approach, based on index value, to evaluate release depth and erodible snow cover for large-return periods. The territory of Switzerland is divided into seven climatologically homogeneous regions. Generalized extreme value (GEV) distributions for the growth factors coupled with index-value estimation based on altitude provide an accurate estimate of snow depths, also for large-return periods. RAMMS, a two-dimensional avalanche-dynamics model including snow entrainment, is used for hazard mapping for a site used as an example of the Swiss procedure. The regional approach allows the boundary conditions for hazard mapping to be set using an entrainment model, and also provides statistical uncertainty of the design release and erosion depth, thus aiding in applying uncertainty analysis to hazard-mapping procedure.

  1. Evaluation and operationalization of a novel forest detrainment modeling approach for computational snow avalanche simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teich, M.; Feistl, T.; Fischer, J.; Bartelt, P.; Bebi, P.; Christen, M.; Grêt-Regamey, A.

    2013-12-01

    Two-dimensional avalanche simulation software operating in three-dimensional terrain are widely used for hazard zoning and engineering to predict runout distances and impact pressures of snow avalanche events. Mountain forests are an effective biological protection measure; however, the protective capacity of forests to decelerate or even to stop avalanches that start within forested areas or directly above the treeline is seldom considered in this context. In particular, runout distances of small- to medium-scale avalanches are strongly influenced by the structural conditions of forests in the avalanche path. This varying decelerating effect has rarely been addressed or implemented in avalanche simulation. We present an evaluation and operationalization of a novel forest detrainment modeling approach implemented in the avalanche simulation software RAMMS. The new approach accounts for the effect of forests in the avalanche path by detraining mass, which leads to a deceleration and runout shortening of avalanches. The extracted avalanche mass caught behind trees stops immediately and, therefore, is instantly subtracted from the flow and the momentum of the stopped mass is removed from the total momentum of the avalanche flow. This relationship is parameterized by the empirical detrainment coefficient K [Pa] which accounts for the braking power of different forest types per unit area. To define K dependent on specific forest characteristics, we simulated 40 well-documented small- to medium-scale avalanches which released in and ran through forests with varying K-values. Comparing two-dimensional simulation results with one-dimensional field observations for a high number of avalanche events and simulations manually is however time consuming and rather subjective. In order to process simulation results in a comprehensive and standardized way, we used a recently developed automatic evaluation and comparison method defining runout distances based on a pressure

  2. Snowpack displacement measured by terrestrial radar interferometry as precursor for wet snow avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caduff, Rafael; Wiesmann, Andreas; Bühler, Yves

    2016-04-01

    Wet snow and full depth gliding avalanches commonly occur on slopes during springtime when air temperatures rise above 0°C for longer time. The increase in the liquid water content changes the mechanical properties of the snow pack. Until now, forecasts of wet snow avalanches are mainly done using weather data such as air and snow temperatures and incoming solar radiation. Even tough some wet snow avalanche events are indicated before the release by the formation of visible signs such as extension cracks or compressional bulges in the snow pack, a large number of wet snow avalanches are released without any previously visible signs. Continuous monitoring of critical slopes by terrestrial radar interferometry improves the scale of reception of differential movement into the range of millimetres per hour. Therefore, from a terrestrial and remote observation location, information on the mechanical state of the snow pack can be gathered on a slope wide scale. Recent campaigns in the Swiss Alps showed the potential of snow deformation measurements with a portable, interferometric real aperture radar operating at 17.2 GHz (1.76 cm wavelength). Common error sources for the radar interferometric measurement of snow pack displacements are decorrelation of the snow pack at different conditions, the influence of atmospheric disturbances on the interferometric phase and transition effects from cold/dry snow to warm/wet snow. Therefore, a critical assessment of those parameters has to be considered in order to reduce phase noise effects and retrieve accurate displacement measurements. The most recent campaign in spring 2015 took place in Davos Dorf/GR, Switzerland and its objective was to observe snow glide activity on the Dorfberg slope. A validation campaign using total station measurements showed good agreement to the radar interferometric line of sight displacement measurements in the range of 0.5 mm/h. The refinement of the method led to the detection of numerous gliding

  3. Modeling of snow avalanches for protection measures designing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turchaninova, Alla; Lazarev, Anton; Loginova, Ekaterina; Seliverstov, Yuri; Glazovskaya, Tatiana; Komarov, Anton

    2017-04-01

    Avalanche protection structures such as dams have to be designed using well known standard engineering procedures that differ in different countries. Our intent is to conduct a research on structural avalanche protection measures designing and their reliability assessment during the operation using numerical modeling. In the Khibini Mountains, Russia, several avalanche dams have been constructed at different times to protect settlements and mining. Compared with other mitigation structures dams are often less expensive to construct in mining regions. The main goal of our investigation was to test the capabilities of Swiss avalanche dynamics model RAMMS and Russian methods to simulate the interaction of avalanches with mitigation structures such as catching and reflecting dams as well as to reach the observed runout distances after the transition through a dam. We present the RAMMS back-calculation results of an artificially triggered and well-documented catastrophic avalanche occurred in the town of Kirovsk, Khibini Mountains in February 2016 that has unexpectedly passed through a system of two catching dams and took the lives of 3 victims. The estimated volume of an avalanche was approximately 120,000 m3. For the calculation we used a 5 m DEM including catching dams generated from field measurements in summer 2015. We simulated this avalanche (occurred below 1000 m.a.s.l.) in RAMMS having taken the friction parameters (µ and ζ) from the upper altitude limit (above 1500 m.a.s.l.) from the table recommended for Switzerland (implemented into RAMMS) according to the results of our previous research. RAMMS reproduced the observed avalanche behavior and runout distance. No information is available concerning the flow velocity; however, calculated values correspond in general to the values measured in this avalanche track before. We applied RAMMS using an option of adding structures to DEM (including a dam in GIS) in other to test other operating catching dams in

  4. Addressing frequency and magnitude of recent snow avalanches in Northern Iceland and Western Norway by using dendrogeomorphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decaulne, Armelle; Eggertsson, Ólafur; Laute, Katja; Sæmundsson, Şorsteinn; Beylich, Achim A.; Páll Jónsson, Helgi

    2010-05-01

    Snow avalanches are common in mountain areas of various kinds of cold environments. The more or less severity of wintry conditions determines the thickness, durability and stability of snow cover during the cold season. Winter conditions therefore influence the frequency and magnitude of snow avalanches. The aim of this research is (i) to use dendrogeomorphology as a proxy to extract the chronology of snow avalanches on colluvial surfaces (talus and cones) by analysing the tree-ring growth, and (ii) to study the various impacts snow avalanches on trees, i.e. the formation and dating of reaction wood. The study sites are located in Northern Iceland (Dalsmynni, Ljósavatnskarð and Fnjóskadalur valleys), and in Western Norway (Erdalen and Bødalen valleys). All sites are typical U-shaped valleys with important bedrock valley walls that develop downslope in slope accumulations, swept by numerous snow avalanches leaving geomorphological evidence of a significant activity. The currently investigated tree specie is Betula sp., birches being common in both areas. The results provide a temporal catalogue of snow-avalanche events during the last ± 100 years in areas with shortest historical records, and determine the changes in snow-avalanches regime during the same period. This can be correlated with snow-cover changes in the upper catchment areas. Such results are of interest for (i) the understanding of global changes on snow-avalanche activity in cold mountain areas, and (ii) getting a better knowledge of past frequency and magnitude of snow avalanches in areas of poor historical records, in relation with natural hazards.

  5. Automatic detection of snow avalanches in continuous seismic data using hidden Markov models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, Matthias; Hammer, Conny; van Herwijnen, Alec; Schweizer, Jürg; Fäh, Donat

    2018-01-01

    Snow avalanches generate seismic signals as many other mass movements. Detection of avalanches by seismic monitoring is highly relevant to assess avalanche danger. In contrast to other seismic events, signals generated by avalanches do not have a characteristic first arrival nor is it possible to detect different wave phases. In addition, the moving source character of avalanches increases the intricacy of the signals. Although it is possible to visually detect seismic signals produced by avalanches, reliable automatic detection methods for all types of avalanches do not exist yet. We therefore evaluate whether hidden Markov models (HMMs) are suitable for the automatic detection of avalanches in continuous seismic data. We analyzed data recorded during the winter season 2010 by a seismic array deployed in an avalanche starting zone above Davos, Switzerland. We re-evaluated a reference catalogue containing 385 events by grouping the events in seven probability classes. Since most of the data consist of noise, we first applied a simple amplitude threshold to reduce the amount of data. As first classification results were unsatisfying, we analyzed the temporal behavior of the seismic signals for the whole data set and found that there is a high variability in the seismic signals. We therefore applied further post-processing steps to reduce the number of false alarms by defining a minimal duration for the detected event, implementing a voting-based approach and analyzing the coherence of the detected events. We obtained the best classification results for events detected by at least five sensors and with a minimal duration of 12 s. These processing steps allowed identifying two periods of high avalanche activity, suggesting that HMMs are suitable for the automatic detection of avalanches in seismic data. However, our results also showed that more sensitive sensors and more appropriate sensor locations are needed to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the signals and

  6. Statistical analysis and trends of wet snow avalanches in the French Alps over the period 1959-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naaim, Mohamed

    2017-04-01

    Since an avalanche contains a significant proportion of wet snow, its characteristics and its behavior change significantly (heterogeneous and polydisperse). Even if on a steep given slope, wet snow avalanches are slow. They can flow over gentle slopes and reach the same extensions as dry avalanches. To highlight the link between climate warming and the proliferation of wet snow avlanches, we crossed two well-documented avalanche databases: the permanent avalanche chronicle (EPA) and the meteorological re-analyzes. For each avalanche referenced in EPA, a moisture index I is buit. It represents the ratio of the thickness of the wet snow layer to the total snow thickness, at the date of the avalanche on the concerned massif at 2400 m.a.s.l. The daily and annual proportion of avalanches exceeding a given threshold of I are calculated for each massif of the French alps. The statistical distribution of wet avalanches per massif is calculated over the period 1959-2009. The statistical quantities are also calculated over two successive periods of the same duration 1959-1984 and 1984-2009, and the annual evolution of the proportion of wet avalanches is studied using time-series tools to detect potential rupture or trends. This study showed that about 77% of avalanches on the French alpine massif mobilize dry snow. The probability of having an avalanche of a moisture index greater than 10 % in a given year is 0.2. This value varies from one massif to another. The analysis between the two successive periods showed a significant growth of wet avalanches on 20 massifs and a decrease on 3 massifs. The study of time-series confirmed these trends, which are of the inter-annual variability level.

  7. Impulse waves generated by snow avalanches: Momentum and energy transfer to a water body

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zitti, Gianluca; Ancey, Christophe; Postacchini, Matteo; Brocchini, Maurizio

    2016-12-01

    When a snow avalanche enters a body of water, it creates an impulse wave whose effects may be catastrophic. Assessing the risk posed by such events requires estimates of the wave's features. Empirical equations have been developed for this purpose in the context of landslides and rock avalanches. Despite the density difference between snow and rock, these equations are also used in avalanche protection engineering. We developed a theoretical model which describes the momentum transfers between the particle and water phases of such events. Scaling analysis showed that these momentum transfers were controlled by a number of dimensionless parameters. Approximate solutions could be worked out by aggregating the dimensionless numbers into a single dimensionless group, which then made it possible to reduce the system's degree of freedom. We carried out experiments that mimicked a snow avalanche striking a reservoir. A lightweight granular material was used as a substitute for snow. The setup was devised so as to satisfy the Froude similarity criterion between the real-world and laboratory scenarios. Our experiments in a water channel showed that the numerical solutions underestimated wave amplitude by a factor of 2 on average. We also compared our experimental data with those obtained by Heller and Hager (2010), who used the same relative particle density as in our runs, but at higher slide Froude numbers.

  8. Modelling wet snow avalanche runout to assess road safety at a high-altitude mine in the central Andes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Vera Valero

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Mining activities in cold regions are vulnerable to snow avalanches. Unlike operational facilities, which can be constructed in secure locations outside the reach of avalanches, access roads are often susceptible to being cut, leading to mine closures and significant financial losses. In this paper we discuss the application of avalanche runout modelling to predict the operational risk to mining roads, a long-standing problem for mines in high-altitude, snowy regions. We study the 35 km long road located in the "Cajón del rio Blanco" valley in the central Andes, which is operated by the Codelco Andina copper mine. In winter and early spring, this road is threatened by over 100 avalanche paths. If the release and snow cover conditions can be accurately specified, we find that avalanche dynamics modelling is able to represent runout, and safe traffic zones can be identified. We apply a detailed, physics-based snow cover model to calculate snow temperature, density and moisture content in three-dimensional terrain. This information is used to determine the initial and boundary conditions of the avalanche dynamics model. Of particular importance is the assessment of the current snow conditions along the avalanche tracks, which define the mass and thermal energy entrainment rates and therefore the possibility of avalanche growth and long runout distances.

  9. Modelling wet snow avalanche runout to assess road safety at a high-altitude mine in the central Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valero, Cesar Vera; Wever, Nander; Bühler, Yves; Stoffel, Lukas; Margreth, Stefan; Bartelt, Perry

    2016-11-01

    Mining activities in cold regions are vulnerable to snow avalanches. Unlike operational facilities, which can be constructed in secure locations outside the reach of avalanches, access roads are often susceptible to being cut, leading to mine closures and significant financial losses. In this paper we discuss the application of avalanche runout modelling to predict the operational risk to mining roads, a long-standing problem for mines in high-altitude, snowy regions. We study the 35 km long road located in the "Cajón del rio Blanco" valley in the central Andes, which is operated by the Codelco Andina copper mine. In winter and early spring, this road is threatened by over 100 avalanche paths. If the release and snow cover conditions can be accurately specified, we find that avalanche dynamics modelling is able to represent runout, and safe traffic zones can be identified. We apply a detailed, physics-based snow cover model to calculate snow temperature, density and moisture content in three-dimensional terrain. This information is used to determine the initial and boundary conditions of the avalanche dynamics model. Of particular importance is the assessment of the current snow conditions along the avalanche tracks, which define the mass and thermal energy entrainment rates and therefore the possibility of avalanche growth and long runout distances.

  10. Optimal design of snow avalanche passive defence structure using reliability approach to quantify buildings vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favier, P.; Bertrand, D.; Eckert, N.; Naaim, M.

    2012-04-01

    To protect elements at risk (humans, roads, houses, etc.) against snow avalanches, civil engineering structures, such as dams or mounds, are used. The design of such defence structures is done following a deterministic approach which considers European regulation. The minimization of expected total losses is an interesting alternative that generalizes cost-benefit approach to a continuous decision variable. For this purpose, not only the hazard magnitude but also the buildings vulnerability must be evaluated carefully. The aim of this work is therefore to combine state of the art sub-models for the probabilistic description of avalanche flows and the numerical evaluation of damages to buildings. We defined the risk as the expectation of the cost consequences of avalanches activity. Disposal consequences are quantified thanks to reliability methods. In this formulation, the accuracy of both the hazard estimation and the vulnerability calculation has to be consistent according to precision and computational costs. To do so, a numerical approach has been developed to evaluate the physical vulnerability of concrete buildings submitted to avalanche loadings. The ensuing application illustrates our approach. A reinforced concrete slab is considered to model the building with a finite element method. Reliability approach enables to produce a response spectrum of the structure against avalanche impact. Finally, vulnerability curves are built. Outcomes of the risk calculation are examined to find sensitivity on the optimal design of snow defence structures.

  11. Snow-avalanche impact craters in southern Norway: Their morphology and dynamics compared with small terrestrial meteorite craters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, John A.; Owen, Geraint; McEwen, Lindsey J.; Shakesby, Richard A.; Hill, Jennifer L.; Vater, Amber E.; Ratcliffe, Anna C.

    2017-11-01

    This regional inventory and study of a globally uncommon landform type reveals similarities in form and process between craters produced by snow-avalanche and meteorite impacts. Fifty-two snow-avalanche impact craters (mean diameter 85 m, range 10-185 m) were investigated through field research, aerial photographic interpretation and analysis of topographic maps. The craters are sited on valley bottoms or lake margins at the foot of steep avalanche paths (α = 28-59°), generally with an easterly aspect, where the slope of the final 200 m of the avalanche path (β) typically exceeds 15°. Crater diameter correlates with the area of the avalanche start zone, which points to snow-avalanche volume as the main control on crater size. Proximal erosional scars ('blast zones') up to 40 m high indicate up-range ejection of material from the crater, assisted by air-launch of the avalanches and impulse waves generated by their impact into water-filled craters. Formation of distal mounds up to 12 m high of variable shape is favoured by more dispersed down-range deposition of ejecta. Key to the development of snow-avalanche impact craters is the repeated occurrence of topographically-focused snow avalanches that impact with a steep angle on unconsolidated sediment. Secondary craters or pits, a few metres in diameter, are attributed to the impact of individual boulders or smaller bodies of snow ejected from the main avalanche. The process of crater formation by low-density, low-velocity, large-volume snow flows occurring as multiple events is broadly comparable with cratering by single-event, high-density, high-velocity, small-volume projectiles such as small meteorites. Simple comparative modelling of snow-avalanche events associated with a crater of average size (diameter 85 m) indicates that the kinetic energy of a single snow-avalanche impact event is two orders of magnitude less than that of a single meteorite-impact event capable of producing a crater of similar size

  12. Creation of the snow avalanche susceptibility map of the Krkonoše Mountains using GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr Suk

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This article deals with the development of the snow avalanche susceptibility map in the Czech part of the Krkonoše Mountains using the free Geographic Information System (GIS GRASS. The area susceptibility map consists of two components: the morphological risk map, which is derived from the digital terrain model (DTM and describes the slope steepness, aspect and curvature of the slope, and the protecting vegetation influence map, which is based on supervised image classification (spectrozonal aerial photos and takes into consideration the importance of vegetation cover. The final map also includes starting zones calculated on the basis of significant changes in slope steepness and approximate shapes of avalanche paths based on these zones. In the map development, the layer of measured paths of avalanche cadastre in the Czech part of the Krkonoše Mountains was used, partly to gain the morphological characteristics of starting zones and partly to check the quality of the map.

  13. Assessing the value of real-time snow and avalanche information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeidler, Antonia; Adams, Marc; Schuster, Martin; Berner, Martin; Nagy, Wilhelm

    2017-04-01

    This poster presentation shows first results from a pilot study on exploring the possibilities of using existing and new information and communication technologies (ICT) for snow and avalanche assessments. Today, ICT solutions allow the utilisation of information at a high spatiotemporal resolution, due to the widespread availability of internet access, high computing power and affordable mobile devices. Therefore, there is an increasing request for up to date information on snow and avalanche decision-making. However, there are challenges that need to be addressed from different view points. These include topics in the field of technological feasibility of providing a stable network, exchanging trustworthy information and motivation of experts to participate. This contribution discusses the lessons-learnt, from the establishment of a platform to the user-experience.

  14. Robust snow avalanche detection using machine learning on infrasonic array data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thüring, Thomas; Schoch, Marcel; van Herwijnen, Alec; Schweizer, Jürg

    2014-05-01

    Snow avalanches may threaten people and infrastructure in mountain areas. Automated detection of avalanche activity would be highly desirable, in particular during times of poor visibility, to improve hazard assessment, but also to monitor the effectiveness of avalanche control by explosives. In the past, a variety of remote sensing techniques and instruments for the automated detection of avalanche activity have been reported, which are based on radio waves (radar), seismic signals (geophone), optical signals (imaging sensor) or infrasonic signals (microphone). Optical imagery enables to assess avalanche activity with very high spatial resolution, however it is strongly weather dependent. Radar and geophone-based detection typically provide robust avalanche detection for all weather conditions, but are very limited in the size of the monitoring area. On the other hand, due to the long propagation distance of infrasound through air, the monitoring area of infrasonic sensors can cover a large territory using a single sensor (or an array). In addition, they are by far more cost effective than radars or optical imaging systems. Unfortunately, the reliability of infrasonic sensor systems has so far been rather low due to the strong variation of ambient noise (e.g. wind) causing a high false alarm rate. We analyzed the data collected by a low-cost infrasonic array system consisting of four sensors for the automated detection of avalanche activity at Lavin in the eastern Swiss Alps. A comparably large array aperture (~350m) allows highly accurate time delay estimations of signals which arrive at different times at the sensors, enabling precise source localization. An array of four sensors is sufficient for the time resolved source localization of signals in full 3D space, which is an excellent method to anticipate true avalanche activity. Robust avalanche detection is then achieved by using machine learning methods such as support vector machines. The system is initially

  15. Experimental and numerical investigation of a RC wall loaded by snow-like avalanche pressure signal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ousset, Isabelle; Bertrand, David; Brun, Michaël; Limam, Ali; Naaïm, Mohamed

    2013-04-01

    Nowadays, civil engineering structures exposed to snow avalanches are mostly designed considering static loadings involving large safety factors. These latters highlight the lack of knowledge about the effects of the loading generated by a snow flow, and generally lead to oversize the civil structure. Indeed, the transient nature of the loading signal and also the composition of the snow flow can generate dynamic phenomena which cannot be taken into account considering only static loadings. The case of the avalanche of the Taconnaz (France), which occurred in 1999 and where important parts of the defense structure were destroyed, showed that static design approaches can lead to underestimate the potential effect of the snow flow. Thus, in order to give some new insights about this issue, the effect of the temporal variations of the snow loading on the mechanical behavior of an idealized defense structure is investigated. Therefore, a reinforced concrete (RC) wall with a L-like shape has been considered which is supposed to represent a part of the defense structure situated in Taconnaz. Static pushover tests, carried out in laboratory conditions on 1/6 scale physical model of the RC structure, allowed obtaining the capacity of the tested structure (Berthet-Rambaud et al. (2007)). Finite Element (FE) models have been developed and calibrated from the previous experimental data. The FE approach allows simulating the dynamic mechanical response of the structure. The effect of the transient nature of the loading of the avalanche has been explored applying out-of-plan dynamic loadings on the RC wall. In order to be as close as possible of a "field" snow avalanche, the imposed time evolution of the loading has been generated from in situ measurements recorded at the French experimental site "le col du Lautaret" (Thibert et al. (2008)). The RC mechanical behaviour has been described by four nonlinear constitutive laws. The four behaviour laws are compared and analyzed for

  16. High data volume seismology: Surviving the avalanche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crotwell, Henry Philip

    Seismic data volumes have increased in the past twenty years with the Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology's Data Management Center currently archiving upwards of 14 terabytes per year and this trend will continue (Ahern, 2006). Data volumes are quickly reaching the point at which the individual seismologist can be overwhelmed with the avalanche of data. We present three studies at the intersection of seismology and software development that aim to enable more efficient use of data by practicing seismologists. The first is the TauP Toolkit which calculates the travel times of seismic waves through custom one dimensional earth models. TauP also allows almost arbitrary phases to be used and is incorporated into a wide variety of seismology software. TauP is available at http://www.seis.sc.edu/TauP. The second is a study of the compression of seismic data, allowing more efficient storage and transmission. We find that the predictive operator used can have a significant effect on the compression used, and in many cases second differencing can be noticeably better than first differencing. The last is the EarthScope Automated Receiver Survey, which aims to calculate bulk crustal properties for all three component broadband seismic stations available in the US in a highly automated manner. Because of the high degree of automation, the project has been extended to calculated crustal thickness and Vp/V s for global stations as well. Results are available at http://www.seis.sc.edu/ears.

  17. Monitoring snow avalanches in the medium range by a network of infrasonic arrays: first results

    Science.gov (United States)

    ulivieri, giacomo; marchetti, emanuele; ripepe, maurizio; durand, nathalie; frigo, barbara; chiambretti, igor; segor, valerio

    2013-04-01

    Monitoring of small-to-medium sized avalanches activity represents a crucial parameter to compare predictions and real effects. However, at present natural avalanche activity is mainly based on field observations, which have a limited range and are possible only during the daylight. Since 2009, the Department of Earth Sciences of University of Florence in collaboration with the Regione Valle d'Aosta is using the infrasonic array technology for near real-time monitoring of natural and artificial avalanche activity in the Alpine area. The results obtained during the last 3 years indicate that small-to-medium sized snow avalanches can be detected in the short-to-medium range distance (2-6 km). However, despite single array analysis allows to recognise many natural (microbarom, earthquakes, avalanches) and artificial (airplane, explosions) infrasound sources by using apparent velocity criterion, any unique identification and precise location of infrasonic sources is not possible without any additional information. In order to solve this problem, the monitoring system is upgraded by installing two additional arrays. In fact, a network of 3 arrays is operating since December 2012 around the MonteRosa and Cervino international ski resorts on the related massifs. Each infrasonic array consists of 4 infrasonic sensors deployed in triangular geometry and ~150 m of aperture. Data are sampled at 100 Hz and transmitted in real-time to Department of Earth Sciences in Florence for near real-time (<2 minutes) processing. The network has improved the capability in locating avalanches sources in a medium range distance (from 6 km to more than 10 km). In fact, the 3 arrays are covering an area of ~ 250 km2. Efficiency of source location and sensitivity of this infrasonic array network are tested by using artificial triggered avalanches: avalanches can now be located with a precision of ~ 1 km. Information on geographical position, origin time and infrasonic energy will be supplied to

  18. Study of the quasi-tragic snow-avalanche event occurred on August 2009 at Aconcagua Provincial Park, Mendoza, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leiva, J. C.; Casteller, A.; Martínez, H. H.; Norte, F. A.; Simonelli, S. C.

    2010-03-01

    Snow avalanches commonly threaten people and infrastructure in mountainous areas worldwide. Winter precipitation events in the Central Andes are caused by the interaction of the atmospheric general circulation and their steep orography. Almost every winter season snow storms and winds cause the blockage of routes and lead to the snowpack conditions that generate avalanche events. The amount of winter snow accumulation is highly variable and is one of the most important factors for assessing the impacts of climate change not only on the water availability, but also to plan future mitigation measures to reduce the avalanche hazard. The authors have conducted studies on snow avalanches that regularly affect the international route linking Mendoza (Argentina) with Santiago de Chile (Chile) but none of them was done at the Aconcagua Provincial Park The park is nearby this route, about 13 km kilometers east from the international border, which in this sector of the Andes coincides with the continental divide. On the night of 17 August 2009, seven people were caught by an avalanche that hit the Aconcagua Park rangers refuge (32° 48' 40'' S, 69° 56' 33'' W; 2950 masl).This paper describes the meteorological and snow precipitation conditions originating the event. On August 14 th. the synoptic surface and upper-air conditions from NCEP reanalysis were those associated with a severe Zonda wind occurrence in the region, that is: a 500 hPa level trough, a deep low-pressure surface system located over the Pacific Ocean close to the Chilean coast, approximately over 48 ° S and 80° W, and a jet stream at middle upper-air levels. The avalanche event occurred during a new and very heavy snowfall a while more than two days later of these extreme episodes. The topographical characteristics of the avalanche path, the snow storm intensity and the snow accumulation on the avalanche starting zone allowed the authors to simulate the avalanche flow. Snow storm intensity and snow

  19. Mapping snow avalanche risk using GIS technique and 3D modeling in Ceahlau Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covasnianu, A.; Grigoras, I. R.; State, L. E.; Balin, D.; Hogas, S.; Balin, I.

    2009-04-01

    This study consisted in a precise mapping project (GPS field campaign and on-screen digitization of the topographic maps at 1:5.000 scale) of the Ceahlau mountain area in Romanian Carpathians in order to address the snow avalanche risk management, surveying and monitoring. Thus we considered the slope, aspect, altitude, landforms and roughness derived from a high resolute numerical terrain model (31 km2 at 1: 5.000 scale resulted in a spatial resolution of 3 m by the help of Topo to Raster tool). These parameters were classified according to a model applied into Tatra Mountains and used over Ceahlau Massive. The results were adapted and interpreted considering to the European Avalanche Hazard Scale. This work was made in the context of the elaboration of Risk Map and is directly concerning both the security of tourism activities but also the management of the Natural Park Ceahlau. The extension of this method to similar mountain areas is ongoing.

  20. Wet and full-depth glide snow avalanche onset monitoring and detection with ground based Ku-band radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Célia; Bühler, Yves; Leinss, Silvan; Hajnsek, Irena

    2017-04-01

    Wet and full-depth glide snow avalanches can be of considerable danger for people and infrastructure in alpine regions. In Switzerland avalanche hazard predictions are performed by the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF. However these predictions are issued on regional scale and do not yield information about the current status of particular slopes of interest. To investigate the potential of radar technology for avalanche prediction on the slope scale, we performed the following experiment. During the winter seasons 2015/2016 and 2016/2017, a ground-based Ku-band radar was placed in the vicinity of Davos (GR) in order to monitor the Dorfberg slope with 4-minute measurement intervals [1]. With Differential Interferometry [2] line of sight movements on the order of a fraction of the radar wavelength (1.7 cm) can be measured. Applying this technique to the Dorfberg scenario, it was possible to detect snowpack displacement of up to 0.4 m over 3 days in the avalanche release area prior to a snow avalanche event. A proof of concept of this approach was previously made by [3-5]. The analysis of the snowpack displacement history of such release areas shows that an avalanche is generally released after several cycles of acceleration and deceleration of a specific area of the snowpack, followed by an abrupt termination of the movement at the moment of the avalanche release. The acceleration and deceleration trends are related to thawing and refreezing of the snowpack induced by the daily temperature variations. The proposed method for the detection of snowpack displacements as indication for potential wet and full-depth glide snow avalanches is a promising tool to increase avalanche safety on specific slopes putting infrastructure or people at risk. The identification of a singular signature to discriminate the time window immediately prior to the release is still under investigation, but the ability to monitor snowpack displacement allows for mapping of zones

  1. Change in snow avalanche and debris flow hazards in the region of Krasnaya Polyana as the result of anthropogenic activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shnyparkov, A. L.; Seliverstov, Y. G.; Sokratov, S. A.; Koltermann, K. P.

    2012-04-01

    The first evaluations of the snow avalanches and debris flow danger in the region of Krasnaya Polyana (Winter Olympic Games 2014 site) were made by the staff of LSADF in 1960s. In those times the danger was estimated as medium and low. Active development of the region started in 2000, when the ski (mountain climatic health) resort Alpika Service was constructed at the north slope of Aibga mountain range. Then the Alpine resorts Rosa Khutor and Gornaya Karusel [Mountain Carousel] were put into operation on the same slope. OAO Gazprom was also developing its own ski resort at the neighbouring Psekhako ridge. As the result of deforestation the quantity of small snow avalanches increased on the Aibga slopes. Skiers were caught several times by avalanches initiated by them in the reported avalanche events. The construction of ski runs, motorways, roads, as well as building of other related infrastructure has resulted in considerable change in relief. The sediment capping was dumped into stream canals, which resulted in the formation of debris flows, threatening the infrastructure of the ski resorts. The relief change related to the on going Olympic constructions is especially pronounced, when newly formed landfilling on some slopes becomes the material for landslides and debris flows and beds for avalanches. Thus, the degree of snow avalanche and debris flows danger increased considerably in the recent years, requiring originally unplanned mitigation measures.

  2. Anomalous winter-snow-amplified earthquake-induced disaster of the 2015 Langtang avalanche in Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujita, Koji; Inoue, Hiroshi; Izumi, Takeki; Yamaguchi, Satoru; Sadakane, Ayako; Sunako, Sojiro; Nishimura, Kouichi; Immerzeel, Walter W.; Shea, Joseph M.; Kayastha, Rijan B.; Sawagaki, Takanobu; Breashears, David F.; Yagi, Hiroshi; Sakai, Akiko

    2017-05-01

    Coseismic avalanches and rockfalls, as well as their simultaneous air blast and muddy flow, which were induced by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal, destroyed the village of Langtang. In order to reveal volume and structure of the deposit covering the village, as well as sequence of the multiple events, we conducted an intensive in situ observation in October 2015. Multitemporal digital elevation models created from photographs taken by helicopter and unmanned aerial vehicles reveal that the deposit volumes of the primary and succeeding events were 6.81 ± 1.54 × 106 and 0.84 ± 0.92 × 106 m3, respectively. Visual investigations of the deposit and witness statements of villagers suggest that the primary event was an avalanche composed mostly of snow, while the collapsed glacier ice could not be dominant source for the total mass. Succeeding events were multiple rockfalls which may have been triggered by aftershocks. From the initial deposit volume and the area of the upper catchment, we estimate an average snow depth of 1.82 ± 0.46 m in the source area. This is consistent with anomalously large snow depths (1.28-1.52 m) observed at a neighboring glacier (4800-5100 m a.s.l.), which accumulated over the course of four major snowfall events between October 2014 and the earthquake on 25 April 2015. Considering long-term observational data, probability density functions, and elevation gradients of precipitation, we conclude that this anomalous winter snow was an extreme event with a return interval of at least 100 years. The anomalous winter snowfall may have amplified the disastrous effects induced by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal.

  3. Regional snow-avalanche detection using object-based image analysis of near-infrared aerial imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korzeniowska, Karolina; Bühler, Yves; Marty, Mauro; Korup, Oliver

    2017-10-01

    Snow avalanches are destructive mass movements in mountain regions that continue to claim lives and cause infrastructural damage and traffic detours. Given that avalanches often occur in remote and poorly accessible steep terrain, their detection and mapping is extensive and time consuming. Nonetheless, systematic avalanche detection over large areas could help to generate more complete and up-to-date inventories (cadastres) necessary for validating avalanche forecasting and hazard mapping. In this study, we focused on automatically detecting avalanches and classifying them into release zones, tracks, and run-out zones based on 0.25 m near-infrared (NIR) ADS80-SH92 aerial imagery using an object-based image analysis (OBIA) approach. Our algorithm takes into account the brightness, the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), the normalised difference water index (NDWI), and its standard deviation (SDNDWI) to distinguish avalanches from other land-surface elements. Using normalised parameters allows applying this method across large areas. We trained the method by analysing the properties of snow avalanches at three 4 km-2 areas near Davos, Switzerland. We compared the results with manually mapped avalanche polygons and obtained a user's accuracy of > 0.9 and a Cohen's kappa of 0.79-0.85. Testing the method for a larger area of 226.3 km-2, we estimated producer's and user's accuracies of 0.61 and 0.78, respectively, with a Cohen's kappa of 0.67. Detected avalanches that overlapped with reference data by > 80 % occurred randomly throughout the testing area, showing that our method avoids overfitting. Our method has potential for large-scale avalanche mapping, although further investigations into other regions are desirable to verify the robustness of our selected thresholds and the transferability of the method.

  4. Regional snow-avalanche detection using object-based image analysis of near-infrared aerial imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Korzeniowska

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Snow avalanches are destructive mass movements in mountain regions that continue to claim lives and cause infrastructural damage and traffic detours. Given that avalanches often occur in remote and poorly accessible steep terrain, their detection and mapping is extensive and time consuming. Nonetheless, systematic avalanche detection over large areas could help to generate more complete and up-to-date inventories (cadastres necessary for validating avalanche forecasting and hazard mapping. In this study, we focused on automatically detecting avalanches and classifying them into release zones, tracks, and run-out zones based on 0.25 m near-infrared (NIR ADS80-SH92 aerial imagery using an object-based image analysis (OBIA approach. Our algorithm takes into account the brightness, the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI, the normalised difference water index (NDWI, and its standard deviation (SDNDWI to distinguish avalanches from other land-surface elements. Using normalised parameters allows applying this method across large areas. We trained the method by analysing the properties of snow avalanches at three 4 km−2 areas near Davos, Switzerland. We compared the results with manually mapped avalanche polygons and obtained a user's accuracy of > 0.9 and a Cohen's kappa of 0.79–0.85. Testing the method for a larger area of 226.3 km−2, we estimated producer's and user's accuracies of 0.61 and 0.78, respectively, with a Cohen's kappa of 0.67. Detected avalanches that overlapped with reference data by > 80 % occurred randomly throughout the testing area, showing that our method avoids overfitting. Our method has potential for large-scale avalanche mapping, although further investigations into other regions are desirable to verify the robustness of our selected thresholds and the transferability of the method.

  5. Modeled mass and temperature effects of released and entrained snow on the lubricated flow regime of avalanches at bird hill, southcentral Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wikstrom Jones, Katreeen

    The unpredictable effects of entrained snow on avalanche flow make the tasks of assessing avalanche run-out distances and deciding on road closures very difficult. At Bird Hill in southcentral Alaska, snow entrainment has caused small release volumes (RAMMS was implemented to examine how mass and temperature of released and entrained snow affect development of lubricated flow regime and impact run-out distances at Bird Hill. The results showed that temperature was more critical than mass in determining flow regime, with a close correlation between meltwater production and long run-out distances. Meltwater lubricates the avalanche at the base, drastically reducing basal friction and allowing it to glide over the ground. Bird Hill's large drop height (1000 m) and rough terrain (due to shallow snow cover) contributed to the warming of the avalanche core in the simulations. The entrained snow temperature appeared critical in determining the effects of released and entrained snow volumes. Cold releases (-5°C, -8°C), constrained by the "Wet snow" RKE regime in RAMMS, regardless of volume, only generated long run-outs with entrained snow of ≥ -1°C. Depending on the entrained snow temperature, small ( 15,000 m3) medium warm releases produced meltwater due to dissipated heat from random kinetic energy produced in the upper elevations. Monitoring of warming snow cover temperatures and mapping of terrain features that could affect avalanche flow may help avalanche forecasters better understand the variability of run-out distances.

  6. Snow-avalanche modeling and hazard level assessment using statistical and physical modeling, DSS and WebGIS: case study from Czechia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blahut, J.; Balek, J.; Juras, R.; Klimes, J.; Klose, Z.; Roubinek, J.; Pavlasek, J.

    2014-12-01

    Snow-avalanche modeling and hazard level assessment are important issues to be solved within mountain regions worldwide. In Czechia, there are two mountain ranges (Krkonoše and Jeseníky Mountains), which suffer from regular avalanche activity every year. Mountain Rescue Service is responsible for issuing avalanche bulletins. However, its approaches are still lacking objective assessments and procedures for hazard level estimations. This lack is mainly caused by missing expert avalanche information system. This paper presents preliminary results from a project funded by the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic. This project is focused on development of an information system for snow-avalanche hazard level forecasting. It is composed of three main modules, which should act as a Decision Support System (DSS) for the Mountain Rescue Service. Firstly, snow-avalanche susceptibility model is used for delimiting areas where avalanches can occur based on accurate statistical analyses. For that purpose a waste database is used, containing more than 1100 avalanche events from 1961/62 till present. Secondly, a physical modeling of the avalanches is being performed on avalanche paths using RAMMS modeling code. Regular paths, where avalanches occur every year, and irregular paths are being assessed. Their footprint is being updated using return period information for each path. Thirdly, snow distribution and stability models (distributed HBV-ETH, Snowtran 3D, Snowpack and Alpine 3D) are used to assess the critical conditions for avalanche release. For calibration of the models data about meteo/snow cover data and snowpits is used. Those three parts are being coupled in a WebGIS platform used as the principal component of the DSS in snow-avalanche hazard level assessment.

  7. Short-term spatial and temporal forecast of dry snow avalanches of sublimation recrystallization and mixed origin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu. B. Andreev

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A possibility of space-temporary short-term forecast-diagnosis of dry sublimative recrystallization and mixed (recrystallization plus fresh snow avalanches is under consideration. The special discriminate analog–macrophysical models of the short-term background forecast is verified on correlation degree with probabilistic zoning of avalanche site № 22 in Khibiny. Аs a result we have correlation coefficients of order –(0.6÷0.7. The statistical significance of correlation coefficients (an order of 0.02–0.07 are checked and a conclusion on likelihood of assumed hypothesis is made. So by the current and predicted meteorological data such kind of forecast for such genetic avalanche types release in concrete sites becomes possible. The short-term forecast function transformation of the examined in the article avalanche types into long-term ones by averaging perennial realized forecast function values on slipping optimal 5-years intervals shows avalanche activity trend with probable 8–10 and 32-years harmonics during selected observation period. But in comparison with purely dry and wet fresh snow avalanches forecast analysed before the examined here above types are less precisely predicted. So it is needed an improvement of correspondent forecast functions on the base of theory contribution and future observations by increasing their series

  8. Granular jump properties for the design of protection dams against snow avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méjean, Ségolène; Faug, Thierry; Einav, Itai

    2017-04-01

    The current European guidelines for the design of snow avalanche protection dams highlighted the need of transforming a supercritical flow that impacts the dam into a subcritical flow which travels upstream. This transition involves the formation of a discontinuity in height and velocity, namely a jump. The jump height is crucial to predetermine the dam height needed to stop the avalanche against which one wants to be protected, and it dissipates a lot of energy if the dam is overtopped by an extreme avalanche of greater intensity than the former avalanche. For a sake of simplicity, the current European guidelines are based on the equations valid for hydraulic flows on a horizontal smooth bottom. However, the behavior of flowing snow is closer to the flow of dry granular materials. A recent experimental study has investigated in detail the geometry of standing granular jumps formed in shallow granular flows down a small-scale laboratory smooth-base chute. A number of discrepancies between the equations strictly valid for hydraulic flows on a horizontal smooth bottom were evidenced. The discrepancies are partly explained by the fact the traditional hydraulic equations do not take into account the forces acting over the jump volume, and consider an incompressible flow. As such, it is crucial to develop a new theoretical framework capable of overcoming the limits of the current hydraulic equations used in the European guidelines. The overarching aim of the present study is to develop this new theory for granular jumps with the help of both small-scale numerical simulations and laboratory tests. A new analytical solution based on depth-averaged mass and momentum equations is proposed but needs another length scale, that is the finite length of the jump, as well as a constitutive friction law, in order to be predictive. A number of numerical simulations based on the Discrete Element Method are conducted to access the micro-mechanical parameters in addition to the

  9. Mapping and evaluation of snow avalanche risk using GIS technique in Rodnei National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covǎsnianu, Adrian; Grigoraş, Ioan-Rǎducu; Covǎsnianu, Liliana-Elena; Iordache, Iulian; Balin, Daniela

    2010-05-01

    The study consisted in a precise mapping project (GPS field campaign, on-screen digitization of the topographic maps at 1:25.000 scale and updated with ASTER mission) of the Rodnei National Park area (Romanian Carpathians) with a focus on snow avalanche risk survey. Parameters taken into account were slope, aspect, altitude, landforms and roughness resulted from a high resolute numerical terrain model obtained by ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) mission. The resulted digital surface model with a spatial resolution of 10 m covered a total area of 187 square kilometers and was improved by the help of Topo to Raster tool. All these parameters were calibrated after a model applied onto Tatra Massive and also Ceahlău Mountain. The results were adapted and interpreted in accordance with European avalanche hazard scale. This work was made in the context of the elaboration of Risk Map and is directly concerning both the security of tourism activities but also the management of the Rodnei Natural Park. The extension of this method to similar mountain areas is ongoing.

  10. Calibration of snow avalanche mathematical models using the data of real avalanches in the Ile (Zailiyskiy Alatau Range

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. P. Blagoveshchensky

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The calibration of the dry friction and turbulent friction coefficients is necessary for computer simulation of avalanches. The method of back calculation based on data on actual avalanches is used for this purpose. The article presents the results of the calibration of the Eglit’s and RAMMS models for Ile Alatau range condi‑ tions. The range is located in Kazakhstan. The data on six avalanches in the same avalanche site were used. Five avalanches were dry, and one avalanche was wet. Avalanches volume varied from 2000 to 12000  m3. Maximum speed avalanches were between 15 and 30  m/s, the flow height  – from 3 to 10  m. Series of back calculations with different values of the friction coefficients was made to obtain the calibrated coeffi‑ cients. The calibrated coefficients were chosen under condition of the best fit with real avalanches. The cal‑ ibrated coefficients were following. For the Eglit’s model for dry avalanches of the volume 2000–5000  m3 μ = 0.46÷0.48, k = 0.005–0.006, and the volume 8000–12000 m3 μ = 0.38÷0.42, k = 0.002÷0.003. For RAMMS model for dry avalanches of the volume of 2000–5000 m3 μ (dry friction coefficient = 0.35÷0.4, ξ (viscous friction coefficient = 1500÷2000 m/s2, and the volume 8,000–12,000 m3 μ = 0.3÷0.35, ξ = 2000÷3000 m/s2. For wet avalanches of the volume 12,000 m3 μ = 0.35, ξ = 1500 m/s2. The work on the calibration will be con‑ tinued to obtain the friction coefficients for the Eglit’s and RAMMS models. The additional data on real ava‑ lanches will be needed for this purpose.

  11. Effects of ground freezing and snow avalanche deposits on debris flows in alpine environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Bardou

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Debris flows consist of a mixture of water and sediments of various sizes. Apart from few exceptions, the water is usually contributed directly from precipitation. In a high mountain environment like the Alps, it appears necessary to consider infiltration of water into the ground during rainfall events, the runoff characteristics and the potential supply of sediment as a function of a multitude of climatic and hydrogeological factors. This paper outlines several new processes - either linked to ice formation in the ground before an event, or to the presence of snow avalanche deposits - that change the probability of observing an event. These processes were identified during field observations connected with extreme weather events that occurred recently in the Valais Alps (south-western Switzerland: they can be seen as factors either amplifying or reducing the potential of slope instability caused by the precipitation event. An intense freezing of the ground during the week preceding the exceptional rainfall event in mid-October 2000 amplified the probability of triggering debris flows between roughly 1800 and 2300m asl. Both growth of ice needles and superficial ground freezing destroyed soil aggregates (increasing the availability of sediments and/or, a deeper ground freezing resulted in decreased infiltration rate (increased runoff during the first hours of heavy rainfall. The presence of snow avalanche deposits in a gully could be simultaneously an amplifying factor (the snow deposits increase the base flow and create a sliding plane for the sediments, mainly at the time of summer storms or a reducing factor (reduction in the impact energy of the raindrops, mainly at the time of winter storms of the risk of triggering debris flows. If it is not currently possible to establish rainfall threshold values for debris flow triggering, the knowledge and the implementation of these processes in the analysis of the potential triggering (for example by

  12. Spatial reconstructions and comparisons of historic snow avalanche frequency and extent using tree rings in Glacier National Park, Montana, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reardon, B.A.; Pederson, G.T.; Caruso, C.J.; Fagre, D.B.

    2008-01-01

    Natural snow avalanches have periodically damaged infrastructure and disrupted railroad and highway traffic at the southwestern corner of Glacier National Park, Montana. The 94-year history of these disruptions constitutes an uncommon record of natural avalanches spanning over nine decades and presents a unique opportunity to examine how natural avalanche frequency and minimum extent have varied over time due to climatic or biophysical changes. This study compared the historic record of natural avalanches in one avalanche path with tree-ring evidence of avalanches from 109 cross sections and increment cores collected in the same path. Results from combined historic and tree-ring records yielded 27 avalanche years in the 1910-2003 chronology, with the historic record alone underestimating avalanche years by half. Mean return period was 3.2 years. Interpolated maps allowed for more spatially precise estimates of return periods throughout the runout zone than previous studies. The maps show return periods increase rapidly downslope from 2.3 to 25 years. Avalanche years were associated with positive Snow Water Equivalent anomalies at a nearby snow course. Minimum avalanche extent was highly variable but not associated with snowpack anomalies. Most avalanche years coincided with years in which the mean January-February Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and El Nin??o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) 3.4 indices were neutral. The findings suggest that changes in Pacific climate patterns that influence snowfall could also alter the frequency of natural snow avalanches and could thus change disturbance patterns in the montane forests of the canyon. ?? 2008 Regents of the University of Colorado.

  13. Winter survival of Scots pine seedlings under different snow conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domisch, Timo; Martz, Françoise; Repo, Tapani; Rautio, Pasi

    2017-10-10

    Future climate scenarios predict increased air temperatures and precipitation, particularly at high latitudes, and especially so during winter. Soil temperatures, however, are more difficult to predict, since they depend strongly on the fate of the insulating snow cover. 'Rain-on-snow' events and warm spells during winter can lead to thaw-freeze cycles, compacted snow and ice encasement, as well as local flooding. These adverse conditions could counteract the otherwise positive effects of climatic changes on forest seedling growth. In order to study the effects of different winter and snow conditions on young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings, we conducted a laboratory experiment in which 80 1-year-old Scots pine seedlings were distributed between four winter treatments in dasotrons: ambient snow cover (SNOW), compressed snow and ice encasement (ICE), flooded and frozen soil (FLOOD) and no snow (NO SNOW). During the winter treatment period and a 1.5-month simulated spring/early summer phase, we monitored the needle, stem and root biomass of the seedlings, and determined their starch and soluble sugar concentrations. In addition, we assessed the stress experienced by the seedlings by measuring chlorophyll fluorescence, electric impedance and photosynthesis of the previous-year needles. Compared with the SNOW treatment, carbohydrate concentrations were lower in the FLOOD and NO SNOW treatments where the seedlings had almost died before the end of the experiment, presumably due to frost desiccation of aboveground parts during the winter treatments. The seedlings of the ICE treatment showed dead needles and stems only above the snow and ice cover. The results emphasize the importance of an insulating and protecting snow cover for small forest tree seedlings, and that future winters with changed snow patterns might affect the survival of tree seedlings and thus forest productivity. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved

  14. Infrasound and seismic array analysis of snow avalanches: results from the 2015-2017 experiment in Dischma valley above Davos, Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchetti, Emanuele; van Herwijnen, Alec; Ripepe, Maurizio

    2017-04-01

    While flowing downhill a snow avalanche radiates seismic and infrasonic waves being coupled both with the ground and the atmosphere. Infrasound waves are mostly generated by the powder cloud of the avalanche, while seismic waves are mostly generated by the dense flowing snow mass on the ground, resulting in different energy partitioning between seismic and infrasound for different kinds of avalanches. This results into a general uncertainty on the efficiency of seismic and infrasound monitoring, in terms of the size and source-to-receiver distance of detectable events. Nevertheless, both seismic and infrasound have been used as monitoring systems for the remote detection of snow avalanches, being the reliable detection of snow avalanches of crucial importance to better understand triggering mechanisms, identify possible precursors, or improve avalanche forecasting. We present infrasonic and seismic array data collected during the winters of 2015- 2016 and 2016-2017 in the Dischma valley above Davos, Switzerland, where a five element infrasound array and a 7 element seismic array had been deployed at short distance from each other and with several avalanche paths nearby. Avalanche observation in the area is performed through automatic cameras providing additional information on the location, type (dry or wet), size and occurrence time of the avalanches released. The use of arrays instead of single sensors allows increasing the signal-to-noise ratio and identifying events in terms of back-azimuth and apparent velocity of the wave-field, thus providing indication on the source position of the recorded signal. For selected snow avalanches captured with automatic cameras, we therefore perform seismic and infrasound array processing to constrain the avalanche path and dynamics and investigate the partitioning of seismic and infrasound energy for the different portions of the avalanche path. Moreover we compare results of seismic and infrasound array processing for the

  15. Snow avalanche detection and identification for near real-time application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havens, S.; Johnson, J. B.; Marshall, H.; Nicholson, B.; Trisca, G. O.

    2013-12-01

    A near real-time avalanche detection system will provide highway avalanche forecasters with a tool to remotely monitor major avalanche paths and provide information about regional avalanche activity and timing. For the last three winters, a network of infrasound arrays has been remotely monitoring both avalanche and non-avalanche events along a 10 mile section of Highway 21 in Idaho. To provide the best results to avalanche forecasters, the system must be robust and detect all major avalanche events of interest that affect the highway. Over the last three winters, the infrasound arrays recorded multiple avalanche cycles and we explore different methods of event detection for both large dry avalanches (strong infrasound signal) and small wet avalanches (weak infrasound signal). We compare the F-statistic and cross-correlation techniques (i.e. PMCC) to determine the most robust method and develop computationally efficient algorithms to implement in near-real time using parallel processing and GPU computing. Once an event has been detected, we use the artificial intelligence method of recursive neural networks to classify based on similar characteristics to past known signals.

  16. Modelling the system behaviour of wet snow avalanches using an expert system approach for risk management on high alpine traffic roads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Zischg

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The presented approach describes a model for a rule-based expert system calculating the temporal variability of the release of wet snow avalanches, using the assumption of avalanche triggering without the loading of new snow. The knowledge base of the model is created by using investigations on the system behaviour of wet snow avalanches in the Italian Ortles Alps, and is represented by a fuzzy logic rule-base. Input parameters of the expert system are numerical and linguistic variables, measurable meteorological and topographical factors and observable characteristics of the snow cover. Output of the inference method is the quantified release disposition for wet snow avalanches. Combining topographical parameters and the spatial interpolation of the calculated release disposition a hazard index map is dynamically generated. Furthermore, the spatial and temporal variability of damage potential on roads exposed to wet snow avalanches can be quantified, expressed by the number of persons at risk. The application of the rule base to the available data in the study area generated plausible results. The study demonstrates the potential for the application of expert systems and fuzzy logic in the field of natural hazard monitoring and risk management.

  17. Risk analysis for dry snow slab avalanche release by skier triggering

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClung, David

    2013-04-01

    Risk analysis is of primary importance for skier triggering of avalanches since human triggering is responsible for about 90% of deaths from slab avalanches in Europe and North America. Two key measureable quantities about dry slab avalanche release prior to initiation are the depth to the weak layer and the slope angle. Both are important in risk analysis. As the slope angle increases, the probability of avalanche release increases dramatically. As the slab depth increases, the consequences increase if an avalanche releases. Among the simplest risk definitions is (Vick, 2002): Risk = (Probability of failure) x (Consequences of failure). Here, these two components of risk are the probability or chance of avalanche release and the consequences given avalanche release. In this paper, for the first time, skier triggered avalanches were analyzed from probability theory and its relation to risk for both the D and . The data consisted of two quantities : (,D) taken from avalanche fracture line profiles after an avalanche has taken place. Two data sets from accidentally skier triggered avalanches were considered: (1) 718 for and (2) a set of 1242 values of D which represent average values along the fracture line. The values of D were both estimated (about 2/3) and measured (about 1/3) by ski guides from Canadian Mountain Holidays CMH). I also analyzed 1231 accidentally skier triggered avalanches reported by CMH ski guides for avalanche size (representing destructive potential) on the Canadian scale. The size analysis provided a second analysis of consequences to verify that using D. The results showed that there is an intermediate range of both D and with highest risk. ForD, the risk (product of consequences and probability of occurrence) is highest for D in the approximate range 0.6 m - 1.0 m. The consequences are low for lower values of D and the chance of release is low for higher values of D. Thus, the highest product is in the intermediate range. For slope angles

  18. Avalanche prevention release system GAZEX as a tool to control of snow discharge in small portions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. V. Tetekin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available GAZEX system is used in Russia from 2002 to release artificial avalanches. The experience of realization of this system in the Krasnaya Polyana region (the place of Olympic Winter Games of 2014 is described in the article in comparison with application of nowadays and earlier systems.

  19. Effects of neck bands on survival of greater snow geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menu, S.; Hestbeck, J.B.; Gauthier, G.; Reed, A.

    2000-01-01

    Neck bands are a widely used marker in goose research. However, few studies have investigated a possible negative effect of this marker on survival. We tested the effect of neck bands on the survival of adult female greater snow geese (Chen caerulescens atlantica) by marking birds with either a neck band and a metal leg band or a leg band only on Bylot Island (Nunavut, formerly included in the Northwest Territories, Canada) from 1990 to 1996. Annual survival was estimated using leg-band recoveries in fall and winter and using neck-band sightings in spring and fall. Recapture rates were estimated using summer recaptures. Using recovery data, the selected model yielded a survival similar for the neck-banded and leg-banded only birds (S = 0.845 ?? 0.070 vs. S = 0.811 ?? 0.107). The hypothesis of equality of survival between the 2 groups was easily accepted under most constraints imposed on survival or recovery rates. However, failure to account for a different direct recovery rate for neck-banded birds would lead us to incorrectly conclude a possible negative effect of neck bands on survival. Using sighting data, mean annual survival of neck-banded birds was independently estimated at 0.833 ?? 0.057, a value very similar to that estimated with band-recovery analysis. Raw recapture rates during summer were significantly lower for neck-banded birds compared to those marked with leg bands only (4.6% vs. 12.1%), but in this analysis, survival, site fidelity, reproductive status, and recapture rates were confounded. We conclude that neck bands did not affect survival of greater snow geese, but could possibly affect other demographic traits such as breeding propensity and emigration.

  20. Arctic avalanche dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokop, Alexander; Eiken, Mari; Ganaus, Kerstin; Rubensdotter, Lena

    2017-04-01

    Since the avalanche disaster December 19th, 2015 in Longyearbyen (Svalbard) happened, where two people were killed within settlements, the dynamic of avalanches in arctic regions is of increasing interest for hazard mapping in such areas. To investigate the flow behavior of arctic avalanches we focused on avalanches that occurred in Central Svalbard. In this regions historic avalanche events can be analyzed due to their deposition behavior visible on geomorphological maps in the run-out area of the avalanches. To get an idea about possible snow mass that was involved in the avalanches we measured the snow volume balance of recent avalanches (winters 2015/16) via terrestrial laser scanning. In this way we gained reasonable data to set calibration and input parameters for dynamic avalanche modeling. Using state of the art dynamic avalanche models allowed us to back calculate how much snow was involved in the historic avalanches that we identified on the geomorphological maps and what the return period of those events are. In our presentation we first explain our methodology; we discuss arctic avalanche behavior of the avalanches measured via terrestrial laser scanning and how the dynamic avalanche models performed for those case examples. Finally we conclude how our results can improve avalanche hazard mapping for arctic regions.

  1. Anomalous winter-snow-amplified earthquake-induced disaster of the 2015 Langtang avalanche in Nepal

    OpenAIRE

    K. Fujita; H. Inoue; T. Izumi; S. Yamaguchi; A. Sadakane; S. Sunako; K. Nishimura; W. W. Immerzeel; J. M. Shea; R. B. Kayastha; T. Sawagaki; D. F. Breashears; H. Yagi; A. Sakai

    2017-01-01

    Coseismic avalanches and rockfalls, as well as their simultaneous air blast and muddy flow, which were induced by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake in Nepal, destroyed the village of Langtang. In order to reveal volume and structure of the deposit covering the village, as well as sequence of the multiple events, we conducted an intensive in situ observation in October 2015. Multitemporal digital elevation models created from photographs taken by helicopter and unmanned aerial vehic...

  2. Histopathological changes in lungs of the mountain snow avalanche victims and its potential usefulness in determination of cause and mechanism of death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariusz Kobek

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available On 28 January 2003 snow avalanche in the Polish Tatras happened, in which 8 people died and 5 were injured. We tried to determine cause and manner of death in 6 fatal victims instead of advanced late post mortem changes in internal organs. Taking into consideration the circumstances of death, we paid special attention to histopathological examination of lungs, extended by Gomori’s and AZAN staining. Pattern of the changes was similar to those observed in forensic medicine in cases of asphyxia due to airway obstruction and/or immobilization of chest and abdomen (Perthes’ syndrome. Histopathological study with the use of more specific staining methods has a significant diagnostic value during establishing the cause and mechanism of death of the deceased snow avalanche victims with advanced post mortem changes.

  3. Determination of snow avalanche return periods using a tree-ring based reconstruction in the French Alps: cross validation with the predictions of a statistical-dynamical model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schläppy, Romain; Eckert, Nicolas; Jomelli, Vincent; Grancher, Delphine; Brunstein, Daniel; Stoffel, Markus; Naaim, Mohamed

    2013-04-01

    Documenting past avalanche activity represents an indispensable step in avalanche hazard assessment. Nevertheless, (i) archival records of past avalanche events do not normally yield data with satisfying spatial and temporal resolution and (ii) precision concerning runout distance is generally poorly defined. In addition, historic documentation is most often (iii) biased toward events that caused damage to structure or loss of life on the one hand and (iv) undersampled in unpopulated areas on the other hand. On forested paths dendrogeomorphology has been demonstrated to represent a powerful tool to reconstruct past activity of avalanches with annual resolution and for periods covering the past decades to centuries. This method is based on the fact that living trees may be affected by snow avalanches during their flow and deposition phases. Affected trees will react upon these disturbances with a certain growth response. An analysis of the responses recorded in tree rings coupled with an evaluation of the position of reacting trees within the path allows the dendrogeomorphic expert to identify past snow avalanche events and deduced their minimum runout distance. The objective of the work presented here is firstly to dendrochronogically -reconstruct snow avalanche activity in the Château Jouan path located near Montgenèvre in the French Alps. Minimal runout distances are then determined for each reconstructed event by considering the point of further reach along the topographic profile. Related empirical return intervals are evaluated, combining the extent of each event with the average local frequency of the dendrological record. In a second step, the runout distance distribution derived from dendrochronological reconstruction is compared to the one derived from historical archives and to high return period avalanches predicted by an up-to-date locally calibrated statistical-numerical model. It appears that dendrochronological reconstructions correspond mostly to

  4. Optimal design under uncertainty of a passive defense structure against snow avalanches: from a general Bayesian framework to a simple analytical model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Eckert

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available For snow avalanches, passive defense structures are generally designed by considering high return period events. In this paper, taking inspiration from other natural hazards, an alternative method based on the maximization of the economic benefit of the defense structure is proposed. A general Bayesian framework is described first. Special attention is given to the problem of taking the poor local information into account in the decision-making process. Therefore, simplifying assumptions are made. The avalanche hazard is represented by a Peak Over Threshold (POT model. The influence of the dam is quantified in terms of runout distance reduction with a simple relation derived from small-scale experiments using granular media. The costs corresponding to dam construction and the damage to the element at risk are roughly evaluated for each dam height-hazard value pair, with damage evaluation corresponding to the maximal expected loss. Both the classical and the Bayesian risk functions can then be computed analytically. The results are illustrated with a case study from the French avalanche database. A sensitivity analysis is performed and modelling assumptions are discussed in addition to possible further developments.

  5. Avalanche modeling in forested terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teich, M.; Bartelt, P. A.; Bebi, P.; Grêt-Regamey, A.

    2010-12-01

    Mountain forests are a valuable defense against snow avalanches. Currently, however, little quantitative information is available to estimate the effect of forest structure on the motion of avalanches. Avalanche flow is strongly influenced by the condition and composition of vegetation in the avalanche path. This potential decelerating effect has, however, not yet been quantified. We apply the numerical avalanche dynamics program RAMMS to simulate several well documented small avalanche events in forests. The two-dimensional model RAMMS predicts avalanche run-out distances, flow velocities and impact pressures in complex three-dimensional terrain by numerically solving a system of partial differential equations governing avalanche flow. Based on detailed data on forest conditions and avalanche characteristics such as release areas, fracture heights and length collected in forested areas, where avalanches were observed, we modify the input parameters of the RAMMS model to match the observations. We compare the model output with observed run-out distances in order to quantify the decelerating effects of different forest structures. Implementing avalanche forest interactions into numerical avalanche simulations will open new fields of application for avalanche models, e.g. for managing mountain forests and by better accounting for mountain forests as an effective biological protection measure against snow avalanches in natural hazard mapping and landscape planning.

  6. Abundance and threats to the survival of the snow leopard – a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamila Anna Valentová

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Snow leopard (Panthera uncia is an endangered species and its population size is steadily declining. This review attempts to introduce and analyse the main factors threatening its survival in each of the countries in which it occurs: China, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. To conserve the remaining snow leopard populations, it is necessary to determine where it occurs in the various areas. Here, recent data on its worldwide distribution are presented. Snow leopard has a very secretive lifestyle, which makes it difficult to estimate its abundance. Therefore, I also present an overview of the methods, such as searching for signs of its presence, capture-recapture, predator : prey biomass ratios, photographic-capture rate and genetic analyses, used for estimating the abundance of snow leopard in different studies and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

  7. Terrain Classification of Norwegian Slab Avalanche Accidents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallandvik, Linda; Aadland, Eivind; Vikene, Odd Lennart

    2016-01-01

    It is difficult to rely on snow conditions, weather, and human factors when making judgments about avalanche risk because these variables are dynamic and complex; terrain, however, is more easily observed and interpreted. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate (1) the type of terrain in which historical fatal snow avalanche accidents in Norway…

  8. Winter fidelity and apparent survival of lesser snow goose populations in the Pacific flyway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, C.K.; Samuel, M.D.; Baranyuk, Vasily V.; Cooch, E.G.; Kraege, Donald K.

    2008-01-01

    The Beringia region of the Arctic contains 2 colonies of lesser snow geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) breeding on Wrangel Island, Russia, and Banks Island, Canada, and wintering in North America. The Wrangel Island population is composed of 2 subpopulations from a sympatric breeding colony but separate wintering areas, whereas the Banks Island population shares a sympatric wintering area in California, USA, with one of the Wrangel Island subpopulations. The Wrangel Island colony represents the last major snow goose population in Russia and has fluctuated considerably since 1970, whereas the Banks Island population has more than doubled. The reasons for these changes are unclear, but hypotheses include independent population demographics (survival and recruitment) and immigration and emigration among breeding or wintering populations. These demographic and movement patterns have important ecological and management implications for understanding goose population structure, harvest of admixed populations, and gene flow among populations with separate breeding or wintering areas. From 1993 to 1996, we neckbanded molting birds at their breeding colonies and resighted birds on the wintering grounds. We used multistate mark-recapture models to evaluate apparent survival rates, resighting rates, winter fidelity, and potential exchange among these populations. We also compared the utility of face stain in Wrangel Island breeding geese as a predictor of their wintering area. Our results showed similar apparent survival rates between subpopulations of Wrangel Island snow geese and lower apparent survival, but higher emigration, for the Banks Island birds. Males had lower apparent survival than females, most likely due to differences in neckband loss. Transition between wintering areas was low (<3%), with equal movement between northern and southern wintering areas for Wrangel Island birds and little evidence of exchange between the Banks and northern Wrangel Island

  9. Practical operational implementation of Teton Pass avalanche monitoring infrasound system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-01

    Highway snow avalanche forecasting programs typically rely on weather and field observations to make road closure and hazard : evaluations. Recently, infrasonic avalanche monitoring technology has been developed for practical use near Teton Pass, WY ...

  10. Effects of avian cholera on survival of Lesser Snow geese Anser caerulescens: An experimental approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel, Michael D.; Takekawa, John Y.; Baranyuk, Vasily V.; Orthmeyer, Dennis L.

    1999-01-01

    Avian cholera, caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida, is one of the most important diseases affecting waterfowl in North America but little is known about the epizootiology of this disease or its impacts on annual survival rates. We ringed Lesser Snow Geese Anser caerulescens nesting at Wrangel Island, Russia and Banks Island, Canada with metal rings and individually coded plastic neck-collars or radio-transmitters to determine survival, movement and cause of death. We vaccinated half of the neck-collared and radiotagged geese to provide protection from avian cholera for up to one year following ringing and thus experimentally determine the impacts of this disease on survival. We found that vaccination did not reduce short-term survival of the experimental birds, compared with control geese. Neck-collared geese vaccinated in 1993 at Wrangel Island had higher survival during winter 1993–94 than control birds. In contrast, we found similar survival during winter 1994–95 between vaccinated and control geese neck-collared in 1994 at Wrangel and Banks Islands. Survival of radiotagged geese on wintering areas during 1994–95 was consistent with the vaccination versus control results for neck-collared geese during the same winter. However, we found that radiotagged geese that were vaccinated had better survival than control geese during winter 1995–96. We believe that harvest and avian cholera are the two principal causes of mortality for Lesser Snow Geese wintering in the Pacific Flyway and that avian cholera may be one of the factors affecting these populations.

  11. Avalanche hazard and control in Kazakhstan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. P. Blagoveshchensky

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In Kazakhstan, area of 124 thousand km2 is prone to the avalanche hazard. Avalanches are released down in mountain regions situated along the eastern boundary of Kazakhstan. Systematic studies of avalanches here were started in 1958 by explorer I.S. Sosedov; later on, I.V. Seversky continued these investigations in Institute of Geography of the Kazakh Soviet Republic. Actually, he founded the Kazakh school of the avalanche studies. In 1970–1980s, five snow-avalanche stations operated in Kazakhstan: two in Il’ Alatau, two in Zhetysu Alatau, and one in the Altai. At the present time, only two stations and two snow-avalanche posts operate, and all of them are located in Il’ Alatau.Since 1951 to 2013, 75 avalanches took place in Kazakhstan, releases of them caused significant damages. For this period 172 people happened to be under avalanches, among them 86 perished. Large avalanche catastrophes causing human victims and destructions took place in Altai in 1977 and in Karatau in 1990. In spring of 1966, only in Il’ Alatau avalanches destroyed more 600 ha of mature fir (coniferous forest, and the total area of forest destroyed here by avalanches amounts to 2677 ha or 7% of the total forest area.For 48 years of the avalanche observations, there were 15 winters with increased avalanche activity in the river Almatinka basin when total volume of released snow exceeded annual mean value of 147 thousand m3. During this period, number of days with winter avalanches changed from three (in season of 1973/1974 to 28 (1986/1987, the average for a year is 16 days for a season. Winter with the total volume of snow 1300 thousand m3 occur once in 150 years. Individual avalanches with maximal volume of 350 thousand m3 happen once in 80 years.Preventive avalanche releases aimed at protection of roads and settlements are used in Kazakhstan since 1974. These precautions are taken in Il’ Alatau, Altai, and on Kalbinsky Range. Avalanches are released with the

  12. Determining avalanche modelling input parameters using terrestrial laser scanning technology

    OpenAIRE

    Prokop, A.; Schön, P.; Singer, F.; Pulfer, G.; Naaim, M.; Thibert, E.

    2013-01-01

    International audience; In dynamic avalanche modelling, data about the volumes and areas of the snow released, mobilized and deposited are key input parameters, as well as the fracture height. The fracture height can sometimes be measured in the field, but it is often difficult to access the starting zone due to difficult or dangerous terrain and avalanche hazards. More complex is determining the areas and volumes of snow involved in an avalanche. Such calculations require high-resolution spa...

  13. Experimental investigation on steady granular flows interacting with an obstacle down an inclined channel: study of the dead zone upstream from the obstacle. Application to interaction between dense snow avalanches and defence structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Faug

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available An experimental investigation with dry granular flows passing over an obstacle down a rough inclined channel has been performed. The aim is to improve our understanding of the interaction between dense snow avalanches and defence structures. Specific attention was directed to the study of the zone of influence upstream from the obstacle, linked to the formation of a dead zone. The dead zone length L was systematically measured as a function of the obstacle height H and the channel inclination θ, for several discharges. In a whole range of channel inclinations, all the data are shown to collapse into a single curve when properly scaled. The scaling is based on the introduction of a theoretical deposit length (depending on H, θ and the internal friction angle of the material, φ and a Froude number of the flow depending on the obstacle height.

  14. Numerical run-out modelling used for reassessment of existing permanent avalanche paths in the Krkonose Mts., Czechia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blahut, Jan; Klimes, Jan; Balek, Jan; Taborik, Petr; Juras, Roman; Pavlasek, Jiri

    2015-04-01

    Run-out modelling of snow avalanches is being widely applied in high mountain areas worldwide. This study presents application of snow avalanche run-out calculation applied to mid-mountain ranges - the Krkonose, Jeseniky and Kralicky Sneznik Mountains. All mentioned mountain ranges lie in the northern part of Czechia, close to the border with Poland. Its highest peak reaches only 1602 m a.s.l. However, climatic conditions and regular snowpack presence are the reason why these mountain ranges experience considerable snow avalanche activity every year, sometimes resulting in injuries or even fatalities. Within the aim of an applied project dealing with snow avalanche hazard prediction a re-assessment of permanent snow avalanche paths has been performed based on extensive statistics covering period from 1961/62 till present. On each avalanche path different avalanches with different return periods were modelled using the RAMMS code. As a result, an up-to-date snow avalanche hazard map was prepared.

  15. Towards an automated detection of avalanche deposits using their directional properties

    OpenAIRE

    Bühler, Y; Hüni, A; Kellenberger, T W; Itten, K I

    2009-01-01

    Snow avalanches killed more people in the Swiss alpine area during the past decades than any other natural hazard. To further improve the avalanche prediction and the protection of people and infrastructure, information about the occurrence and the distribution of avalanche activity is crucial. Nevertheless this information is missing for large parts of the Alpine area. The surface roughness of avalanche deposits differs considerably from the adjacent undisturbed snow cover and is an impor...

  16. Characteristics of avalanche accidents and a overview of avalanche equipment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateusz Biela

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Avalanches are one of the most spectacular phenomena which may occur in the mountains. Unfortunately they are often caused by humans and pose for him a big danger. In the Polish Tatras alone they represent 18% of all causes of death among 1996-2013. One fourth of the people caught by an avalanche dies, and their chances of survival depends on the depth of burial, burial time, the presence of an air pocket and the degree of injuries. The most common cause of death is asphyxiation, the next is injuries and hypothermia is the rarest cause of death. The fate of the buried people depends on their equipment such as avalanche transceiver, ABS backpack and AvaLung, and also from the equipment of the people who are seeking (avalanche probes, avalanche transceiver and shovels, which has been proven in practice and research.

  17. A concept for optimizing avalanche rescue strategies using a Monte Carlo simulation approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paal, Peter; Schweizer, Jürg

    2017-01-01

    Recent technical and strategical developments have increased the survival chances for avalanche victims. Still hundreds of people, primarily recreationists, get caught and buried by snow avalanches every year. About 100 die each year in the European Alps–and many more worldwide. Refining concepts for avalanche rescue means to optimize the procedures such that the survival chances are maximized in order to save the greatest possible number of lives. Avalanche rescue includes several parameters related to terrain, natural hazards, the people affected by the event, the rescuers, and the applied search and rescue equipment. The numerous parameters and their complex interaction make it unrealistic for a rescuer to take, in the urgency of the situation, the best possible decisions without clearly structured, easily applicable decision support systems. In order to analyse which measures lead to the best possible survival outcome in the complex environment of an avalanche accident, we present a numerical approach, namely a Monte Carlo simulation. We demonstrate the application of Monte Carlo simulations for two typical, yet tricky questions in avalanche rescue: (1) calculating how deep one should probe in the first passage of a probe line depending on search area, and (2) determining for how long resuscitation should be performed on a specific patient while others are still buried. In both cases, we demonstrate that optimized strategies can be calculated with the Monte Carlo method, provided that the necessary input data are available. Our Monte Carlo simulations also suggest that with a strict focus on the "greatest good for the greatest number", today's rescue strategies can be further optimized in the best interest of patients involved in an avalanche accident. PMID:28467434

  18. A concept for optimizing avalanche rescue strategies using a Monte Carlo simulation approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiweger, Ingrid; Genswein, Manuel; Paal, Peter; Schweizer, Jürg

    2017-01-01

    Recent technical and strategical developments have increased the survival chances for avalanche victims. Still hundreds of people, primarily recreationists, get caught and buried by snow avalanches every year. About 100 die each year in the European Alps-and many more worldwide. Refining concepts for avalanche rescue means to optimize the procedures such that the survival chances are maximized in order to save the greatest possible number of lives. Avalanche rescue includes several parameters related to terrain, natural hazards, the people affected by the event, the rescuers, and the applied search and rescue equipment. The numerous parameters and their complex interaction make it unrealistic for a rescuer to take, in the urgency of the situation, the best possible decisions without clearly structured, easily applicable decision support systems. In order to analyse which measures lead to the best possible survival outcome in the complex environment of an avalanche accident, we present a numerical approach, namely a Monte Carlo simulation. We demonstrate the application of Monte Carlo simulations for two typical, yet tricky questions in avalanche rescue: (1) calculating how deep one should probe in the first passage of a probe line depending on search area, and (2) determining for how long resuscitation should be performed on a specific patient while others are still buried. In both cases, we demonstrate that optimized strategies can be calculated with the Monte Carlo method, provided that the necessary input data are available. Our Monte Carlo simulations also suggest that with a strict focus on the "greatest good for the greatest number", today's rescue strategies can be further optimized in the best interest of patients involved in an avalanche accident.

  19. Anthropogenic effect on avalanche and debris flow activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Sokratov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents examples of the change in snow avalanches and debris flows activity due to the anthropogenic pressure on vegetation and relief. The changes in dynamical characteristics of selected snow avalanches and debris flows due to the anthropogenic activity are quantified. The conclusion is made that the anthropogenic effects on the snow avalanches and debris flows activity are more pronounced than the possible effects of the climate change. The necessity is expressed on the unavoidable changes of the natural environment as the result of a construction and of use of the constructed infrastructure to be account for in corresponding planning of the protection measures.

  20. Effects of marine snow and muddy terrigenous sediments on the survival of hard coral recruits

    OpenAIRE

    Fabricius, K. E.; Wild, C.; Wolanski, E.; Abele, Doris

    2003-01-01

    Sedimentation is a major cause of mortality in scleractinian coralrecruits. In this study, we compared the effects of muddy coastalsediments, with and without enrichment by "marine snow" on thesurvivorship of recruits of the hard coral Acropora willisae. Transparentexopolymer particles (TEP) were measured as characteristiccomponents of marine snow using a staining method (Passow&Alldredge1995). Four-week old recruits were exposed to (i) muddy coastal sediments, (ii) TEP, (iii) TEP-enriched mu...

  1. Catastrophic avalanches and methods of their control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. A. Volodicheva

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Definition of such phenomenon as “catastrophic avalanche” is presented in this arti-cle. Several situations with releases of catastrophic avalanches in mountains of Caucasus, Alps, and Central Asia are investigated. Materials of snow-avalanche ob-servations performed since 1960s at the Elbrus station of the Lomonosov Moscow State University (Central Caucasus were used for this work. Complex-valued measures of engineering protection demonstrating different efficiencies are consid-ered.

  2. Climate change, phenology, and habitat degradation: drivers of gosling body condition and juvenile survival in lesser snow geese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubry, Lise M; Rockwell, Robert F; Cooch, Evan G; Brook, Rodney W; Mulder, Christa P H; Koons, David N

    2013-01-01

    Nesting migratory geese are among the dominant herbivores in (sub) arctic environments, which have undergone unprecedented increases in temperatures and plant growing days over the last three decades. Within these regions, the Hudson Bay Lowlands are home to an overabundant breeding population of lesser snow geese that has dramatically damaged the ecosystem, with cascading effects at multiple trophic levels. In some areas the overabundance of geese has led to a drastic reduction in available forage. In addition, warming of this region has widened the gap between goose migration timing and plant green-up, and this 'mismatch' between goose and plant phenologies could in turn affect gosling development. The dual effects of climate change and habitat quality on gosling body condition and juvenile survival are not known, but are critical for predicting population growth and related degradation of (sub) arctic ecosystems. To address these issues, we used information on female goslings marked and measured between 1978 and 2005 (4125 individuals). Goslings that developed within and near the traditional center of the breeding colony experienced the effects of long-term habitat degradation: body condition and juvenile survival declined over time. In newly colonized areas, however, we observed the opposite pattern (increase in body condition and juvenile survival). In addition, warmer than average winters and summers resulted in lower gosling body condition and first-year survival. Too few plant 'growing days' in the spring relative to hatch led to similar results. Our assessment indicates that geese are recovering from habitat degradation by moving to newly colonized locales. However, a warmer climate could negatively affect snow goose populations in the long-run, but it will depend on which seasons warm the fastest. These antagonistic mechanisms will require further study to help predict snow goose population dynamics and manage the trophic cascade they induce. © 2012

  3. GIS-aided avalanche warning in Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaedicke, Christian; Syre, Egil; Sverdrup-Thygeson, Kjetil

    2014-05-01

    Avalanche warning for large areas requires the processing of an extensive amount of data. Information relating to the three basic requirements for avalanche warning - knowledge of terrain, the snow conditions, and the weather - needs to be available for the forecaster. The information is highly variable in time. The form and visualization of the data is often decisive for the use by the avalanche forecasters and therefore also for the quality of the produced forecasts. Avalanche warnings can be issued at different scales from national to regional and down to object specific. Often the same warning service is working at different scales and for different clients requiring a flexible and scalable approach. The workflow for producing avalanche forecasts must be extremely efficient - all the way from acquiring observation data, evaluating the situation, down to publishing the new forecast. In this study it has been an aim to include the entire workflow in a single web application. A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) solution was chosen to include all data needed by the forecaster for the avalanche danger evaluation. This interactive system of maps features background information for the entire country, such as topographic maps, slope steepness, aspect, hill shades and satellite images. In each avalanche warning area, all active avalanche paths are plotted including information on wind exposure. Each avalanche path is linked to a webpage with more details, such as fall height, release area elevation and pictures. The avalanche path webpage also includes information on the object at risk e.g. buildings, roads, or other objects. Thus, the forecaster can easily get an overview on the overall situation and focus on single avalanche paths to generate detailed avalanche warnings for the client.

  4. The Safran-Crocus-Mepra results and avalanches in Iceland 2001-2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haraldsdóttir, S.; Ólafsson, H.; Durand, Y.; Giraud, G.; Mérindol, L.

    2003-04-01

    Numerical models, Safran, Crocus and Mepra (SCM) have been developed by Météo-France to predict the evolution of the snow pack and its stability with respect to avalanches. The Safran-Crocus models have been adapted to Icelandic weather conditions, where most avalanches are caused by heavy snow precipitation in strong winds. The adapted SCM-models were run operationally during the winter 2001-2002 for testing the avalanche danger prediction, knowing that the models did not take into account the transport of snow by wind. The performance of the models was analysed during 19 avalanche cycles, each consisting of 2-21 recorded avalanches. First indicators of avalanche danger in the models are weak snow layers, leading to moderate, or in most of the 19 cases, high danger of avalanches triggered by human activities. In 5 of these 19 avalanche cycles, the models predicted moderate or high natural avalanche danger. Besides the detection of weak layers the models provide an estimation of the amount of snow available for transport by wind. This together with the fact that the recorded mean wind speed exceeded 15 m/s in all cases make it possible to construct natural avalanche prediction criteria, where the key parameters from the models are the stability of the snow pack and an indication of the availability of snow for transport by wind. Used with the wind speed from observations or numerical weather prediction models the effect of blowing snow can be estimated. As a result the models turn out to be a very useful tool for predicting avalanche danger when considering simultaneously the blowing snow and its potential accumulation in the avalanche starting zones.

  5. Snow molds: A group of fungi that prevail under snow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Naoyuki

    2009-01-01

    Snow molds are a group of fungi that attack dormant plants under snow. In this paper, their survival strategies are illustrated with regard to adaptation to the unique environment under snow. Snow molds consist of diverse taxonomic groups and are divided into obligate and facultative fungi. Obligate snow molds exclusively prevail during winter with or without snow, whereas facultative snow molds can thrive even in the growing season of plants. Snow molds grow at low temperatures in habitats where antagonists are practically absent, and host plants deteriorate due to inhibited photosynthesis under snow. These features characterize snow molds as opportunistic parasites. The environment under snow represents a habitat where resources available are limited. There are two contrasting strategies for resource utilization, i.e., individualisms and collectivism. Freeze tolerance is also critical for them to survive freezing temperatures, and several mechanisms are illustrated. Finally, strategies to cope with annual fluctuations in snow cover are discussed in terms of predictability of the habitat.

  6. EXPERIENCE WITH THE ANTI-AVALANCHE STRUCTURES IN THE ELBRUS REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. N. Volodicheva

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Elbrus region is characterized by the highest degree of avalanche danger, and now the intensive development of winter tourism is coming there. The plan of building protection against avalanches was created here. The snowkeeping shields were built on southern slopes. In winter of 2009, after intensive snowfalls, the shields were partial covered with avalanche snow, but they did not let the bigger avalanches to form. The builders did not consider the complexity of avalanche structure and made some mistakes in the sequence of shields building. The distribution of snow cover on slopes, the dominant avalanche genetic types that define the volume, speed, and the power of blow and the range of emission must be considered during the designing and building of avalanche protection systems. The experience of MSU works must be used during the building of avalanche protection systems in others places of Elbrus region.

  7. Assessing the importance of terrain parameters on glide avalanche release

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peitzsch, Erich H.; Hendrikx, Jordy; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2014-01-01

    Glide snow avalanches are dangerous and difficult to predict. Despite recent research there is still a lack of understanding regarding the controls of glide avalanche release. Glide avalanches often occur in similar terrain or the same locations annually and observations suggest that topography may be critical. Thus, to gain an understanding of the terrain component of these types of avalanches we examined terrain parameters associated with glide avalanche release as well as areas of consistent glide crack formation but no subsequent avalanches. Glide avalanche occurrences visible from the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor in Glacier National Park, Montana from 2003-2013 were investigated using an avalanche database derived of daily observations each year from April 1 to June 15. This yielded 192 glide avalanches in 53 distinct avalanche paths. Each avalanche occurrence was digitized in a GIS using satellite, oblique, and aerial imagery as reference. Topographical parameters such as area, slope, aspect, elevation and elevation were then derived for the entire dataset utilizing GIS tools and a 10m DEM. Land surface substrate and surface geology were derived from National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring maps and U.S. Geological Survey surface geology maps, respectively. Surface roughness and glide factor were calculated using a four level classification index. . Then, each avalanche occurrence was aggregated to general avalanche release zones and the frequencies were compared. For this study, glide avalanches released in elevations ranging from 1300 to 2700 m with a mean aspect of 98 degrees (east) and a mean slope angle of 38 degrees. The mean profile curvature for all glide avalanches was 0.15 and a plan curvature of -0.01, suggesting a fairly linear surface (i.e. neither convex nor concave). The glide avalanches occurred in mostly bedrock made up of dolomite and limestone slabs and talus deposits with very few occurring in alpine meadows. However, not all glide

  8. Synoptic atmospheric circulation patterns controlling avalanche activity in central Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancock, Holt; Prokop, Alexander; Eckerstorfer, Markus; Hendrikx, Jordy

    2017-04-01

    Central Svalbard's avalanche activity is primarily controlled by the local and synoptic scale meteorological conditions characterizing the region's winter storms. Previous work has described Svalbard's direct-action snow climate as High-Arctic maritime based on the unique meteorological conditions and resulting snowpack stratigraphy observed in the region. To gain a better understanding of the broad-scale spatial controls on regional avalanche activity in Svalbard, this work investigates synoptic atmospheric circulation patterns associated with observed avalanche cycles during the 2007/2008 to 2015/2016 winter seasons. We use avalanche observations systematically recorded as part of the Cryoslope Svalbard project from 2007-2010 in combination with additional observations from notable avalanche events from 2010-2016 to develop a regional avalanche cycle history. We then compare the timing of these avalanche cycles to an existing daily calendar of synoptic types and NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis datasets to characterize the synoptic atmospheric circulation patterns influencing this avalanche activity. Our results indicate regional avalanche cycles are driven by cyclonic activity in the seas surrounding Svalbard under synoptic circulation patterns associated with warm air advection and moisture transport from lower latitudes to Svalbard. The character and spatial distribution of observed avalanche activity can be differentiated by atmospheric circulation type: mid-winter slushflow and wet slab avalanche cycles, for example, are typically associated with meridional southerly flow over the North Atlantic bringing warm air and heavy precipitation to Svalbard. Such analyses can provide a foundation upon which to improve the understanding of central Svalbard's snow climate to facilitate regional avalanche forecasting efforts.

  9. Forecasting for natural avalanches during spring opening of Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reardon, Blase; Lundy, Chris

    2004-01-01

    The annual spring opening of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park presents a unique avalanche forecasting challenge. The highway traverses dozens of avalanche paths mid-track in a 23-kilometer section that crosses the Continental Divide. Workers removing seasonal snow and avalanche debris are exposed to paths that can produce avalanches of destructive class 4. The starting zones for most slide paths are within proposed Wilderness, and explosive testing or control are not currently used. Spring weather along the Divide is highly variable; rain-on-snow events are common, storms can bring several feet of new snow as late as June, and temperature swings can be dramatic. Natural avalanches - dry and wet slab, dry and wet loose, and glide avalanches - present a wide range of hazards and forecasting issues. This paper summarizes the forecasting program instituted in 2002 for the annual snow removal operations. It focuses on tools and techniques for forecasting natural wet snow avalanches by incorporating two case studies, including a widespread climax wet slab cycle in 2003. We examine weather and snowpack conditions conducive to wet snow avalanches, indicators for instability, and suggest a conceptual model for wet snow stability in a northern intermountain snow climate.

  10. Identification and classification of weak layers in the snow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. S. Klimenko

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper considers the role of vertical snowpack structure for snow avalanche formation and describes the idea of «structural instability». It aims at enhancing the knowledge about transition mechanisms between stable and unstable states of snowpack and snow avalanches release. Structural instability implies the presence of weak layer or interface in vertical snowpack profile. Type of snow failure and avalanche characteristics are completely defined by snowpack state and properties. Thus wide variety of genetic types of snow avalanches indicates the existence of structural instability of different types. The detailed analysis of scientific publications and field observations led to the creation of a new classification of weak layers. The layers are classified basing on their cohesiveness, the causes of initial disturbance and internal and external processes which form a weak layer. The classification is a necessary part of global method which allows assessing snowpack stability using modern physical models of snow cover evolution.

  11. Snow Fun.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finlay, Joy

    1988-01-01

    Describes several learning activities that can be done with children in the snow. Includes shake paintings, snow sculpture, snow "snakes," snow-ball contests, an igloo experience, and how to make snowshoes. (TW)

  12. Negative feedback avalanche diode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itzler, Mark Allen (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A single-photon avalanche detector is disclosed that is operable at wavelengths greater than 1000 nm and at operating speeds greater than 10 MHz. The single-photon avalanche detector comprises a thin-film resistor and avalanche photodiode that are monolithically integrated such that little or no additional capacitance is associated with the addition of the resistor.

  13. Avalanche Debris Detection Using Satellite- and Drone Based Radar and Optical Remote Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckerstorfer, M.; Malnes, E.; Vickers, H.; Solbø, S. A.; Tøllefsen, A.

    2014-12-01

    The mountainous fjord landscape in the county of Troms, around its capital Tromsø in Northern Norway is prone to high avalanche activity during the snow season. Large avalanches pose a hazard to infrastructure, such as buildings and roads, located between the steep mountainsides and the fjords. A prolonged cold spell during January and February 2014 was followed by rapid new-snow loading during March 2014, inducing a significant avalanche cycle with many spontaneous, size D4 avalanches that affected major transport veins. During and shortly after the avalanche cycle of March 2014, we obtained 11 Radarsat-2 Ultrafine mode scenes, chosen according to reported avalanche activity. We further collected four Radarsat-2 ScanSAR mode scenes and two Landsat-8 scenes covering the entire county of Troms. For one particular avalanche, we obtained a drone-based orthophoto, from which a DEM of the avalanche debris surface was derived, using structure-from-motion photogrammetry. This enabled us to calculate the debris volume accurately. We detected avalanche debris in the radar images visually, by applying two detection algorithms that make use of the increased backscatter in avalanche debris. This backscatter increase is a product of increased snow water equivalent and surface roughness, roughly of the order of 3 dB. In addition, we applied a multi-temporal approach by repeatedly detecting avalanche debris at different acquisition times, as well as a multi-sensor approach, covering similar areas with different sensors. This multi-temporal and multi-sensor approach enabled us to map the spatial extent and magnitude of the March 2014 avalanche cycle in the county Troms. With ESA's Sentinel-1 satellite, providing high-resolution, large swath radar images with a short repeat cycle, a complete avalanche record for a forecasting region could become feasible. In this first test season, we detected more than 550 avalanches that were released during a one-month period over an area of

  14. Dealing with the white death: avalanche risk management for traffic routes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rheinberger, Christoph M; Bründl, Michael; Rhyner, Jakob

    2009-01-01

    This article discusses mitigation strategies to protect traffic routes from snow avalanches. Up to now, mitigation of snow avalanches on many roads and railways in the Alps has relied on avalanche sheds, which require large initial investments resulting in high opportunity costs. Therefore, avalanche risk managers have increasingly adopted organizational mitigation measures such as warning systems and closure policies instead. The effectiveness of these measures is, however, greatly dependent on human decisions. In this article, we present a method for optimizing avalanche mitigation for traffic routes in terms of both their risk reduction impact and their net benefit to society. First, we introduce a generic framework for assessing avalanche risk and for quantifying the impact of mitigation. This allows for sound cost-benefit comparisons between alternative mitigation strategies. Second, we illustrate the framework with a case study from Switzerland. Our findings suggest that site-specific characteristics of avalanche paths, as well as the economic importance of a traffic route, are decisive for the choice of optimal mitigation strategies. On routes endangered by few avalanche paths with frequent avalanche occurrences, structural measures are most efficient, whereas reliance on organizational mitigation is often the most appropriate strategy on routes endangered by many paths with infrequent or fuzzy avalanche risk. Finally, keeping a traffic route open may be very important for tourism or the transport industry. Hence, local economic value may promote the use of a hybrid strategy that combines organizational and structural measures to optimize the resource allocation of avalanche risk mitigation.

  15. Surviving an Avalanche of Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    English, Lyn D.

    2013-01-01

    The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) continues to emphasize the importance of early statistical learning; data analysis and probability was the Council's professional development "Focus of the Year" for 2007-2008. Such a focus is needed, especially given the results of the statistics items from the 2003 NAEP. As…

  16. DUE AvalRS: Remote Sensing Derive Avalanche Inventory Data for Decision Support and Hind-Cast After Avalanche Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frauenfelder, Regula; Kronholm, Kalle; Solberg, Rune; Larsen, Siri Oyen; Salberg, Arnt-Borre; Larsen, Jan Otto; Bjordal, Heidi

    2010-12-01

    Each year, snow avalanches hit populated areas and parts of the transport network in the Norwegian mountain regions, leading to loss of lives and the damaging of buildings and infrastructure. We present the results of a feasibility study on the operation of a service providing the National Public Roads Administration (NPRA) with hind-cast avalanche inventory data on a local-to-regional scale during the course of the winter season, and as soon as possible after major avalanche events. We have explored the use of imagery from high-resolution and very-high-resolution space-borne satellites applying manual mapping and automated image segmentation.

  17. Experimental study of the influence of protection structures on avalanches and impact pressures

    OpenAIRE

    Caccamo, P.

    2012-01-01

    In the frame of snow avalanche protection, the optimisation of defence structure design depends on the understanding of the flow dynamics and on a exhaustive knowledge of the flow-obstacle interaction. The study presented here utilises a mainly experimental approach. Small-scale laboratory tests were combined with field measurements and observations. Dense snow avalanches are modelled by granular materials. Dry cohesionless and mono-dispersed glass beads are released down an inclined...

  18. Meteorological variables associated with deep slab avalanches on persistent weak layers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marienthal, Alex; Hendrikx, Jordy; Birkeland, Karl; Irvine, Kathryn M.

    2014-01-01

    Deep slab avalanches are a particularly challenging avalanche forecasting problem. These avalanches are typically difficult to trigger, yet when they are triggered they tend to propagate far and result in large and destructive avalanches. For this work we define deep slab avalanches as those that fail on persistent weak layers deeper than 0.9m (3 feet), and that occur after February 1st. We utilized a 44-year record of avalanche control and meteorological data from Bridger Bowl Ski Area to test the usefulness of meteorological variables for predicting deep slab avalanches. As in previous studies, we used data from the days preceding deep slab cycles, but we also considered meteorological metrics over the early months of the season. We utilized classification trees for our analyses. Our results showed warmer temperatures in the prior twenty-four hours and more loading over the seven days before days with deep slab avalanches on persistent weak layers. In line with previous research, extended periods of above freezing temperatures led to days with deep wet slab avalanches on persistent weak layers. Seasons with either dry or wet avalanches on deep persistent weak layers typically had drier early months, and often had some significant snow depth prior to those dry months. This paper provides insights for ski patrollers, guides, and avalanche forecasters who struggle to forecast deep slab avalanches on persistent weak layers late in the season.

  19. Sediment Transport by Spring Avalanches in the Southern Swiss Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egloff, J. M.; Hunziker, M.; Moore, J. R.; Christen, M.

    2010-12-01

    Dense wet-snow avalanches breaking through to the base of the snow pack or overriding snow-free surfaces can entrain basal material and act as important agents of sediment transport in steep Alpine catchments. As part of an ongoing study, we investigated two debris fans in the Matter Valley of southern Switzerland during spring 2009 and 2010, with emphasis on quantifying avalanche sediment transport. Deposited debris ranged from soil parcels and plant material to cobbles and boulders greater than 1 m3. Large boulders were generally angular and fresh with clear signs of recent impacts. The seasonal sediment load transported by avalanches was estimated at one fan by sampling the debris content within a number of representative areas, and then extrapolating the cumulative volume. Results reveal a total transported sediment volume of ~150 m3 in 2009 and ~15 m3 in 2010, which likely reflects varying snowfall and avalanche frequency between years. When distributed over the deposition area on the fan, these results imply an average accumulated sediment thickness of 12 mm in 2009 and 3 mm in 2010. Calculated catchment-wide erosion rates are ~0.1 mm/yr for 2009 and ~0.01 mm/yr for 2010. Cross-sections through avalanche debris revealed that transported sediment generally resides on top of the snow surface. As the avalanches melt, entrained sediment is set down gently, often resulting in precariously balanced boulders and rows of blocks perched on the walls of the fan’s channels. In flat lying areas, snowmelt resulted in sparse sediment deposits with no clear structure or sorting. Observations show that the fan surface is usually protected from erosion by snow and older avalanche deposits, which provide a smooth gliding plane for new events. Within the bedrock gulley adjacent to the fan, and in the avalanche source region above, signs of abrasive wear were evident on exposed bedrock surfaces. These include rounded and scoured bedrock, fresh signs of boulder impacts, and

  20. Vulnerability assessment in avalanche hazardous areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frigo, B.; De Biagi, V.; Chiaia, B.

    2012-04-01

    Until a few decades ago, damages and human losses related to the avalanche risk represented only a small part of the destructive effects produced each year by natural events. Nowadays, on the contrary, the situation has considerably changed due to growing of the built-up areas and human presence in the mountain environment: this fact increases the current avalanche risk and puts snow avalanches and hydro-geological risks (floods, landslides, rock falls, etc…) at the same importance level. To mitigate the effects, Authorities provide both specific policies for urban development and mountain land use and simple but reliable methodologies to define the avalanche risk. As is well known, risk can be defined as the product of three factors: the environmental danger P (probability that a given phenomenon with its catastrophic intensity occurs in a specific area and time), the vulnerability V (degree of loss of one or more elements by a natural phenomenon of a known magnitude) and the exposure E (measure of the exposed value for each vulnerable element). A novel approach for the evaluation of the "Vulnerability factor" of a new or existing building under avalanche hazard by considering its structural (materials, strength and robustness, etc…) and architectural (shape, exposure, etc…) peculiarities is presented. A real avalanche event occurred in December, 2008 in Aosta Valley, which caused the total collapse of a building is taken as an example for tesing the effectiveness of the proposed risk assessment. By means of photographical analysis on undamaged parts, local surveys and debris arrangement, the impact pressure and the collapse dynamics are back-analyzed. The results are commented and comparisons between the damages and Vulnerability factor are made.

  1. Formation of levees, troughs and elevated channels by avalanches on erodible slopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Andrew; Viroulet, Sylvain; Kokelaar, Peter; Gray, Nico

    Snow avalanches are typically initiated on marginally stable slopes with a layer of fresh snow that may easily be incorporated into the avalanche. The net balance of erosion and deposition of snow determines whether an avalanche grows, starves away or propagates steadily. We present the results of small scale experiments in which particles are released on a rough inclined plane coated with a static erodible layer of the same grains. For thick static layers on steep slopes the initial avalanche grows rapidly in size by entraining grains. On shallower slopes an elevated channel forms and material is eventually brought to rest due to a greater rate of deposition than erosion. On steep slopes with thinner erodible layers it is possible to generate avalanches that have a perfect balance between erosion and deposition, leaving a constant width trough with levees. We then show, by combining Pouliquen & Forterre (2002)'s friction law with Gray & Edwards (2014)'s depth-averaged μ (I) -rheology, that it is possible to develop a simple 2D shallow water-like avalanche model that qualitatively captures all of the experimental behaviours. Hence this model may have important practical implications for modeling the initiation, growth and decay of snow avalanches for hazard risk assessment. NERC Grants NE/E003206/1 and NE/K003011/1 and EPSRC Grants EP/I019189/1 and EP/K00428X/1.

  2. Characterizing wet slab and glide slab avalanche occurrence along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peitzsch, Erich H.; Hendrikx, Jordy; Fagre, Daniel B.; Reardon, Blase

    2010-01-01

    Wet slab and glide slab snow avalanches are dangerous and yet can be particularly difficult to predict. Both wet slab and glide slab avalanches are thought to depend upon free water moving through the snowpack but are driven by different processes. In Glacier National Park, Montana, both types of avalanches can occur in the same year and affect the Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTSR). Both wet slab and glide slab avalanches along the GTSR from 2003-2010 are investigated. Meteorological data from two high-elevation weather stations and one SNOTEL site are used in conjunction with an avalanche database and snowpit profiles. These data were used to characterize years when only glide slab avalanches occurred and those years when both glide slab and wet slab avalanches occurred. Results of 168 glide slab and 57 wet slab avalanches along the GTSR suggest both types of avalanche occurrence depend on sustained warming periods with intense solar radiation (or rain on snow) to produce free water in the snowpack. Differences in temperature and net radiation metrics between wet slab and glide slab avalanches emerge as one moves from one day to seven days prior to avalanche occurrence. On average, a more rapid warming precedes wet slab avalanche occurrence. Glide slab and wet slab avalanches require a similar amount of net radiation. Wet slab avalanches do not occur every year, while glide slab avalanches occur annually. These results aim to enhance understanding of the required meteorological conditions for wet slab and glide slab avalanches and aid in improved wet snow avalanche forecasting.

  3. Avalanche Accidents Causing Fatalities: Are They Any Different in the Summer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasquier, Mathieu; Hugli, Olivier; Kottmann, Alexandre; Techel, Frank

    2017-03-01

    Pasquier, Mathieu, Olivier Hugli, Alexandre Kottmann, and Frank Techel. Avalanche accidents causing fatalities: are they any different in the summer? High Alt Med Biol. 18:67-72, 2017. This retrospective study investigated the epidemiology of summer avalanche accidents that occurred in Switzerland and caused at least one fatality between 1984 and 2014. Summer avalanche accidents were defined as those that occurred between June 1st and October 31st. Summer avalanches caused 21 (4%) of the 482 avalanches with at least one fatality occurring during the study period, and 40 (6%) of the 655 fatalities. The number of completely buried victims per avalanche and the proportion of complete burials among trapped people were lower in summer than in winter. Nevertheless, the mean number of fatalities per avalanche was higher in summer than in winter: 1.9 ± 1.2 (standard deviation; range 1-6) versus 1.3 ± 0.9 (range 1-7; p accidents. Sixty-five percent of fully buried were found due to visual clues at the snow surface. Fatal summer avalanche accidents caused a higher mean number of fatalities per avalanche than winter avalanches, and those deaths resulted mostly from trauma. Rescue teams should anticipate managing polytrauma for victims in summer avalanche accidents rather than hypothermia or asphyxia; they should be trained in prehospital trauma life support and equipped accordingly to ensure efficient patient care.

  4. Avalanche situation in Turkey and back calculation of selected events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydin, A.; Bühler, Y.; Christen, M.; Gürer, I.

    2014-05-01

    In Turkey, an average of 24 people die in snow avalanches every year, mainly in the eastern part of Anatolia and in the eastern Black Sea region, where high-mountain ranges are close to the sea. The proportion of people killed in buildings is very high (87%), especially in comparison to other European countries and North America. In this paper we discuss avalanche occurrence, the climatic situation and historical avalanche events in Turkey; in addition, we identify bottlenecks and suggest solutions to tackle avalanche problems. Furthermore, we have applied the numerical avalanche simulation software RAMMS (rapid mass movements simulation) combined with a (digital elevation model) DEM-based potential release zone identification algorithm to analyze the catastrophic avalanche events in the villages of Üzengili (Bayburt province) in 1993 and Yaylaönü (Trabzon province) in 1981. The results demonstrate the value of such an approach for regions with poor avalanche databases, enabling the calculation of different scenarios and the estimation of run-out distances, impact pressure and flow height.

  5. High annual variability in reproductive success and survival of an Antarctic seabird, the snow petrel Pagodroma nivea : A 27-year study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chastel, O; Weimerskirch, H; Jouventin, P

    1993-05-01

    Demographic parameters were estimated for snow petrels Pagodroma nivea nesting at Pointe Géologie Archipelago, Adélie Land, Antarctica between 1963 and 1990; 21 years of data on adult survival and 27 years of data on breeding success are available. The average age of first return and first breeding were 8.1 and 9.9 years respectively and there was no signifcant difference between the sexes. The overall breeding success averaged 51.3% and was very variable between years (21-80%). Breeding failure was mostly due to incubation failure and annual breeding success was negatively correlated with average snow falls in October-November and October-March. Breeding frequency was very low, averaging 52% of seasons during a reproductive lifetime. Good quality sites, with high occupancy rate and high breeding success were few in the study plots. Poor years in 1966-1967, 1976-1977 and 1983-1984, with low breeding success, very low proportions of nets with breeding attempts and high numbers of non-breeders, occurred 1 year after large-scale El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. Snow petrels exhibited very low philopatry. Only 45 birds have been recovered in the study plots from a total of 1115 banded fledglings giving an estimated rate of return of 12.9% between fledging and 3 years old. Annual survival between 3 and 10 years was 91.4%. Annual adult survival (93.4%), though variable, was low during poor years of 1977-1978 and 1983-1984. Adult survival of males (94.7%) was not significantly different from that of females (93.9%). Over the study period, the population of Pointe Géologie was stable. Using the estimated parameters, a Leslie model gave a growth rate of 0.948%, which was probably compensated by immigration (5.7% per year). Restricted numbers of good-quality sites at the place of birth could have led young birds to prospect other colonies and could have selected low philopatry. High adult survival, strong site tenacity and capacity to spread breeding over a

  6. The geomorphological effect of cornice fall avalanches in the Longyeardalen valley, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Eckerstorfer

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The study of snow avalanches and their geomorphological effect in the periglacial parts of the cryosphere is important for enhanced geomorphological process understanding as well as hazard-related studies. Only a few field studies, and particularly few in the High Arctic, have quantified avalanche sedimentation. Snow avalanches are traditionally ranked behind rockfall in terms of their significance for mass-wasting processes of rockslopes. Cornice fall avalanches are at present the most dominant snow avalanche type at two slope systems, called Nybyen and Larsbreen, in the valley Longyeardalen in central Svalbard. Both slope systems are on northwest-facing lee slopes underneath a large summit plateau, with annual cornices forming on the top. High-frequency and magnitude cornice fall avalanching is observed by daily automatic time-lapse photography. In addition, rock debris sedimentation by cornice fall avalanches was measured directly in permanent sediment traps or by snow inventories. The results from a maximum of seven years of measurements in a total of 13 catchments show maximum mean rock debris sedimentation rates ranging from 8.2 to 38.7 kg m−2 at Nybyen, and from 0.8 to 55.4 kg m−2 at Larsbreen. Correspondingly, avalanche fan surfaces accreted from 2.6 to 8.8 mm yr−1 at Nybyen, and from 0.2 to 13.9 mm yr−1 at Larsbreen. This comparably efficient rockslope mass wasting is due to collapsing cornices producing cornice fall avalanches containing large amounts of rock debris throughout the entire winter. The rock debris of different origin stems from the plateau crests, the adjacent free rock face and the transport pathway, accumulating distinct avalanche fans at both slope systems. Cornice fall avalanche sedimentation also contributed to the development of a rock glacier at the Larsbreen site during the Holocene. We have recorded present maximum rockwall retreat rates of 0.9 mm yr−1 at Nybyen, but as much as 6.7 mm yr−1 at

  7. IFKIS - a basis for managing avalanche risk in settlements and on roads in Switzerland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Bründl

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available After the avalanche winter of 1999 in Switzerland, which caused 17 deaths and damage of over CHF 600 mill. in buildings and on roads, the project IFKIS, aimed at improving the basics of organizational measures (closure of roads, evacuation etc. in avalanche risk management, was initiated. The three main parts of the project were the development of a compulsory checklist for avalanche safety services, a modular education and training course program and an information system for safety services. The information system was developed in order to improve both the information flux between the national centre for avalanche forecasting, the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, and the local safety services on the one hand and the communication between avalanche safety services in the communities on the other hand. The results of this project make a valuable contribution to strengthening organizational measures in avalanche risk management and to closing the gaps, which became apparent during the avalanche winter of 1999. They are not restricted to snow avalanches but can also be adapted for dealing with other natural hazard processes and catastrophes.

  8. Does Avalanche Shovel Shape Affect Excavation Time: A Pilot Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt Schindelwig

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In Europe and North America, approximately 150 fatalities occur as a result of avalanches every year. However, it is unclear whether certain shovel shapes are more effective than others in snow removal during avalanche victim recovery. The objective was to determine the performance parameters with a developed standardized test using different shovel shapes and to determine sex-specific differences. Hence, several parameters were determined for clearing the snow from a snow filled box (15 men, 14 women. A flat (F and a deep (D shovel blade with the shaft connected straight (S or in clearing mode (C were used for the investigation of the shovel shapes FS, DC and the subsequent use of DC&DS. Mean snow mass shifted per unit time increased significantly from 1.50 kg/s with FS to 1.71 kg/s (14% with DS and further to 1.79 kg/s (4% with DC&DS for all participants. Snow mass shifted per unit time was 44% higher (p < 0.05 for men than for women. In excavation operations, the sex-specific physical performance should be taken into account. The results were limited to barely binding snow, because only with this snow did the tests show a high reliability.

  9. From the clouds to the ground - snow precipitation patterns vs. snow accumulation patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Franziska; Besic, Nikola; Mott, Rebecca; Gabella, Marco; Germann, Urs; Bühler, Yves; Marty, Mauro; Berne, Alexis; Lehning, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Knowledge about snow distribution and snow accumulation patterns is important and valuable for different applications such as the prediction of seasonal water resources or avalanche forecasting. Furthermore, accumulated snow on the ground is an important ground truth for validating meteorological and climatological model predictions of precipitation in high mountains and polar regions. Snow accumulation patterns are determined by many different processes from ice crystal nucleation in clouds to snow redistribution by wind and avalanches. In between, snow precipitation undergoes different dynamical and microphysical processes, such as ice crystal growth, aggregation and riming, which determine the growth of individual particles and thereby influence the intensity and structure of the snowfall event. In alpine terrain the interaction of different processes and the topography (e.g. lifting condensation and low level cloud formation, which may result in a seeder-feeder effect) may lead to orographic enhancement of precipitation. Furthermore, the redistribution of snow particles in the air by wind results in preferential deposition of precipitation. Even though orographic enhancement is addressed in numerous studies, the relative importance of micro-physical and dynamically induced mechanisms on local snowfall amounts and especially snow accumulation patterns is hardly known. To better understand the relative importance of different processes on snow precipitation and accumulation we analyze snowfall and snow accumulation between January and March 2016 in Davos (Switzerland). We compare MeteoSwiss operational weather radar measurements on Weissfluhgipfel to a spatially continuous snow accumulation map derived from airborne digital sensing (ADS) snow height for the area of Dischma valley in the vicinity of the weather radar. Additionally, we include snow height measurements from automatic snow stations close to the weather radar. Large-scale radar snow accumulation

  10. Modelling of interaction between a snow mantle and a flexible structure using a discrete element method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Nicot

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The search of improvement of protective techniques against natural phenomena such as snow avalanches continues to use classic methods for calculating flexible structures. This paper deals with a new method to design avalanche protection nets. This method is based on a coupled analysis of both net structure and snow mantle by using a Discrete Element Method. This has led to the development of computational software so that avalanche nets can be easily designed. This tool gives the evolution of the forces acting in several parts of the work as a function of the snow situation.

  11. First approximations in avalanche model validations using seismic information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roig Lafon, Pere; Suriñach, Emma; Bartelt, Perry; Pérez-Guillén, Cristina; Tapia, Mar; Sovilla, Betty

    2017-04-01

    Avalanche dynamics modelling is an essential tool for snow hazard management. Scenario based numerical modelling provides quantitative arguments for decision-making. The software tool RAMMS (WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF) is one such tool, often used by government authorities and geotechnical offices. As avalanche models improve, the quality of the numerical results will depend increasingly on user experience on the specification of input (e.g. release and entrainment volumes, secondary releases, snow temperature and quality). New model developments must continue to be validated using real phenomena data, for improving performance and reliability. The avalanches group form University of Barcelona (RISKNAT - UB), has studied the seismic signals generated from avalanches since 1994. Presently, the group manages the seismic installation at SLF's Vallée de la Sionne experimental site (VDLS). At VDLS the recorded seismic signals can be correlated to other avalanche measurement techniques, including both advanced remote sensing methods (radars, videogrammetry) and obstacle based sensors (pressure, capacitance, optical sender-reflector barriers). This comparison between different measurement techniques allows the group to address the question if seismic analysis can be used alone, on more additional avalanche tracks, to gain insight and validate numerical avalanche dynamics models in different terrain conditions. In this study, we aim to add the seismic data as an external record of the phenomena, able to validate RAMMS models. The seismic sensors are considerable easy and cheaper to install than other physical measuring tools, and are able to record data from the phenomena in every atmospheric conditions (e.g. bad weather, low light, freezing make photography, and other kind of sensors not usable). With seismic signals, we record the temporal evolution of the inner and denser parts of the avalanche. We are able to recognize the approximate position

  12. Spatio-temporal avalanche forecasting with Support Vector Machines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Pozdnoukhov

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the use of the Support Vector Machine (SVM as a data exploration tool and a predictive engine for spatio-temporal forecasting of snow avalanches. Based on the historical observations of avalanche activity, meteorological conditions and snowpack observations in the field, an SVM is used to build a data-driven spatio-temporal forecast for the local mountain region. It incorporates the outputs of simple physics-based and statistical approaches used to interpolate meteorological and snowpack-related data over a digital elevation model of the region. The interpretation of the produced forecast is discussed, and the quality of the model is validated using observations and avalanche bulletins of the recent years. The insight into the model behaviour is presented to highlight the interpretability of the model, its abilities to produce reliable forecasts for individual avalanche paths and sensitivity to input data. Estimates of prediction uncertainty are obtained with ensemble forecasting. The case study was carried out using data from the avalanche forecasting service in the Locaber region of Scotland, where avalanches are forecast on a daily basis during the winter months.

  13. The value of snow cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokratov, S. A.

    2009-04-01

    Snow is the natural resource, like soil and water. It has specific properties which allow its use not just for skiing but also for houses cooling in summer (Swedish experience), for air fields construction (Arctic and Antarctic), for dams (north of Russia), for buildings (not only snow-houses of some Polar peoples but artistic hotel attracting tourists in Sweden), and as art material (Sapporo snow festival, Finnish events), etc. "Adjustment" of snow distribution and amount is not only rather common practice (avalanche-protection constructions keeping snow on slopes) but also the practice with long history. So-called "snow irrigation" was used in Russia since XIX century to protect winter crop. What is now named "artificial snow production", is part of much larger pattern. What makes it special—it is unavoidable in present climate and economy situation. 5% of national income in Austria is winter tourism. 50% of the economy in Savoy relay on winter tourism. In terms of money this can be less, but in terms of jobs and income involved this would be even more considerable in Switzerland. As an example—the population of Davos is 14000 in Summer and 50000 in Winter. Skiing is growing business. In present time you can find ski slopes in Turkey and Lebanon. To keep a cite suitable for attracting tourists you need certain amount of sunny days and certain amount of snow. The snow cannons are often the only way to keep a place running. On the other hand, more artificial snow does not necessary attract more tourists, while heavy natural snowfall does attract them. Artificial snow making is costly and requires infrastructure (ponds and electric lines) with very narrow range of weather conditions. Related companies are searching for alternatives and one of them can be "weather regulation" by distribution of some chemical components in clouds. It did not happen yet, but can happen soon. The consequences of such interference in Nature is hardly known. The ski tourism is not the

  14. Slab entrainment and surge dynamics of the 2015 Valleé de la Sionne avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, Anselm; McElwaine, Jim; Sovilla, Betty

    2016-04-01

    On 3 February 2015 five avalanches were artificially released at the Valleé de la Sionne test site in the west of Switzerland. The dense parts of the avalanches were tracked by the GEODAR Mark 2 radar system at 111 Hz framerate with 0.75 m down slope resolution. The data show that these avalanche contain several internal surges and that the avalanche front is repeatedly overtaken by some of these surges. We show that these surges exist on different scale. While the major surges originates from secondary triggered slab releases and occur all over the avalanche. The minor surges are only found in the energetic part of a well developed powder snow avalanche. The mass of the major surges can be as huge as the initial released mass, this has a dramatic effect on the mass distribution inside the avalanche and effects the front velocity and run out. Furthermore, the secondary released snow slabs are an important entrainment mechanism and up to 50 percent of the mass entered the avalanche via slab entrainment. We analyse the dynamics of the leading edge and the minor surges in more detail using a simple one dimensional model with frictional resistance and quadratic velocity dependent drag. These models fit the data well for the start and middle of avalanche but cannot capture the slowing and overtaking of the minor surge. We find much higher friction coefficients to describe the surging. We propose that this data can only be explained by changes in the snow surface. These effects are not included in current models yet, but the data presented here will enable the development and verification of such models.

  15. Natural avalanches and transportation: A case study from Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reardon, B.A.; Fagre, Daniel B.; Steiner, R.W.

    2004-01-01

    In January 2004, two natural avalanches (destructive class 3) derailed a freight train in John F. Stevens Canyon, on the southern boundary of Glacier National Park. The railroad tracks were closed for 29 hours due to cleanup and lingering avalanche hazard, backing up 112km of trains and shutting down Amtrak’s passenger service. The incident marked the fourth time in three winters that natural avalanches have disrupted transportation in the canyon, which is also the route of U.S. Highway 2. It was the latest in a 94-year history of accidents that includes three fatalities and the destruction of a major highway bridge. Despite that history and the presence of over 40 avalanche paths in the 16km canyon, mitigation is limited to nine railroad snow sheds and occasional highway closures. This case study examines natural avalanche cycles of the past 28 winters using data from field observations, a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) SNOTEL station, and data collected since 2001 at a high-elevation weather station. The avalanches occurred when storms with sustained snowfall buried a persistent near-surface faceted layer and/or were followed by rain-on-snow or dramatic warming (as much as 21oC in 30 minutes). Natural avalanche activity peaked when temperatures clustered near freezing (mean of -1.5oC at 1800m elev.). Avalanches initiated through rapid loading, rain falling on new snow, and/ or temperature-related changes in the mechanical properties of slabs. Lastly, the case study describes how recent incidents have prompted a unique partnership of land management agencies, private corporations and non-profit organizations to develop an avalanche mitigation program for the transportation corridor.

  16. Numerical study of fracture arrest on snow cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Frigo

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Under the hypothesis of a perfectly brittle phenomenon, avalanche triggering can be investigated numerically by means of Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM. Since, however, the real phenomenon is intrinsically dynamical, another aspect to investigate is represented by dynamic fracture propagation. In this paper, we model dynamic crack propagation into a dry snow slab and we investigate the possibility to arrest the crack propagation through the presence of weak zones distributed along the extension of the snow slope. Assuming that the weak layer is almost collapsed, we simulate the efficiency of artificial voids in the slab to arrest fracture propagation, into the framework of Dynamical Fracture Mechanics. We put forward here a new philosophy for the use of artificial discontinuities (void into the snowpack able to perform as crack arresters distributed along the snow slope area: the target is to split a large avalanche slab into smaller slabs, causing small avalanches to propagate with less catastrophic effects.

  17. Microstructure-based simulations of the tensile strength of snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagenmuller, P.; Theile, T.; Schneebeli, M.

    2012-04-01

    The mechanical behavior of snow is essential to understand the formation of snow avalanches. In particular, the failure properties of snow are determinant in snow slab avalanche release. Direct experiments on snow are difficult to conduct and to interpret. First, seasonal snow is often a very fragile material which can be easily damaged before a mechanical test is finished. Second, natural snow is generally not homogenous, but consists of many thin layers. Thus, a direct mechanical test is in this case very difficult to interpret. This motivated us to implement a numerical simulation that uses the full 3D-structure of snow. The microstructure of snow samples was captured with a micro-computer tomograph and the tensile strength of the same samples was measured. A subvolume (about 30 mm3) of the zone where the fracture occurred in the mechanical test was numerically simulated. To this purpose, the mechanical properties of monocrystalline ice were considered to model the constitutive material of snow. Because the orientation of ice grains cannot be determined in adsorption tomography, orientation-averaged properties were used as a first approximation. The results show that the average simulated tensile strength is in good agreement with the measurements for the tested snow, rounded grains at a density of about 350 kg m-3. In a second approach, a geometrical grain selection algorithm was used to associate to each ice grain a specific c-axis and the corresponding oriented anisotropic stiffness and strength. This artificial orientation of ice grains does not modify significantly the elastic stress distribution in the snow sample but decreases slightly the effective tensile strength of snow compared to the simulation using orientation-averaged properties of ice. As a conclusion, even if the size of the simulated volume remains relatively small (about 30 mm3), the direct numerical simulation of the tensile strength of snow is possible and enables the investigation of the

  18. Influence of upstream catching dam slope on powder avalanche

    OpenAIRE

    Caccamo, P.; Naaim Bouvet, F.; Faug, T.

    2013-01-01

    International audience; The influence of an obstacle on the dynamics of a finite-volume density current modelling a powder-snow avalanche was investigated. A constant volume of a dyed salt solution reproduced the small-scale aerosol flowing down an inclined channel immersed in a water tank. Reference tests in the absence of the obstacle characterized the dynamics parameters of the flow and then the influence of two types of obstacles on these parameters was studied. Both of the obstacles repr...

  19. Snow Leopard

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Owing to their secretive nature and inaccessible habitat,little is known about its ecology and distribution. Due toits endangered status and high aesthetic value, the snow leopardis considered as an 'umbrella species' for wildlife conservationin the Indian Himalayas. This article summarizes thecurrent knowledge on snow ...

  20. Snow Leopard

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Snow leopard, an elusive mammal species of the cat family, is the top-predator of the Central and South Asian, high- altitude ecosystem. Snow leopards occur at low densities across the Central Asian mountains and the Indian Himalayan re- gion. Owing to their secretive nature and inaccessible habi- tat, little is known ...

  1. Examining spring wet slab and glide avalanche occurrence along the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peitzsch, Erich H.; Hendrikx, Jordy; Fagre, Daniel B.; Reardon, Blase

    2012-01-01

    Wet slab and glide snow avalanches are dangerous and yet can be particularly difficult to predict. Wet slab and glide avalanches are presumably triggered by free water moving through the snowpack and the subsequent interaction with layer or ground interfaces, and typically occur in the spring during warming and subsequent melt periods. In Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana, both types of avalanches can occur in the same year and affect the spring opening operations of the Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTSR).

  2. Avalanche Photodiode Statistics in Triggered-avalanche Detection Mode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, H. H.

    1984-01-01

    The output of a triggered avalanche mode avalanche photodiode is modeled as Poisson distributed primary avalanche events plus conditionally Poisson distributed trapped carrier induced secondary events. The moment generating function as well as the mean and variance of the diode output statistics are derived. The dispersion of the output statistics is shown to always exceed that of the Poisson distribution. Several examples are considered in detail.

  3. Laboratory singing sand avalanches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagois-Bohy, Simon; Ngo, Sandrine; du Pont, Sylvain Courrech; Douady, Stéphane

    2010-02-01

    Some desert sand dunes have the peculiar ability to emit a loud sound up to 110 dB, with a well-defined frequency: this phenomenon, known since early travelers (Darwin, Marco Polo, etc.), has been called the song of dunes. But only in late 19th century scientific observations were made, showing three important characteristics of singing dunes: first, not all dunes sing, but all the singing dunes are composed of dry and well-sorted sand; second, this sound occurs spontaneously during avalanches on a slip face; third this is not the only way to produce sound with this sand. More recent field observations have shown that during avalanches, the sound frequency does not depend on the dune size or shape, but on the grain diameter only, and scales as the square root of g/d--with g the gravity and d the diameter of the grains--explaining why all the singing dunes in the same vicinity sing at the same frequency. We have been able to reproduce these singing avalanches in laboratory on a hard plate, which made possible to study them more accurately than on the field. Signals of accelerometers at the flowing surface of the avalanche are compared to signals of microphones placed above, and it evidences a very strong vibration of the flowing layer at the same frequency as on the field, responsible for the emission of sound. Moreover, other characteristics of the booming dunes are reproduced and analyzed, such as a threshold under which no sound is produced, or beats in the sound that appears when the flow is too large. Finally, the size of the coherence zones emitting sound has been measured and discussed.

  4. A debris avalanche at Forest Falls, San Bernardino County, California, July 11, 1999

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Douglas M.; Hauser, Rachel M.

    2001-01-01

    This publication consists of the online version of a CD-ROM publication, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-146. The data for this publication total 557 MB on the CD-ROM. For speed of transfer, the main PDF document has been compressed (with a subsequent loss of image quality) from 145 to 18.1 MB. The community of Forest Falls, California, is frequently subject to relatively slow moving debris flows. Some 11 debris flow events that were destructive to property have been recorded between 1955 and 1998. On July 11 and 13, 1999, debris flows again occurred, produced by high-intensity, short-duration monsoon rains. Unlike previous debris flow events, the July 11 rainfall generated a high-velocity debris avalanche in Snow Creek, one of the several creeks crossing the composite, debris flow dominated, alluvial fan on which Forest Falls is located. This debris avalanche overshot the bank of the active debris flow channel of Snow Creek, destroying property in the near vicinity and taking a life. The minimum velocity of this avalanche is calculated to have been in the range of 40 to 55 miles per hour. Impact from high-velocity boulders removed trees where the avalanche overshot the channel bank. Further down the fan, the rapidly moving debris fragmented the outer parts of the upslope side of large pine trees and embedded rock fragments into the tree trunks. Unlike the characteristic deposits formed by debris flows, the avalanche spread out down-slope and left no deposit suggestive of a debris avalanche. This summer monsoon-generated debris avalanche is apparently the first recorded for Forest Falls. The best indications of past debris avalanches may be the degree of permanent scars produced by extensive abrasion and splintering of the outer parts of pine trees that were in the path of an avalanche.

  5. Snow instability patterns at the scale of a small basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, Benjamin; Richter, Bettina; Schweizer, Jürg

    2016-02-01

    Spatial and temporal variations are inherent characteristics of the alpine snow cover. Spatial heterogeneity is supposed to control the avalanche release probability by either hindering extensive crack propagation or facilitating localized failure initiation. Though a link between spatial snow instability variations and meteorological forcing is anticipated, it has not been quantitatively shown yet. We recorded snow penetration resistance profiles with the snow micropenetrometer at an alpine field site during five field campaigns in Eastern Switzerland. For each of about 150 vertical profiles sampled per day a failure initiation criterion and the critical crack length were calculated. For both criteria we analyzed their spatial structure and predicted snow instability in the basin by external drift kriging. The regression models were based on terrain and snow depth data. Slope aspect was the most prominent driver, but significant covariates varied depending on the situation. Residual autocorrelation ranges were shorter than the ones of the terrain suggesting external influences possibly due to meteorological forcing. To explore the causes of the instability patterns we repeated the geostatistical analysis with snow cover model output as covariate data for one case. The observed variations of snow instability were related to variations in slab layer properties which were caused by preferential deposition of precipitation and differences in energy input at the snow surface during the formation period of the slab layers. Our results suggest that 3-D snow cover modeling allows reproducing some of the snow property variations related to snow instability, but in future work all relevant micrometeorological spatial interactions should be considered.

  6. Analysis of avalanche risk factors in backcountry terrain based on usage frequency and accident data in Switzerland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Techel, F.; Zweifel, B.; Winkler, K.

    2015-09-01

    Recreational activities in snow-covered mountainous terrain in the backcountry account for the vast majority of avalanche accidents. Studies analyzing avalanche risk mostly rely on accident statistics without considering exposure (or the elements at risk), i.e., how many, when and where people are recreating, as data on recreational activity in the winter mountains are scarce. To fill this gap, we explored volunteered geographic information on two social media mountaineering websites - bergportal.ch and camptocamp.org. Based on these data, we present a spatiotemporal pattern of winter backcountry touring activity in the Swiss Alps and compare this with accident statistics. Geographically, activity was concentrated in Alpine regions relatively close to the main Swiss population centers in the west and north. In contrast, accidents occurred equally often in the less-frequented inner-alpine regions. Weekends, weather and avalanche conditions influenced the number of recreationists, while the odds to be involved in a severe avalanche accident did not depend on weekends or weather conditions. However, the likelihood of being involved in an accident increased with increasing avalanche danger level, but also with a more unfavorable snowpack containing persistent weak layers (also referred to as an old snow problem). In fact, the most critical situation for backcountry recreationists and professionals occurred on days and in regions when both the avalanche danger was critical and when the snowpack contained persistent weak layers. The frequently occurring geographical pattern of a more unfavorable snowpack structure also explains the relatively high proportion of accidents in the less-frequented inner-alpine regions. These results have practical implications: avalanche forecasters should clearly communicate the avalanche danger and the avalanche problem to the backcountry user, particularly if persistent weak layers are of concern. Professionals and recreationists, on the

  7. A novel sensor combination (upGPR-GPS) to continuously and nondestructively derive snow cover properties

    OpenAIRE

    Schmid Lino; Koch Franziska; Heilig Achim; Prasch Monika; Eisen Olaf; Mauser Wolfram; Schweizer Jürg

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring seasonal snow cover properties is critical for properly managing natural hazards such as snow avalanches or snowmelt floods. However measurements often cannot be conducted in difficult terrain or lack the high temporal resolution needed to account for rapid changes in the snowpack e.g. liquid water content (LWC). To monitor essential snowpack properties we installed an upward looking ground penetrating radar (upGPR) and a low cost GPS system below the snow cover and observed in par...

  8. Integrated Avalanche Photodiode arrays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harmon, Eric S.

    2017-04-18

    The present disclosure includes devices for detecting photons, including avalanche photon detectors, arrays of such detectors, and circuits including such arrays. In some aspects, the detectors and arrays include a virtual beveled edge mesa structure surrounded by resistive material damaged by ion implantation and having side wall profiles that taper inwardly towards the top of the mesa structures, or towards the direction from which the ion implantation occurred. Other aspects are directed to masking and multiple implantation and/or annealing steps. Furthermore, methods for fabricating and using such devices, circuits and arrays are disclosed.

  9. Integrated avalanche photodiode arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Eric S.

    2015-07-07

    The present disclosure includes devices for detecting photons, including avalanche photon detectors, arrays of such detectors, and circuits including such arrays. In some aspects, the detectors and arrays include a virtual beveled edge mesa structure surrounded by resistive material damaged by ion implantation and having side wall profiles that taper inwardly towards the top of the mesa structures, or towards the direction from which the ion implantation occurred. Other aspects are directed to masking and multiple implantation and/or annealing steps. Furthermore, methods for fabricating and using such devices, circuits and arrays are disclosed.

  10. Time lapse photography as an approach to understanding glide avalanche activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrikx, Jordy; Peitzsch, Erich H.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2012-01-01

    Avalanches resulting from glide cracks are notoriously difficult to forecast, but are a recurring problem for numerous avalanche forecasting programs. In some cases glide cracks are observed to open and then melt away in situ. In other cases, they open and then fail catastrophically as large, full-depth avalanches. Our understanding and management of these phenomena are currently limited. It is thought that an increase in the rate of snow gliding occurs prior to full-depth avalanche activity so frequent observation of glide crack movement can provide an index of instability. During spring 2011 in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA, we began an approach to track glide crack avalanche activity using a time-lapse camera focused on a southwest facing glide crack. This crack melted in-situ without failing as a glide avalanche, while other nearby glide cracks on north through southeast aspects failed. In spring 2012, a camera was aimed at a large and productive glide crack adjacent to the Going to the Sun Road. We captured three unique glide events in the field of view. Unfortunately, all of them either failed very quickly, or during periods of obscured view, so measurements of glide rate could not be obtained. However, we compared the hourly meteorological variables during the period of glide activity to the same variables prior to glide activity. The variables air temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, incoming and reflected long wave radiation, SWE, total precipitation, and snow depth were found to be statistically different for our cases examined. We propose that these are some of the potential precursors for glide avalanche activity, but do urge caution in their use, due to the simple approach and small data set size. It is hoped that by introducing a workable method to easily record glide crack movement, combined with ongoing analysis of the associated meteorological data, we will improve our understanding of when, or if, glide avalanche activity will ensue.

  11. Avalanche situation in Turkey and back-calculation of selected events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydın, A.; Bühler, Y.; Christen, M.; Gürer, I.

    2014-01-01

    In Turkey, an average of 24 people dies in snow avalanches every year, mainly in the eastern part of Anatolia and in the eastern Black Sea Region where high mountain ranges are close to the sea. The proportion of people killed in buildings is very high (87%), especially in comparison to other European and American countries. In this paper we discuss avalanche occurrence, the climatic situation and historical avalanche events in Turkey; in addition, we identify bottlenecks and suggest solutions to tackle avalanche problems. Furthermore, we have applied the numerical avalanche simulation software RAMMS combined with a Digital Elevation Model (DEM)-based potential release zone identification algorithm to analyze the catastrophic avalanche events in the villages of Üzengili (Bayburt province) in 1993 and Yaylaönü (Trabzon province) in 1981. The results demonstrate the value of such an approach for regions with poor avalanche databases, enabling the calculation of different scenarios and the estimation of run-out distances, flow velocities, impact pressure and flow height.

  12. Using GIS and Google Earth for the creation of the Going-to-the-Sun Road Avalanche Atlas, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peitzsch, Erich H.; Fagre, Daniel B.; Dundas, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Snow avalanche paths are key geomorphologic features in Glacier National Park, Montana, and an important component of mountain ecosystems: they are isolated within a larger ecosystem, they are continuously disturbed, and they contain unique physical characteristics (Malanson and Butler, 1984). Avalanches impact subalpine forest structure and function, as well as overall biodiversity (Bebi et al., 2009). Because avalanches are dynamic phenomena, avalanche path geometry and spatial extent depend upon climatic regimes. The USGS/GNP Avalanche Program formally began in 2003 as an avalanche forecasting program for the spring opening of the ever-popular Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTSR), which crosses through 37 identified avalanche paths. Avalanche safety and forecasting is a necessary part of the GTSR spring opening procedures. An avalanche atlas detailing topographic parameters and oblique photographs was completed for the GTSR corridor in response to a request from GNP personnel for planning and resource management. Using ArcMap 9.2 GIS software, polygons were created for every avalanche path affecting the GTSR using aerial imagery, field-based observations, and GPS measurements of sub-meter accuracy. Spatial attributes for each path were derived within the GIS. Resulting products include an avalanche atlas book for operational use, a geoPDF of the atlas, and a Google Earth flyover illustrating each path and associated photographs. The avalanche atlas aids park management in worker safety, infrastructure planning, and natural resource protection by identifying avalanche path patterns and location. The atlas was created for operational and planning purposes and is also used as a foundation for research such as avalanche ecology projects and avalanche path runout modeling.

  13. Causes of snow instability variations at the basin scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, Benjamin; Richter, Bettina; Schweizer, Jürg

    2016-04-01

    The alpine snow cover accumulates layers during characteristic meteorological events. The so formed stratigraphic features of the snowpack are known to influence avalanche release processes, such as failure initiation or crack propagation. Synoptic scale meteorological processes are altered by the underlying terrain, which causes micro-meteorological differences at smaller scales, such as the basin scale, for instance. Such micro-meteorological effects of complex snow surfaces were successfully modeled suggesting that the time is ripe to investigate their influence on snow instability. In other words, we aim at identifying the causes of spatial snow instability variations at the scale of a small basin. Over the past years we have compiled several field data sets for a small basin above Davos (Eastern Swiss Alps) covering 400 m by 400 m and consisting of snow penetration resistance profiles collected with the snow micro-penetrometer, terrain data and terrestrial laser scans. Each dataset holds about 150 vertical profiles sampled semi-randomly in the basin and captures the situation of a specific day, hence a particular avalanche situation. At those 150 point measurements the criteria for failure initiation and crack propagation were calculated and their spatial structure was analyzed. Eventually, we were able to model the distribution of snow instability in the basin by external drift kriging. We based the regression models on terrain and snow depth data. Slope aspect was the most prominent driver, but the number of significant covariates depended on the situation. Our results further suggest that the observed differences were caused by external influences possibly due to meteorological forcing as their residual autocorrelation ranges were shorter than the ones of the terrain. Repeating the geostatistical analysis with snow cover model output as covariate data, we were able to identify the causes of the snow instability patterns observed at the basin scale. The most

  14. Snow clearance

    CERN Multimedia

    Mauro Nonis

    2005-01-01

    In reply to the numerous questions received, we should like to inform you of the actions and measures taken in an effort to maintain the movements of vehicles and pedestrians since the heavy snow fall on Sunday 23 January. Our contractor's employees began clearing the snow during the morning of Sunday 23 January on the main CERN sites (Meyrin, Prévessin), but an accident prevented them from continuing. The vehicle in question was repaired by Monday morning when two other vehicles joined it to resume snow clearing; priority was given to access points to the main sites and the LHC sites, as well as to the main roads inside the sites. The salt sprinklers were also brought into action that same day; the very low temperature during the night from Monday to Tuesday prevented the snow from melting and compacted the ice; the continuing cold during the day on Tuesday (-6°C at 10:00 on the Meyrin site) meant that all efforts to remove the ice were doomed to failure. In order to ensure more efficie...

  15. Fiber Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing in Avalanche Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woerndl, Michaela; Tyler, S. W.; Hatch, C. E.; Dozier, J.; Prokop, A.

    2010-05-01

    Being a major driving force for snow metamorphism, thermal properties and temperature gradients in an alpine snow pack influence both, spatial distribution and temporal evolution of its stability throughout a winter season. In avalanche research and forecasting mainly weather station networks and models are employed for temperature-data collection and prediction. Standard temperature measurement devices used in weather stations and for model calibration typically provide point data over time. With fiber-optic Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) a laser is pulsed through standard telecommunications optical fibers of up to 30km in length, and uses the cables themselves as a thermometer. DTS allows for continuous observations of temperatures over large spatial scales and with high temporal resolution. Depending on the type of instrument, temperature readings can be provided every 0.25 to 2 meters along the cable and up to six times a minute. Measurement accuracies depend on integration times and can reach +/- 0.1 degrees C or better. Already well established in other environmental applications such as surface water - groundwater hydrology and soil moisture studies, this study assesses applicability and performance of DTS in snow environments and its potential benefits for avalanche research and forecasting. At the CRREL/UCSB research site on Mammoth Mountain, California, 40m fiber-optic cable loops were deployed at different depths in the snow pack to measure temperature and thermal gradient evolution over time and space. Four discrete measurement sessions of 4 to 20 days were conducted during the winter season 2008/2009. Strong horizontal spatial variability of temperatures of up to 3 degrees C within the snow pack over the 40m-sections were resolved. As expected, vertical thermal gradients were influenced by spatial location. Evolution of temperatures and gradients over time could be continuously monitored along the 40m transects during each measurement session

  16. Snow avalanche hazards and mitigation in the United States

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee on Ground Failure Hazards Mitigation Research

    1990-01-01

    ... Failure Hazards Mitigation Research Division of Natural Hazard Mitigation Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.1990 i Copyrighttrue Please breaks inserted. are Page files. accidentally typesetting been have may original from the errors not typographic original ...

  17. Snow cover: a potential disturbance factor on forest stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viglietti, Davide; Maggioni, Margherita; Brulport, Antoine; Freppaz, Michele; Zanini, Ermanno

    2010-05-01

    The presence of a thick snowpack could interfere on forest stability especially on steep slopes: potential consequences include superficial soil erosion and damage of young and old stands, due to snow pressure and movements. The aim of this work is to determine the pressure of the snowpack on stems in forest with different tree composition. The study site is located at 1950 m a.s.l., in a forest with protective function against avalanche release in Aosta Valley (NW-Italy) and includes two plots characterized by the same altitude, slope and aspect and different tree composition: (1) Larch stand and (2) Spruce stand. The plots are equipped with moisture and temperature sensors located at the snow-soil interface, and glide shoes, for continuous monitoring of snow gliding. The recorded data will be related to periodically-monitored snow physical properties: in particular, snow density and grain type, together with the gliding movement, will be used to determine precise pressure values on steams. The coupling of forest characteristics, such as steam density, crown dimension, tree composition, and basal diameter, with snowpack evolution might explain the effect of the forest on snow stabilization and on snow movements, while the calculation of pressure could identify the class of tree potentially more exposed to damage. Data will be collected during the ongoing winter (2009-2010) and particularly in spring, when the snow gliding process is more likely to occur. KEYWORDS: forest stability, pressure of snow, protective forest, physical snow characteristics.

  18. Quantitative stratigraphy of snow resolved by high-resolution penetrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proksch, Martin; Reuter, Benjamin; Schneebeli, Martin; Löwe, Henning

    2014-05-01

    Precise measurements of snow structural parameters are essential to understand and model snow physical processes. Snow metamorphism, mass and energy balance of snow, radiative properties or the snowpack stability with respect to avalanche formation, all these processes depend on the snow structural parameters and the stratigraphy of the snowpack. However, most snow measurements are limited in spatial and temporal resolution and by extensive measurement times. For this reason, we developed a statistical model to derive three major snow structural parameters, density, correlation length and specific surface area (SSA) solely from a portable, high-resolution penetrometer. We demonstrate the potential of the method by a transect through Alpine snow in the Wannengrat study site, Davos, Switzerland. The two-dimensional plot of the transect reveals the depositional and metamorphic events. The results for the density are compared to independent density measurements from snow profiles. Based on these data, we are able to give a more complete interpretation of the snow stratigraphy and the underlying physical processes.

  19. The Preferential Deposition of Snow in Complex Terrain: An LES Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salesky, S.; Giometto, M. G.; Chamecki, M.; Parlange, M. B.

    2015-12-01

    The drifting and blowing of snow due to atmospheric turbulence is a significant process in the context of hydrology, avalanche forecasting, and micrometeorology in alpine and polar regions. Spatial variability in snow deposition, erosion, and transport due to turbulence can lead to large spatial variations in snowpack depth, which is a determining factor for the timing of surface runoff. In mountainous regions, blowing snow can also lead to the formation of snow cornices on the leeward side of mountain peaks, thereby increasing avalanche risk. Despite the importance of snow transport, only a few studies that account for the effects of turbulent airflow on snow erosion, transport, and deposition over complex topography have been conducted to date.In this study, we investigate the effects of turbulence on snow deposition and erosion in complex terrain using large eddy simulation (LES). A finite-volume Eulerian code for heavy particles is used to evolve the snow concentration field, and wall models are developed for the snow erosion and deposition fluxes. The surface topography is represented using an immersed boundary method following the direct forcing approach. We conduct simulations of snow deposition and erosion over realistic and idealized surface topography. An area source of particles is imposed near the top of the boundary layer. The relationships between the topography, turbulent flow structures, and snow erosion and deposition will be explored, and numerical considerations will be discussed.

  20. Field Observations of the Effects of Explosives on Snow Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooldridge, R.; Hendrikx, J.; Miller, D. A.; Birkeland, K.

    2012-12-01

    Explosives are a critically important component of avalanche control programs. They are used to both initiate avalanches and to test snowpack instability by ski areas, highway departments and other avalanche programs around the world. Current understanding of the effects of explosives on snow is mainly limited to shock wave behavior demonstrated through stress wave velocities, pressures and attenuation. This study seeks to enhance current knowledge of how explosives physically alter snow by providing practical, field-based observations and analyses that quantify the effect of explosives on snow density, snow hardness and snow stability test results. Density, hardness and stability test results were evaluated both before and after the application of 0.9 kg cast pentolite boosters as air blasts. Changes in these properties were evaluated at specified distances up to 4 meters (m) from the blast center using a density gauge, hand hardness, Compression Tests (CTs), and Extended Column Tests (ECTs). Statistically significant density increases occurred out to a distance of 1.5 m from the blast center and down to a depth of 60 centimeters (cm). Statistically significant density increases were also observed at the surface (down to 20 cm) out to a distance of 4 m. Hardness increased slightly at the surface and at the bottom of the snowpack (depths of 80-100 cm), while decreasing slightly in the middle of the snowpack (depths of 30-60 cm). Results from CTs showed a decrease in the number of taps needed for column failure in the post explosive tests, while a smaller data set of ECT results showed no overall change in ECT score. The findings of this study provide a better understanding of the physical changes in snow following explosives, which may lead to more effective and efficient avalanche risk mitigation.

  1. Calculation of new snow densities from sub-daily automated snow measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helfricht, Kay; Hartl, Lea; Koch, Roland; Marty, Christoph; Lehning, Michael; Olefs, Marc

    2017-04-01

    In mountain regions there is an increasing demand for high-quality analysis, nowcasting and short-range forecasts of the spatial distribution of snowfall. Operational services, such as for avalanche warning, road maintenance and hydrology, as well as hydropower companies and ski resorts need reliable information on the depth of new snow (HN) and the corresponding water equivalent (HNW). However, the ratio of HNW to HN can vary from 1:3 to 1:30 because of the high variability of new snow density with respect to meteorological conditions. In the past, attempts were made to calculate new snow densities from meteorological parameters mainly using daily values of temperature and wind. Further complex statistical relationships have been used to calculate new snow densities on hourly to sub-hourly time intervals to drive multi-layer snow cover models. However, only a few long-term in-situ measurements of new snow density exist for sub-daily time intervals. Settling processes within the new snow due to loading and metamorphism need to be considered when computing new snow density. As the effect of these processes is more pronounced for long time intervals, a high temporal resolution of measurements is desirable. Within the pluSnow project data of several automatic weather stations with simultaneous measurements of precipitation (pluviometers), snow water equivalent (SWE) using snow pillows and snow depth (HS) measurements using ultrasonic rangers were analysed. New snow densities were calculated for a set of data filtered on the basis of meteorological thresholds. The calculated new snow densities were compared to results from existing new snow density parameterizations. To account for effects of settling of the snow cover, a case study based on a multi-year data set using the snow cover model SNOWPACK at Weissfluhjoch was performed. Measured median values of hourly new snow densities at the different stations range from 54 to 83 kgm-3. This is considerably lower than a 1

  2. Evaluation of snow-glide risk by modelling and on-site assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitinger, Georg; Meusburger, Katrin; Rüdisser, Johannes; Tasser, Erich; Höller, Peter

    2015-04-01

    Abandonment of agricultural practices on alpine grasslands lead to increasing snow-glide intensities due to lower surface roughness of the vegetation. Beneath the danger of snow-glide avalanches snow gliding leads to soil erosion and damaging of young trees at afforested sites. Especially in high altitudes afforestation is important to protect settlements and infrastructure against snow-gliding and glide avalanches. Snow-glide damages are therefore of particular danger for these afforestation sites. In the light of future climate change and warmer winter periods, studies already state increasing snow-glide risk and the occurrence of glide avalanches. This study presents an approach to evaluate snow-glide risk by combining the refined Spatial Snow Glide Model (SSGM) first published by Leitinger et al. (2008) and the Guidelines to Identify Snow-Glide Areas (GISGA) proposed by Höller (2012), an on-site risk analyses approach. First, GISGA was validated on the basis of corresponding snow-glide measurements. Second, a potential snow-glide map for an area in the Eastern Alps covering 20000 km² was modelled. The results revealed considerable areas of high snow-glide risk. Using the average amount of winter precipitation between 1990 and 2010 in the SSGM shows higher vulnerability for the northern part of the study area (Tyrol, Austria) than in the southern part (South Tyrol, Italy) because of lower winter precipitation. However, running the SSGM based on the highest winter precipitation registered in the study area between 1801 and 2003 exhibits the possibility of very high snow-glide risk for most parts of the study area with significant increasing risk in the southern part. Given the very probable future climate during winter periods with increasing temperatures but uncertain development of precipitation patterns, snow-glide activity and linked glide avalanches might further increase at least in areas and altitudes with solid precipitation. In combination with the

  3. Neuronal avalanches and learning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arcangelis, Lucilla de, E-mail: dearcangelis@na.infn.it [Department of Information Engineering and CNISM, Second University of Naples, 81031 Aversa (Italy)

    2011-05-01

    Networks of living neurons represent one of the most fascinating systems of biology. If the physical and chemical mechanisms at the basis of the functioning of a single neuron are quite well understood, the collective behaviour of a system of many neurons is an extremely intriguing subject. Crucial ingredient of this complex behaviour is the plasticity property of the network, namely the capacity to adapt and evolve depending on the level of activity. This plastic ability is believed, nowadays, to be at the basis of learning and memory in real brains. Spontaneous neuronal activity has recently shown features in common to other complex systems. Experimental data have, in fact, shown that electrical information propagates in a cortex slice via an avalanche mode. These avalanches are characterized by a power law distribution for the size and duration, features found in other problems in the context of the physics of complex systems and successful models have been developed to describe their behaviour. In this contribution we discuss a statistical mechanical model for the complex activity in a neuronal network. The model implements the main physiological properties of living neurons and is able to reproduce recent experimental results. Then, we discuss the learning abilities of this neuronal network. Learning occurs via plastic adaptation of synaptic strengths by a non-uniform negative feedback mechanism. The system is able to learn all the tested rules, in particular the exclusive OR (XOR) and a random rule with three inputs. The learning dynamics exhibits universal features as function of the strength of plastic adaptation. Any rule could be learned provided that the plastic adaptation is sufficiently slow.

  4. Entraining avalanches on slopes: results from experiments using PIV on viscoplastic gravity currents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bates, Belinda; Ancey, Christophe

    2014-05-01

    In order to conduct experiments simulating entrainment by avalanches on slopes, it was necessary to select a material which could act as both a stationary entrainable layer, mimicking undisturbed mud or snow, and a flowing mass, representing the flowing avalanche. Carbopol Ultrez 10, a viscoplastic "micro-gel" exhibiting a yield stress does just that: it remains plastic on a slope until an avalanche arrives and increases the shear within, reducing the viscosity in some or all of the material which may begin to flow as a fluid. Carbopol is transparent and easily seeded with fluorescent tracking micro-particles, without significantly changing the material rheology. We take advantage of its properties to perform Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) on an idealized avalanche, which flows into an entrainment zone where it interacts with a layer of stationary bed material. The internal velocity field is obtained for the flow as it passes over the loose material, showing the entrainment mechanisms active at different slope angles. At the shallowest slope the avalanche is slower and mobilizes the bed almost entirely, causing it to slip along the base and buckle downstream of the front. At steeper slopes the avalanche shears the bed, yet appears to glide over it more easily with a smaller effect downstream. Increasing the concentration of the Carbopol and thus increasing the apparent yield stress leads to more destruction of the bed layer by the avalanche. Three flow phases are identified, beginning with a "rolling phase" where the avalanche has minimal effect on the bed and seems to roll onto it as the front moves forward, then a "gliding phase" where the deposited fluid is pushed downwards and glides downstream, shearing the bed material. Finally, on the shallower slopes and at higher Carbopol concentration, the avalanche digs down to the rigid base, and completely displaces the bed material downstream, with its front riding atop an entirely mobilized plug-flow layer.

  5. Automatic detection of avalanches in seismic data using Hidden Markov Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, Matthias; Hammer, Conny; van Herwijnen, Alec; Schweizer, Jürg; Fäh, Donat

    2017-04-01

    Seismic monitoring systems are well suited for the remote detection of mass movements, such as landslides, rockfalls and debris flows. For snow avalanches, this has been known since the 1970s and seismic monitoring could potentially provide valuable information for avalanche forecasting. We thus explored continuous seismic data from a string of vertical component geophones in an avalanche starting zone above Davos, Switzerland. The overall goal is to automatically detect avalanches with a Hidden Markov Model (HMM), a statistical pattern recognition tool widely used for speech recognition. A HMM uses a classifier to determine the likelihood that input objects belong to a finite number of classes. These classes are obtained by learning a multidimensional Gaussian mixture model representation of the overall observable feature space. This model is then used to derive the HMM parameters for avalanche waveforms using a single training sample to build the final classifier. We classified data from the winter seasons of 2010 and compared the results to several hundred avalanches manually identified in the seismic data. First results of a classification of a single day have shown, that the model is good in terms of probability of detection while having a relatively low false alarm rate. We further implemented a voting based classification approach to neglect events detected only by one sensor to further improve the model performance. For instance, on 22 March 2010, a day with particular high avalanche activity, 17 avalanches were positively identified by at least three sensors with no false alarms. These results show, that the automatic detection of avalanches in seismic data is feasible, bringing us one step closer to implementing seismic monitoring system in operational forecasting.

  6. Electron avalanches in inhomogeneous media

    CERN Document Server

    Byrne, J

    2002-01-01

    We derive a general expression for the cumulant generating function describing the propagation of electron avalanches in inhomogeneous media. The results have applications in the theory of particle counting devices which rely on signal amplification by electron multiplication.

  7. Imaging findings of avalanche victims

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grosse, Alexandra B.; Grosse, Claudia A.; Anderson, Suzanne [University Hospital of Berne, Inselspital, Department of Diagnostic, Pediatric and Interventional Radiology, Berne (Switzerland); Steinbach, Lynne S. [University of California San Francisco, Department of Radiology, San Francisco, CA (United States); Zimmermann, Heinz [University Hospital of Berne, Inselspital, Department of Trauma and Emergency Medicine, Berne (Switzerland)

    2007-06-15

    Skiing and hiking outside the boundaries remains an attractive wilderness activity despite the danger of avalanches. Avalanches occur on a relatively frequent basis and may be devastating. Musculoskeletal radiologists should be acquainted with these injuries. Fourteen avalanche victims (11 men and 3 women; age range 17-59 years, mean age 37.4 years) were air transported to a high-grade trauma centre over a period of 2 years. Radiographs, CT and MR images were prospectively evaluated by two observers in consensus. Musculoskeletal findings (61%) were more frequent than extraskeletal findings (39%). Fractures were most commonly seen (36.6%), involving the spine (14.6%) more frequently than the extremities (9.8%). Blunt abdominal and thoracic trauma were the most frequent extraskeletal findings. A wide spectrum of injuries can be found in avalanche victims, ranging from extremity fractures to massive polytrauma. Asphyxia remains the main cause of death along with hypoxic brain injury and hypothermia. (orig.)

  8. Neuronal avalanches and coherence potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plenz, D.

    2012-05-01

    The mammalian cortex consists of a vast network of weakly interacting excitable cells called neurons. Neurons must synchronize their activities in order to trigger activity in neighboring neurons. Moreover, interactions must be carefully regulated to remain weak (but not too weak) such that cascades of active neuronal groups avoid explosive growth yet allow for activity propagation over long-distances. Such a balance is robustly realized for neuronal avalanches, which are defined as cortical activity cascades that follow precise power laws. In experiments, scale-invariant neuronal avalanche dynamics have been observed during spontaneous cortical activity in isolated preparations in vitro as well as in the ongoing cortical activity of awake animals and in humans. Theory, models, and experiments suggest that neuronal avalanches are the signature of brain function near criticality at which the cortex optimally responds to inputs and maximizes its information capacity. Importantly, avalanche dynamics allow for the emergence of a subset of avalanches, the coherence potentials. They emerge when the synchronization of a local neuronal group exceeds a local threshold, at which the system spawns replicas of the local group activity at distant network sites. The functional importance of coherence potentials will be discussed in the context of propagating structures, such as gliders in balanced cellular automata. Gliders constitute local population dynamics that replicate in space after a finite number of generations and are thought to provide cellular automata with universal computation. Avalanches and coherence potentials are proposed to constitute a modern framework of cortical synchronization dynamics that underlies brain function.

  9. Snow in a very steep rock face: accumulation and redistribution during and after a snowfall event

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Gabriel Sommer

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial laser scanning was used to measure snow thickness changes (perpendicular to the surface in a rock face. The aim was to investigate the accumulation and redistribution of snow in extremely steep terrain (>60°. The north-east face of the Chlein Schiahorn in the region of Davos in eastern Switzerland was scanned before and several times after a snowfall event. A summer scan without snow was acquired to calculate the total snow thickness. An improved postprocessing procedure is introduced. The data quality could be increased by using snow thickness instead of snow depth (measured vertically and by consistently applying Multi Station Adjustment to improve the registration.More snow was deposited in the flatter, smoother areas of the rock face. The spatial variability of the snow thickness change was high. The spatial patterns of the total snow thickness were similar to those of the snow thickness change. The correlation coefficient between them was 0.86. The fresh snow was partly redistributed from extremely steep to flatter terrain, presumably mostly through avalanching. The redistribution started during the snowfall and ended several days later. Snow was able to accumulate permanently at every slope angle. The amount of snow in extremely steep terrain was limited but not negligible. Areas steeper than 60° received 15% of the snowfall and contained 10% of the total amount of snow.

  10. Maximum speeds and alpha angles of flowing avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClung, David; Gauer, Peter

    2016-04-01

    A flowing avalanche is one which initiates as a slab and, if consisting of dry snow, will be enveloped in a turbulent snow dust cloud once the speed reaches about 10 m/s. A flowing avalanche has a dense core of flowing material which dominates the dynamics by serving as the driving force for downslope motion. The flow thickness typically on the order of 1 -10 m which is on the order of about 1% of the length of the flowing mass. We have collected estimates of maximum frontal speed um (m/s) from 118 avalanche events. The analysis is given here with the aim of using the maximum speed scaled with some measure of the terrain scale over which the avalanches ran. We have chosen two measures for scaling, from McClung (1990), McClung and Schaerer (2006) and Gauer (2012). The two measures are the √H0-;√S0-- (total vertical drop; total path length traversed). Our data consist of 118 avalanches with H0 (m)estimated and 106 with S0 (m)estimated. Of these, we have 29 values with H0 (m),S0 (m)and um (m/s)estimated accurately with the avalanche speeds measured all or nearly all along the path. The remainder of the data set includes approximate estimates of um (m/s)from timing the avalanche motion over a known section of the path where approximate maximum speed is expected and with either H0or S0or both estimated. Our analysis consists of fitting the values of um/√H0--; um/√S0- to probability density functions (pdf) to estimate the exceedance probability for the scaled ratios. In general, we found the best fits for the larger data sets to fit a beta pdf and for the subset of 29, we found a shifted log-logistic (s l-l) pdf was best. Our determinations were as a result of fitting the values to 60 different pdfs considering five goodness-of-fit criteria: three goodness-of-fit statistics :K-S (Kolmogorov-Smirnov); A-D (Anderson-Darling) and C-S (Chi-squared) plus probability plots (P-P) and quantile plots (Q-Q). For less than 10% probability of exceedance the results show that

  11. Potential slab avalanche release area identification from estimated winter terrain: a multi-scale, fuzzy logic approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Veitinger

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Avalanche hazard assessment requires a very precise estimation of the release area, which still depends, to a large extent, on expert judgement of avalanche specialists. Therefore, a new algorithm for automated identification of potential avalanche release areas was developed. It overcomes some of the limitations of previous tools, which are currently not often applied in hazard mitigation practice. By introducing a multi-scale roughness parameter, fine-scale topography and its attenuation under snow influence is captured. This allows the assessment of snow influence on terrain morphology and, consequently, potential release area size and location. The integration of a wind shelter index enables the user to define release area scenarios as a function of the prevailing wind direction or single storm events. A case study illustrates the practical usefulness of this approach for the definition of release area scenarios under varying snow cover and wind conditions. A validation with historical data demonstrated an improved estimation of avalanche release areas. Our method outperforms a slope-based approach, in particular for more frequent avalanches; however, the application of the algorithm as a forecasting tool remains limited, as snowpack stability is not integrated. Future research activity should therefore focus on the coupling of the algorithm with snowpack conditions.

  12. Ultraviolet avalanche photodiodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClintock, Ryan; Razeghi, Manijeh

    2015-08-01

    The III-Nitride material system is rapidly maturing; having proved itself as a material for LEDs and laser, and now finding use in the area of UV photodetectors. However, many UV applications are still dominated by the use of photomultiplier tubes (PMT). PMTs are capable of obtaining very high sensitivity using internal electron multiplication gain (typically ~106). It is highly desirable to develop a compact semiconductor-based photodetector capable of realizing this level of sensitivity. In principle, this can be obtained in III-Nitrides by taking advantage of avalanche multiplication under high electric fields - typically 2.7 MV/cm, which with proper design can correspond to an external reverse bias of less than 100 volts. In this talk, we review the current state-of-the-art in III-Nitride solar- and visible-blind APDs, and present our latest results on GaN APDs grown on both conventional sapphire and low dislocation density free-standing c- and m-plane GaN substrates. Leakage current, gain, and single photon detection efficiency (SPDE) of these APDs were compared. The spectral response and Geiger-mode photon counting performance of UV APDs are studied under low photon fluxes, with single photon detection capabilities as much as 30% being demonstrated in smaller devices. Geiger-mode operation conditions are optimized for enhanced SPDE.

  13. Avalanche effects near nanojunctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandigana, Vishal V. R.; Aluru, N. R.

    2016-07-01

    In this article, we perform a computational investigation of a nanopore connected to external fluidic reservoirs of asymmetric geometries. The asymmetry between the reservoirs is achieved by changing the cross-sectional areas, and the reservoirs are designated as the micropore reservoir and macropore reservoir. When an electric field is applied, which is directed from the macropore towards the micropore reservoir, we observe local nonequilibrium chaotic current oscillations. The current oscillations originate at the micropore-nanopore interface owing to the local cascade of ions; we refer to this phenomenon as the "avalanche effects." We mathematically quantify chaos in terms of the maximum Lyapunov exponent. The maximum Lyapunov exponent exhibits a monotonic increase with the applied voltage and the macropore reservoir diameter. The temporal power spectra maps of the chaotic currents depict a low-frequency "1 /f "-type dynamics for the voltage chaos and "1 /f2 "-type dynamics for the macropore reservoir chaos. The results presented here offer avenues to manipulate ionic diodes and fluidic pumps.

  14. Mountain Snow System Interactions - An Integrative Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landry, C. C.; Painter, T. H.; Barrett, A. P.

    2004-12-01

    Snow scientists now have capabilities and opportunities unimagined in the 1950's due to refinements in field techniques and instrumentation, and the advent of remote sensing platforms. These technical advances enable snow scientists to observe the mountain snow system at virtually any spatial scale. Mountain snow covers are essential water resources in many regions and are increasingly recognized as sensitive bellwethers of global change. Earth system science requires datasets that capture the 'vital signs' of system states and interactions at multiple spatio/temporal scales. Snowmelt processes are influenced by complex interactions that occur over a range of spatial scales. Surface energy exchange states and storage of melt water within the snowpack are expected to dominate snowmelt at the point scale. At larger spatial scales, the influence on lateral movement of water through the snowpack by basin topography and stream network traits may begin to dominate runoff. At still larger scales, reductions in basin- scale snow albedo caused by aerosols or dusts originating from distant sources may become the dominant forcing agent. Models based on an understanding of snowpack processes at the point scale will tend to allow point-scale processes to dominate when integrated to the basin scale. Knowledge of how processes at different scales interact, and which processes dominate at which scales, is essential to the development of new models. Traditional snow observation protocols and existing datasets often fail to capture or represent earth-surface interactions and processes in ways that enhance the integrated investigation of the mountain snow system as a system. The Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies and its collaborators seek to facilitate the interdisciplinary, integrative development of a ?mountain snow system observation protocol? or MSSOP. A multi-modal, multi-scale, integrative MSSOP observation set would identify proxy measures of system behavior for routine

  15. Climate-related change of snow contribution in the development of dangerous hydrological phenomenon on rivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Semenov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Under current climate change the amount of snow plays a fundamental role in occurrence of hazardous hydrological events causing a steady growth in frequency of hazardous snow melt floods in mountain and piedmont areas in the south of Siberia and the Urals and coastal areas of the Far East. For these areas as well as for the Caucasus the following is also typical: greater influence of snow on occurrence of hazardous snow-rainfall floods, higher frequency of hazardous snowfalls and avalanching. Small amount of snow is one of the factors causing higher frequency of extreme lacks of water in summer low water periods on rivers of Asian Russia. On rivers of European Russia increased frequency of thaws and longer periods of snow melt reduce flood risk and enhance the role of snow in feeding underground waters to impede the growth in frequency of extreme lacks of water during low water periods.

  16. Rainwater propagation through snow during artificial rain-on-snow events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juras, Roman; Würzer, Sebastian; Pavlasek, Jiri; Jonas, Tobias

    2016-04-01

    The mechanism of rainwater propagation and runoff generation during rain-on-snow (ROS) is still insufficiently known. Understanding rainwater behaviour within the natural snowpack is crucial especially for forecasting of natural hazards like floods and wet snow avalanches. In this study, rainwater percolation through snow was investigated by sprinkling the naturally stable isotope deuterium on snow and conduct hydrograph separation on samples collected from the snowpack runoff. This allowed quantifying the contribution of rainwater and snowmelt in the water released from the snowpack. Four field experiments were carried out during the winter 2015 in the vicinity of Davos, Switzerland. A 1 by 1 m block of natural snow cover was isolated from the surrounding snowpack to enable a closed water balance. This experimental snow sample was exposed to artificial rainfall with 41 mm of deuterium enriched water. The sprinkling was run in four 30 minutes intervals separated by three 30 minutes non-sprinkling intervals. The runoff from the snow cube was monitored quantitatively by a snow lysimeter and output water was continuously sampled for the deuterium concentration. Further, snowpack properties were analysed before and after the sprinkling, including vertical profiles of snow density, liquid water content (LWC) and deuterium concentration. One experiment conducted on cold snowpack showed that rainwater propagated much faster as compared to three experiments conducted on ripe isothermal snowpack. Our data revealed that sprinkled rainwater initially pushed out pre-event LWC or mixed with meltwater created within the snowpack. Hydrographs from every single experiment showed four pronounced peaks, with the first peak always consisted of less rainwater than the following ones. The partial contribution of rainwater to the total runoff consistently increased over the course of the experiment, but never exceeded 63 %. Moreover, the development of preferential paths after the first

  17. Drones application on snow and ice surveys in alpine areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Rocca, Leonardo; Bonetti, Luigi; Fioletti, Matteo; Peretti, Giovanni

    2015-04-01

    First results from Climate change are now clear in Europe, and in Italy in particular, with the natural disasters that damaged irreparably the territory and the habitat due to extreme meteorological events. The Directive 2007/60/EC highlight that an "effective natural hazards prevention and mitigation that requires coordination between Member States above all on natural hazards prevention" is necessary. A climate change adaptation strategy is identified on the basis of the guidelines of the European Community program 2007-2013. Following the directives provided in the financial instrument for civil protection "Union Civil Protection Mechanism" under Decision No. 1313/2013 / EU of the European Parliament and Council, a cross-cutting approach that takes into account a large number of implementation tools of EU policies is proposed as climate change adaptation strategy. In last 7 years a network of trans-Alpine area's authorities was created between Italy and Switzerland to define an adaptive strategy on climate change effects on natural enviroment based on non structural remedies. The Interreg IT - CH STRADA Project (STRategie di ADAttamento al cambiamento climatico) was born to join all the non structural remedies to climate change effects caused by snow and avalanches, on mountain sources, extreme hydrological events and to manage all transnational hydrological resources, involving all stakeholders from Italy and Switzerland. The STRADA project involved all civil protection authorities and all research centers in charge of snow, hydrology end civil protection. The Snow - meteorological center of the Regional Agency for Environment Protection (CNM of ARPA Lombardia) and the Civil Protection of Lombardy Region created a research team to develop tools for avalanche prediction and to observe and predict snow cover on Alpine area. With this aim a lot of aerial photo using Drone as been performed in unusual landscape. Results of all surveys were really interesting on a

  18. Avalanche risk assessment in Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komarov, Anton; Seliverstov, Yury; Sokratov, Sergey; Glazovskaya, Tatiana; Turchaniniva, Alla

    2017-04-01

    The avalanche prone area covers about 3 million square kilometers or 18% of total area of Russia and pose a significant problem in most mountain regions of the country. The constant growth of economic activity, especially in the North Caucasus region and therefore the increased avalanche hazard lead to the demand of the large-scale avalanche risk assessment methods development. Such methods are needed for the determination of appropriate avalanche protection measures as well as for economic assessments during all stages of spatial planning of the territory. The requirement of natural hazard risk assessments is determined by the Federal Law of Russian Federation. However, Russian Guidelines (SP 11-103-97; SP 47.13330.2012) are not clearly presented concerning avalanche risk assessment calculations. A great size of Russia territory, vast diversity of natural conditions and large variations in type and level of economic development of different regions cause significant variations in avalanche risk values. At the first stage of research the small scale avalanche risk assessment was performed in order to identify the most common patterns of risk situations and to calculate full social risk and individual risk. The full social avalanche risk for the territory of country was estimated at 91 victims. The area of territory with individual risk values lesser then 1×10(-6) covers more than 92 % of mountain areas of the country. Within these territories the safety of population can be achieved mainly by organizational activities. Approximately 7% of mountain areas have 1×10(-6) - 1×10(-4) individual risk values and require specific mitigation measures to protect people and infrastructure. Territories with individual risk values 1×10(-4) and above covers about 0,1 % of the territory and include the most severe and hazardous mountain areas. The whole specter of mitigation measures is required in order to minimize risk. The future development of such areas is not recommended

  19. Application of snow models to snow removal operations on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagre, Daniel B.; Klasner, Frederick L.

    2000-01-01

    Snow removal, and the attendant avalanche risk for road crews, is a major issue on mountain highways worldwide. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is the only road that crosses Glacier National Park, Montana. This 80-km highway ascends over 1200m along the wall of a glaciated basin and crosses the continental divide. The annual opening of the road is critical to the regional economy and there is public pressure to open the road as early as possible. Despite the 67-year history of snow removal activities, few stat on snow conditions at upper elevations were available to guide annual planning for the raod opening. We examined statistical relationships between the opening date and nearby SNOTEL data on snow water equivalence (WE) for 30 years. Early spring SWE (first Monday in April) accounted for only 33% of the variance in road opening dates. Because avalanche spotters, used to warn heavy equipment operators of danger, are ineffective during spring storms or low-visibility conditions, we incorporated the percentage of days with precipitation during plowing as a proxy for visibility. This improved the model's predictive power to 69%/ A mountain snow simulator (MTSNOW) was used to calculate the depth and density of snow at various points along the road and field data were collected for comparison. MTSNOW underestimated the observed snow conditions, in part because it does not yet account for wind redistribution of snow. The severe topography of the upper reaches of the road are subjected to extensive wind redistribution of snow as evidence by the formation of "The Big Drift" on the lee side of Logan Pass.

  20. Survival

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — These data provide information on the survival of California red-legged frogs in a unique ecosystem to better conserve this threatened species while restoring...

  1. Recalculation of an artificially released avalanche with SAMOS and validation with measurements from a pulsed Doppler radar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Sailer

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available A joint experiment was carried out on 10 February 1999 by the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SFISAR and the Austrian Institute for Avalanche and Torrent Research (AIATR, of the Federal Office and Re-search Centre for Forests, BFW to measure forces and velocities at the full scale experimental site CRÊTA BESSE in VALLÉE DE LA SIONNE, Canton du Valais, Switzerland. A huge avalanche could be released artificially, which permitted extensive investigations (dynamic measurements, im-provement of measurement systems, simulation model verification, design of protective measures, etc.. The results of the velocity measurements from the dual frequency pulsed Doppler avalanche radar of the AIATR and the recalculation with the numerical simulation model SAMOS are explained in this paper.

  2. Secondary avalanches in gas mixtures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Şahin, Özkan, E-mail: osahin@uludag.edu.tr [Department of Physics, Uludağ University, 16059 Bursa (Turkey); Tapan, İlhan [Department of Physics, Uludağ University, 16059 Bursa (Turkey); Veenhof, Rob [RD51 Collaboration, CERN, Genève (Switzerland)

    2013-08-01

    Avalanche development in gas-based detectors relies not only on direct ionisation but also on excitation of noble gas atoms. Some quencher molecules can be ionised when they collide with excited atoms, a process on which we reported earlier [1]. Alternatively, excited atoms can decay by photon emission. If these photons are insufficiently absorbed by the quencher, yet capable of ionising, then they may escape from the avalanche region and start secondary avalanches. This process, called photon feedback, leads to an over-exponential increase of the gas gain which limits the working range. In this paper, we derive photon feedback parameters from published gain measurements for several gas mixtures and fit these parameters in a model which describes their dependence on the quencher concentration and the pressure.

  3. GIS for Predicting the Avalanche Zones in the Mountain Regions of Kazakhstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omirzhanova, Zh. T.; Urazaliev, A. S.; Aimenov, A. T.

    2015-10-01

    Foothills of Trans Ili Alatau is a recreational area with buildings and sports facilities and resorts, sanatoriums, etc. In summer and winter there are a very large number of skiers, climbers, tourists and workers of organizations which located in the mountains. In this regard, forecasting natural destructive phenomena using GIS software is an important task of many scientific fields. The formation of avalanches, except meteorological conditions, such as temperature, wind speed, snow thickness, especially affecting mountainous terrain. Great importance in the formation of avalanches play steepness (slope) of the slope and exposure. If steep slopes contribute to the accumulation of snow in some places, increase the risk of flooding of the slope, the various irregularities can delay an avalanche. According to statistics, the bulk of the avalanche is formed on the slopes steeper than 30°. In the course of research a 3D model of the terrain was created with the help of programs ArcGIS and Surfer. Identified areas with steep slopes, the exposure is made to the cardinal. For dangerous terrain location is divided into three groups: favorable zone, danger zone and the zone of increased risk. The range of deviations from 30-45° is dangerous, since the angle of inclination of more than 30°, there is a maximum thickness of sliding snow, water, the upper layer of the surface and there is an increase rate of moving array, and the mountain slopes at an angle 450 above are the area increased risk. Created on DTM data are also plotted Weather Service for the winter of current year. The resulting model allows to get information upon request and display it on map base, assess the condition of the terrain by avalanches, as well as to solve the problem of life safety in mountainous areas, to develop measures to prevent emergency situations and prevent human losses.

  4. Avalanche risk assessment – a multi-temporal approach, results from Galtür, Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Keiler

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Snow avalanches pose a threat to settlements and infrastructure in alpine environments. Due to the catastrophic events in recent years, the public is more aware of this phenomenon. Alpine settlements have always been confronted with natural hazards, but changes in land use and in dealing with avalanche hazards lead to an altering perception of this threat. In this study, a multi-temporal risk assessment is presented for three avalanche tracks in the municipality of Galtür, Austria. Changes in avalanche risk as well as changes in the risk-influencing factors (process behaviour, values at risk (buildings and vulnerability between 1950 and 2000 are quantified. An additional focus is put on the interconnection between these factors and their influence on the resulting risk. The avalanche processes were calculated using different simulation models (SAMOS as well as ELBA+. For each avalanche track, different scenarios were calculated according to the development of mitigation measures. The focus of the study was on a multi-temporal risk assessment; consequently the used models could be replaced with other snow avalanche models providing the same functionalities. The monetary values of buildings were estimated using the volume of the buildings and average prices per cubic meter. The changing size of the buildings over time was inferred from construction plans. The vulnerability of the buildings is understood as a degree of loss to a given element within the area affected by natural hazards. A vulnerability function for different construction types of buildings that depends on avalanche pressure was used to assess the degree of loss. No general risk trend could be determined for the studied avalanche tracks. Due to the high complexity of the variations in risk, small changes of one of several influencing factors can cause considerable differences in the resulting risk. This multi-temporal approach leads to better understanding of the today's risk by

  5. Lumped transmission line avalanche pulser

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, Rex

    1995-01-01

    A lumped linear avalanche transistor pulse generator utilizes stacked transistors in parallel within a stage and couples a plurality of said stages, in series with increasing zener diode limited voltages per stage and decreasing balanced capacitance load per stage to yield a high voltage, high and constant current, very short pulse.

  6. Snow Leopard Enterprises

    OpenAIRE

    International Snow Leopard Trust

    2007-01-01

    Metadata only record The Snow Leopard Enterprises project by International Snow Leopard Trust is working to protect endangered snow leopards in Asia. Local participants are required to sign an agreement which commits them to specific conservation actions and prevents their killing of snow leopards in retaliation for domestic livestock losses or other reasons. In return, Snow Leopard Enterprises purchases products from the participants at an increased rate than they would otherwise able to ...

  7. Avalanche dynamics on a barchan dune

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nield, Joanna; Baddock, Matthew; Wiggs, Giles

    2017-04-01

    Avalanching (or grainflow) on the lee side of barchan dunes, is the main mechanism by which these aeolian bedforms migrate. However, we know very little about how the size, shape and location of these sediment deposits change under variable wind and grainfall conditions. Avalanches are initiated when sediment deposited close to the dune brink as a 'bulge', exceeds an angle of repose and is transported down the lee slope. The placement of the bulge depends on the distribution of grainfall on the lee slope, which in turn, is related to wind speed. Here we use terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to measure avalanche dynamics on a 5 m high barchan dune under variable wind speeds, on the Skeleton Coast, Namibia. We find that as the wind speed and grainfall zone increase, avalanches are initiated further downslope. Under wind speeds above 6 m/s, we also observe secondary avalanches which are initiated partway down the lee slope. This increase in sand transport conditions produces wider, longer and thicker avalanche lobe deposits. It also erodes more sediment within the erosion scarp that propagates upslope from the point of avalanche initiation. Along with the increased avalanche size, stronger winds produce steeper slopes, greater avalanche initiation angles and an increase in avalanche frequency. This study provides a valuable dataset of avalanche morphodynamics which offers insight into the influence of wind speed and grainfall on barchan dune mobility.

  8. Experimental Avalanches in a Rotating Drum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubard, Aline; O'Hern, Corey; Shattuck, Mark

    We address the question of universality in granular avalanches and the system size effects on it. We set up an experiment made from a quasi-two-dimensional rotating drum half-filled with a monolayer of stainless-steel spheres. We measure the size of the avalanches created by the increased gravitational stress on the pile as we quasi-statically rotate the drum. We find two kinds of avalanches determined by the drum size. The size and duration distributions of the avalanches that do not span the whole system follow a power law and the avalanche shapes are self-similar and nearly parabolic. The distributions of the avalanches that span the whole system are limited by the maximal amount of potential energy stored in the system at the moment of the avalanche. NSF CMMI-1462439, CMMI-1463455.

  9. Snow particle speeds in drifting snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Kouichi; Yokoyama, Chika; Ito, Yoichi; Nemoto, Masaki; Naaim-Bouvet, Florence; Bellot, Hervé; Fujita, Koji

    2014-08-01

    Knowledge of snow particle speeds is necessary for deepening our understanding of the internal structures of drifting snow. In this study, we utilized a snow particle counter (SPC) developed to observe snow particle size distributions and snow mass flux. Using high-frequency signals from the SPC transducer, we obtained the sizes of individual particles and their durations in the sampling area. Measurements were first conducted in the field, with more precise measurements being obtained in a boundary layer established in a cold wind tunnel. The obtained results were compared with the results of a numerical analysis. Data on snow particle speeds, vertical velocity profiles, and their dependence on wind speed obtained in the field and in the wind tunnel experiments were in good agreement: both snow particle speed and wind speed increased with height, and the former was always 1 to 2 m s-1 less than the latter below a height of 1 m. Thus, we succeeded in obtaining snow particle speeds in drifting snow, as well as revealing the dependence of particle speed on both grain size and wind speed. The results were verified by similar trends observed using random flight simulations. However, the difference between the particle speed and the wind speed in the simulations was much greater than that observed under real conditions. Snow transport by wind is an aeolian process. Thus, the findings presented here should be also applicable to other geophysical processes relating to the aeolian transport of particles, such as blown sand and soil.

  10. The December 2008 Crammont rock avalanche, Mont Blanc massif area, Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Deline

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We describe a 0.5 Mm3 rock avalanche that occurred in 2008 in the western Alps and discuss possible roles of controlling factors in the context of current climate change. The source is located between 2410 m and 2653 m a.s.l. on Mont Crammont and is controlled by a densely fractured rock structure. The main part of the collapsed rock mass deposited at the foot of the rock wall. A smaller part travelled much farther, reaching horizontal and vertical travel distances of 3050 m and 1560 m, respectively. The mobility of the rock mass was enhanced by channelization and snow. The rock-avalanche volume was calculated by comparison of pre- and post-event DTMs, and geomechanical characterization of the detachment zone was extracted from LiDAR point cloud processing. Back analysis of the rock-avalanche runout suggests a two stage event.

    There was no previous rock avalanche activity from the Mont Crammont ridge during the Holocene. The 2008 rock avalanche may have resulted from permafrost degradation in the steep rock wall, as suggested by seepage water in the scar after the collapse in spite of negative air temperatures, and modelling of rock temperatures that indicate warm permafrost (T > −2 °C.

  11. Combining low-cost GPS receivers with upGPR to derive continuously liquid water content, snow height and snow water equivalent in Alpine snow covers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Franziska; Schmid, Lino; Prasch, Monika; Heilig, Achim; Eisen, Olaf; Schweizer, Jürg; Mauser, Wolfram

    2015-04-01

    The temporal evolution of Alpine snowpacks is important for assessing water supply, hydropower generation, flood predictions and avalanche forecasts. Especially in high mountain regions with an extremely varying topography, it is until now often difficult to derive continuous and non-destructive information on snow parameters. Since autumn 2012, we are running a new low-cost GPS (Global Positioning System) snow measurement experiment at the high alpine study site Weissfluhjoch (2450 m a.s.l.) in Switzerland. The globally and freely broadcasted GPS L1-band (1.57542 GHz) was continuously recorded with GPS antennas, which are installed at the ground surface underneath the snowpack. GPS raw data, containing carrier-to-noise power density ratio (C/N0) as well as elevation and azimuth angle information for each time step of 1 s, was stored and analyzed for all 32 GPS satellites. Since the dielectric permittivity of an overlying wet snowpack influences microwave radiation, the bulk volumetric liquid water content as well as daily melt-freeze cycles can be derived non-destructively from GPS signal strength losses and external snow height information. This liquid water content information is qualitatively in good accordance with meteorological and snow-hydrological data and quantitatively highly agrees with continuous data derived from an upward-looking ground-penetrating radar (upGPR) working in a similar frequency range. As a promising novelty, we combined the GPS signal strength data with upGPR travel-time information of active impulse radar rays to the snow surface and back from underneath the snow cover. This combination allows determining liquid water content, snow height and snow water equivalent from beneath the snow cover without using any other external information. The snow parameters derived by combining upGPR and GPS data are in good agreement with conventional sensors as e.g. laser distance gauges or snow pillows. As the GPS sensors are cheap, they can easily

  12. Building a Cloud-based Global Snow Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, X.; Coll, J. M.

    2016-12-01

    Snow covers some 40 percent of Earth's land masses year in and year out and constitutes a vitally important variable for the planet's climate, hydrology, and biosphere due to its high albedo and insulation. It affects atmospheric circulation patterns, permafrost, glacier mass balance, river discharge, and groundwater recharge (Dietz et al. 2015). Snow is also nature's igloo where species from microscopic fungi to 800-pound moose survive the winter each in its own way (Pauli et al. 2013; Petty et al. 2015). Many studies have found that snow in high elevation regions is particularly sensitive to global climate change and is considered as sentinel of change. For human beings, about one-sixth of the world's population depends on seasonal snow and glaciers for their water supply (Barnett et al. 2005) and more than 50% of mountainous areas have an essential or supportive role for downstream regions (Viviroli et al. 2007). Large snowstorms also have a major impact on society in terms of human life, economic loss, and disruption (Squires et al. 2014). Remote sensing provides a practical approach of monitoring global snow and ice cover change. Based on our comprehensive validation and assessment on MODIS snow products, we build a cloud-based Global Snow Observatory (GSO) using Google Earth Engine (GEE) to serve as a platform for global researchers and the general public to access, visualize, and analyze snow data and to build snowmelt runoff models for mountain watersheds. Specifically, we build the GSO to serve global MODIS daily snow cover data and their analyses through GEE on Google App Engine. The GSO provides users the functions of accessing and extracting cloud-gap-filled snow data and interactive snow cover change exploration. In addition to snow cover frequency (SCF), we also plan to develop several other snow cover parameters, including snow cover duration/days, snow cover onset dates, and snow cover melting dates, and to study the shift and trend of global snow

  13. Scaling precipitation input to spatially distributed hydrological models by measured snow distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vögeli, Christian; Lehning, Michael; Wever, Nander; Bavay, Mathias

    2016-12-01

    Accurate knowledge on snow distribution in alpine terrain is crucial for various applications such as flood risk assessment, avalanche warning or managing water supply and hydro-power. To simulate the seasonal snow cover development in alpine terrain, the spatially distributed, physics-based model Alpine3D is suitable. The model is typically driven by spatial interpolations of observations from automatic weather stations (AWS), leading to errors in the spatial distribution of atmospheric forcing. With recent advances in remote sensing techniques, maps of snow depth can be acquired with high spatial resolution and accuracy. In this work, maps of the snow depth distribution, calculated from summer and winter digital surface models based on Airborne Digital Sensors (ADS), are used to scale precipitation input data, with the aim to improve the accuracy of simulation of the spatial distribution of snow with Alpine3D. A simple method to scale and redistribute precipitation is presented and the performance is analysed. The scaling method is only applied if it is snowing. For rainfall the precipitation is distributed by interpolation, with a simple air temperature threshold used for the determination of the precipitation phase. It was found that the accuracy of spatial snow distribution could be improved significantly for the simulated domain. The standard deviation of absolute snow depth error is reduced up to a factor 3.4 to less than 20 cm. The mean absolute error in snow distribution was reduced when using representative input sources for the simulation domain. For inter-annual scaling, the model performance could also be improved, even when using a remote sensing dataset from a different winter. In conclusion, using remote sensing data to process precipitation input, complex processes such as preferential snow deposition and snow relocation due to wind or avalanches, can be substituted and modelling performance of spatial snow distribution is improved.

  14. Snow Properties Considered From a Multiscale Perspective: new Measurement Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneebeli, M.; Marshall, H.; Johnson, J. B.

    2006-12-01

    Physical properties of a snowpack important for geophysical and engineering applications, including: hydrology, mobility, avalanches, electromagnetic and thermal processes, usually vary over many scales. The spatial resolution of the measurement technique is very relevant when the physical property of interest at large scales is determined by the spatial average of its small-scale values (i.e., the geometric mean). Examples include the depth-averaged thermal conductivity of a snow cover, where the geometric mean is required. Typical vertical scales are a few millimeters for snow microstructure, around 0.1 m for distinct stratigraphic features (layers), and rarely exceed a few m in depth for the full snow cover. Horizontally, the typical scale within a layer is mostly determined by the depositional history, topography, and vegetation, and can range from 0.01 m (infiltration channels) to small-scale disturbances by wind (0.1 m) to hundreds of meters (surface hoar, crusts, sastrugi). New methods have been developed and deployed to transition between the different scales. X-ray micro-tomography and 3D-reconstruction from planar sections can physically describe microscale features. Micropenetrometry transitions from the microscale to the meter scale describing both physical and mechanical properties. Near-infrared photography provides a measure of snow grain specific surface area, an optically equivalent grain size at the snowpit-scale and a highly resolved stratigraphy. FMCW radar can produce estimates of snow depth, stratigraphy, and snow water equivalent with a 0.01 m vertical and 0.1 m horizontal resolution. These radar estimates can be acquired rapidly, allowing profiles of more than 1000 m to be made in a day, providing information at a wide range of length scales. These advanced techniques could be very useful for improved calibration and validation of snow cover models, remote-sensing algorithms, and avalanche forecasts.

  15. ESA GlobSnow Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The European Space Agency (ESA) Global Snow Monitoring for Climate Research (GlobSnow) snow water equivalent (SWE) v2.0 data record contains snow information derived...

  16. Application of radar polarimetry techniques for retrieval snow and rain characteristics in remote sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Darvishi

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The presence of snow cover has significant impacts on the both global and regional climate and water balance on earth. The accurate estimation of snow cover area can be used for forecasting runoff due to snow melt and output of hydroelectric power. With development of remote sensing techniques at different scopes in earth science, enormous algorithms for retrieval hydrometeor parameters have been developed. Some of these algorithms are used to provide snow cover map such as NLR with AVHRR/MODIS sensor for Norway, Finnish with AVHRR sensor for Finland and NASA with MODIS sensor for global maps. Monitoring snow cover at different parts of spectral electromagnetic is detectable (visible, near and thermal infrared, passive and active microwave. Recently, specific capabilities of active microwave remote sensing such as snow extent map, snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE, snow state (wet/dry and discrimination between rain and snow region were given a strong impetus for using this technology in snow monitoring, hydrology, climatology, avalanche research and etc. This paper evaluates the potentials and feasibility of polarimetric ground microwave measurements of snow in active remote sensing field. We will consider the behavior co- and cross-polarized backscattering coefficients of snowpack response with polarimetric scatterometer in Ku and L band at the different incident angles. Then we will show how to retrieve snow cover depth, snow permittivity and density parameters at the local scale with ground-based SAR (GB-SAR. Finally, for the sake of remarkable significant the transition region between rain and snow; the variables role of horizontal reflectivity (ZHH and differential reflectivity (ZDR in delineation boundary between snow and rain and some others important variables at polarimetric weather radar are presented.

  17. Spatial and temporal variability of snow depth and ablation rates in a small mountain catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Grünewald

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The spatio-temporal variability of the mountain snow cover determines the avalanche danger, snow water storage, permafrost distribution and the local distribution of fauna and flora. Using a new type of terrestrial laser scanner, which is particularly suited for measurements of snow covered surfaces, snow depth was monitored in a high alpine catchment during an ablation period. From these measurements snow water equivalents and ablation rates were calculated. This allowed us for the first time to obtain a high resolution (2.5 m cell size picture of spatial variability of the snow cover and its temporal development. A very high variability of the snow cover with snow depths between 0–9 m at the end of the accumulation season was observed. This variability decreased during the ablation phase, while the dominant snow deposition features remained intact. The average daily ablation rate was between 15 mm/d snow water equivalent at the beginning of the ablation period and 30 mm/d at the end. The spatial variation of ablation rates increased during the ablation season and could not be explained in a simple manner by geographical or meteorological parameters, which suggests significant lateral energy fluxes contributing to observed melt. It is qualitatively shown that the effect of the lateral energy transport must increase as the fraction of snow free surfaces increases during the ablation period.

  18. Advances in gas avalanche photomultipliers

    CERN Document Server

    Breskin, Amos; Buzulutskov, A F; Chechik, R; Garty, E; Shefer, G; Singh, B K

    2000-01-01

    Gas avalanche detectors, combining solid photocathodes with fast electron multipliers, provide an attractive solution for photon localization over very large sensitive areas and under high illumination flux. They offer single-photon sensitivity and the possibility of operation under very intense magnetic fields. We discuss the principal factors governing the operation of gas avalanche photomultipliers. We summarize the recent progress made in alkali-halide and CVD-diamond UV-photocathodes, capable of operation under gas multiplication, and novel thin-film protected alkali-antimonide photocathodes, providing, for the first time, the possibility of operating gas photomultipliers in the visible range. Electron multipliers, adequate for these photon detectors, are proposed and some applications are briefly discussed.

  19. Map data and Unmanned Aircraft System imagery from the May 25, 2014 West Salt Creek rock avalanche in western Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coe, Jeffrey A.; Baum, Rex L.; Allstadt, Kate; Kochevar, Bernard; Schmitt, Robert G.; Morgan, Matthew L.; White, Jonathan L.; Stratton, Benjamin T.; Hayashi, Timothy A.; Kean, Jason W.

    2016-01-01

    On May 25, 2014, a rain-on-snow induced rock avalanche occurred in the West Salt Creek Valley on the northern flank of Grand Mesa in western Colorado. The avalanche traveled 4.6 km down the confined valley, killing 3 people. The avalanche was rare for the contiguous U.S. because of its large size (54.5 Mm3) and long travel distance. To understand the avalanche failure sequence, mechanisms, and mobility, we mapped landslide structures, geology, and ponds at 1:1000-scale. We used high-resolution, Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) imagery from July 2014 as a base for our field mapping. Here we present the map data and UAS imagery. The data accompany an interpretive paper published in the journal Geosphere. The full citation for this interpretive journal paper is: Coe, J.A., Baum, R.L., Allstadt, K.E., Kochevar, B.F., Schmitt, R.G., Morgan, M.L., White, J.L., Stratton, B.T., Hayashi, T.A., and Kean, J.W., 2016, Rock avalanche dynamics revealed by large-scale field mapping and seismic signals at a highly mobile avalanche in the West Salt Creek Valley, western Colorado: Geosphere, v. 12, no. 2, p. 607-631,  doi:10.1130/GES01265.1. 

  20. Modelling of snow exceedances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordanova, Pavlina K.; Sadovský, Zoltán; Stehlík, Milan

    2017-07-01

    Modelling of snow exceedances is of great importance and interest for ecology, civil engineering and general public. We suggest the favorable fit for exceedances related to the exceptional snow loads from Slovakia, assuming that the data is driven by Generalised Pareto Distribution or Generalized Extreme Value Distribution. Further, the statistical dependence between the maximal snow loads and the corresponding altitudes is studied.

  1. Snow snake performance monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-01

    A recent study, Three-Dimensional Roughness Elements for Snow Retention (FHWA-WY-06/04F) (Tabler 2006), demonstrated : positive evidence for the effectiveness of Snow Snakes, a new type of snow fence suitable for use within the highway right-of...

  2. Subsampling effects in neuronal avalanche distributions recorded in vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Munk Matthias HJ

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many systems in nature are characterized by complex behaviour where large cascades of events, or avalanches, unpredictably alternate with periods of little activity. Snow avalanches are an example. Often the size distribution f(s of a system's avalanches follows a power law, and the branching parameter sigma, the average number of events triggered by a single preceding event, is unity. A power law for f(s, and sigma = 1, are hallmark features of self-organized critical (SOC systems, and both have been found for neuronal activity in vitro. Therefore, and since SOC systems and neuronal activity both show large variability, long-term stability and memory capabilities, SOC has been proposed to govern neuronal dynamics in vivo. Testing this hypothesis is difficult because neuronal activity is spatially or temporally subsampled, while theories of SOC systems assume full sampling. To close this gap, we investigated how subsampling affects f(s and sigma by imposing subsampling on three different SOC models. We then compared f(s and sigma of the subsampled models with those of multielectrode local field potential (LFP activity recorded in three macaque monkeys performing a short term memory task. Results Neither the LFP nor the subsampled SOC models showed a power law for f(s. Both, f(s and sigma, depended sensitively on the subsampling geometry and the dynamics of the model. Only one of the SOC models, the Abelian Sandpile Model, exhibited f(s and sigma similar to those calculated from LFP activity. Conclusion Since subsampling can prevent the observation of the characteristic power law and sigma in SOC systems, misclassifications of critical systems as sub- or supercritical are possible. Nevertheless, the system specific scaling of f(s and sigma under subsampling conditions may prove useful to select physiologically motivated models of brain function. Models that better reproduce f(s and sigma calculated from the physiological

  3. Mapping Snow Depth with Automated Terrestrial Laser Scanning - Investigating Potential Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, M. S.; Gigele, T.; Fromm, R.

    2017-11-01

    This contribution presents an automated terrestrial laser scanning (ATLS) setup, which was used during the winter 2016/17 to monitor the snow depth distribution on a NW-facing slope at a high-alpine study site. We collected data at high temporal [(sub-)daily] and spatial resolution (decimetre-range) over 0.8 km² with a Riegl LPM-321, set in a weather-proof glass fibre enclosure. Two potential ATLS-applications are investigated here: monitoring medium-sized snow avalanche events, and tracking snow depth change caused by snow drift. The results show the ATLS data's high explanatory power and versatility for different snow research questions.

  4. MAPPING SNOW DEPTH WITH AUTOMATED TERRESTRIAL LASER SCANNING – INVESTIGATING POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. S. Adams

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This contribution presents an automated terrestrial laser scanning (ATLS setup, which was used during the winter 2016/17 to monitor the snow depth distribution on a NW-facing slope at a high-alpine study site. We collected data at high temporal [(sub-daily] and spatial resolution (decimetre-range over 0.8 km² with a Riegl LPM-321, set in a weather-proof glass fibre enclosure. Two potential ATLS-applications are investigated here: monitoring medium-sized snow avalanche events, and tracking snow depth change caused by snow drift. The results show the ATLS data’s high explanatory power and versatility for different snow research questions.

  5. Distributed calibrating snow models using remotely sensed snow cover information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H.

    2015-12-01

    Distributed calibrating snow models using remotely sensed snow cover information Hongyi Li1, Tao Che1, Xin Li1, Jian Wang11. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China For improving the simulation accuracy of snow model, remotely sensed snow cover data are used to calibrate spatial parameters of snow model. A physically based snow model is developed and snow parameters including snow surface roughness, new snow density and critical threshold temperature distinguishing snowfall from precipitation, are spatially calibrated in this study. The study region, Babaohe basin, located in northwestern China, have seasonal snow cover and with complex terrain. The results indicates that the spatially calibration of snow model parameters make the simulation results more reasonable, and the simulated snow accumulation days, plot-scale snow depth are more better than lumped calibration.

  6. Scaling precipitation input to spatially distributed hydrological models by measured snow distribution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Vögeli

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Accurate knowledge on snow distribution in alpine terrain is crucial for various applicationssuch as flood risk assessment, avalanche warning or managing water supply and hydro-power.To simulate the seasonal snow cover development in alpine terrain, the spatially distributed,physics-based model Alpine3D is suitable. The model is typically driven by spatial interpolationsof observations from automatic weather stations (AWS, leading to errors in the spatial distributionof atmospheric forcing. With recent advances in remote sensing techniques, maps of snowdepth can be acquired with high spatial resolution and accuracy. In this work, maps of the snowdepth distribution, calculated from summer and winter digital surface models based on AirborneDigital Sensors (ADS, are used to scale precipitation input data, with the aim to improve theaccuracy of simulation of the spatial distribution of snow with Alpine3D. A simple method toscale and redistribute precipitation is presented and the performance is analysed. The scalingmethod is only applied if it is snowing. For rainfall the precipitation is distributed by interpolation,with a simple air temperature threshold used for the determination of the precipitation phase.It was found that the accuracy of spatial snow distribution could be improved significantly forthe simulated domain. The standard deviation of absolute snow depth error is reduced up toa factor 3.4 to less than 20 cm. The mean absolute error in snow distribution was reducedwhen using representative input sources for the simulation domain. For inter-annual scaling, themodel performance could also be improved, even when using a remote sensing dataset from adifferent winter. In conclusion, using remote sensing data to process precipitation input, complexprocesses such as preferential snow deposition and snow relocation due to wind or avalanches,can be substituted and modelling performance of spatial snow distribution is improved.

  7. Transport of intercepted snow from trees during snow storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    David H. Miller

    1966-01-01

    Five principal processes by which intercepted snow in trees is removed during snow storms are described and evaluated as far as data permit: vapor flux from melt water, vapor flux from bodies of snow, stem flow and dripping of melt water, sliding of bodies of intercepted snow from branches, and wind erosion and transport of intercepted snow. Further research is...

  8. Rock avalanches and glacier dynamics: a case study in the Chugach Mountains, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhlmann, Manuela; Fischer, Luzia; Huggel, Christian; Kargell, Jeffrey; Korup, Oliver

    2010-05-01

    Massive rock slope failures resulting in rock avalanches in glacierized environments can have serious consequences for downstream areas. Furthermore they are important drivers of erosion. The Chugach Mountains in south-central Alaska are a vast remote and strongly glacierized area with evidence of numerous rock avalanches, although a systematic documentation and assessment of their role as geomorphic agents is missing so far. Here we use glaciers as a unique archive of rock avalanches that have deposited extensive debris sheets on glaciers. A number of well preserved rock avalanche deposits from past years and decades furthermore facilitate the quantification of hitherto poorly known historic glacier surface velocities in the region. The principal objective of this work was first to create an inventory of rock avalanches on the basis of Landsat satellite images in the Chugach Mountains, and to analyze their characteristics regarding lithology, climate, runout-distance, area and volume, as well as their spatial distribution. The runout distances of mass movements are generally larger in glacial environments than in non-glacial environments. This characteristic was also shown in the studied cases as they always travelled over glaciers, firn or snow. The distribution of the rock avalanches was compared with the occurrence of earthquakes in the region. It has been shown in this study, that especially big earthquakes trigger rock avalanches. Smaller earthquakes do not appear to have enough energy to trigger rock avalanches. Furthermore, the climate conditions were analyzed of being responsible for the spatial pattern of the rock avalanches. The south-eastern part of the Chugach Mountains is affected by high precipitation and mild temperatures. Concentration of rock avalanches occurs in the same area. To analyze glacier dynamics over more than 20 years, rock avalanche deposits on the glaciers were used to derive simple but robust measures of flow velocities over periods

  9. Segregation induced fingering instabilities in granular avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodhouse, Mark; Thornton, Anthony; Johnson, Chris; Kokelaar, Pete; Gray, Nico

    2013-04-01

    It is important to be able to predict the distance to which a hazardous natural granular flows (e.g. snow slab avalanches, debris-flows and pyroclastic flows) might travel, as this information is vital for accurate assessment of the risks posed by such events. In the high solids fraction regions of these flows the large particles commonly segregate to the surface, where they are transported to the margins to form bouldery flow fronts. In many natural flows these bouldery margins experience a much greater frictional force, leading to frontal instabilities. These instabilities create levees that channelize the flow vastly increasing the run-out distance. A similar effect can be observed in dry granular experiments, which use a combination of small round and large rough particles. When this mixture is poured down an inclined plane, particle size segregation causes the large particles to accumulate near the margins. Being rougher, the large particles experience a greater friction force and this configuration (rougher material in front of smoother) can be unstable. The instability causes the uniform flow front to break up into a series of fingers. A recent model for particle size-segregation has been coupled to existing avalanche models through a particle concentration dependent friction law. In this talk numerical solutions of this coupled system are presented and compared to both large scale experiments carried out at the USGS flume and more controlled small scale laboratory experiments. The coupled depth-averaged model captures the accumulation of large particles at the flow front. We show this large particle accumulation at the head of the flow can lead to the break-up of the initially uniform front into a series of fingers. However, we are unable to obtain a fully grid-resolved numerical solution; the width of the fingers decreases as the grid is refined. By considering the linear stability of a steady, fully-developed, bidisperse granular layer it is shown that

  10. Determination of the elastic modulus of snow via acoustic measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerling, Bastian; van Herwijnen, Alec; Löwe, Henning

    2016-04-01

    The elastic modulus of snow is a key quantity from the viewpoint of avalanche research and forecasting, snow engineering or materials science in general. Since it is a fundamental property, many measurements have been reported in the literature. Due to differences in measurement methods, there is a lot of variation in the reported values. Especially values derived via computer tomography (CT) based numerical calculations using finite element methods are not corresponding to the results of other methods. The central issue is that CT based moduli are purely elastic whereas other methods may include viscoelastic deformation. In order to avoid this discrepancy we derived the elastic modulus of snow via wave propagation measurements and compared our results with CT based calculations. We measured the arrival times of acoustic pulses propagating through the snow samples to determine the P-wave velocity and in turn derive the elastic modulus along the direction of wave propagation. We performed a series of laboratory experiments to derive the P-wave modulus of snow in relation to density. The P-wave modulus ranged from 10 to 280 MPa for a snow density between 150 and 370 kg/m^3;. The moduli derived from the acoustic measurements correlated well with the CT-based values and both exhibited a power law trend over the entire density range. Encouraged by these results we used the acoustic method to investigate the temporal evolution of the elastic modulus. The rate of increase was very close to values mentioned in literature on the sintering rate of snow. Overall, our results are a first but important step towards a new measurement method to attain the elastic properties of snow.

  11. Measuring snow liquid water content with low-cost GPS receivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Franziska; Prasch, Monika; Schmid, Lino; Schweizer, Jürg; Mauser, Wolfram

    2014-11-06

    The amount of liquid water in snow characterizes the wetness of a snowpack. Its temporal evolution plays an important role for wet-snow avalanche prediction, as well as the onset of meltwater release and water availability estimations within a river basin. However, it is still a challenge and a not yet satisfyingly solved issue to measure the liquid water content (LWC) in snow with conventional in situ and remote sensing techniques. We propose a new approach based on the attenuation of microwave radiation in the L-band emitted by the satellites of the Global Positioning System (GPS). For this purpose, we performed a continuous low-cost GPS measurement experiment at the Weissfluhjoch test site in Switzerland, during the snow melt period in 2013. As a measure of signal strength, we analyzed the carrier-to-noise power density ratio (C/N0) and developed a procedure to normalize these data. The bulk volumetric LWC was determined based on assumptions for attenuation, reflection and refraction of radiation in wet snow. The onset of melt, as well as daily melt-freeze cycles were clearly detected. The temporal evolution of the LWC was closely related to the meteorological and snow-hydrological data. Due to its non-destructive setup, its cost-efficiency and global availability, this approach has the potential to be implemented in distributed sensor networks for avalanche prediction or basin-wide melt onset measurements.

  12. Measuring Snow Liquid Water Content with Low-Cost GPS Receivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Koch

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The amount of liquid water in snow characterizes the wetness of a snowpack. Its temporal evolution plays an important role for wet-snow avalanche prediction, as well as the onset of meltwater release and water availability estimations within a river basin. However, it is still a challenge and a not yet satisfyingly solved issue to measure the liquid water content (LWC in snow with conventional in situ and remote sensing techniques. We propose a new approach based on the attenuation of microwave radiation in the L-band emitted by the satellites of the Global Positioning System (GPS. For this purpose, we performed a continuous low-cost GPS measurement experiment at the Weissfluhjoch test site in Switzerland, during the snow melt period in 2013. As a measure of signal strength, we analyzed the carrier-to-noise power density ratio (C/N0 and developed a procedure to normalize these data. The bulk volumetric LWC was determined based on assumptions for attenuation, reflection and refraction of radiation in wet snow. The onset of melt, as well as daily melt-freeze cycles were clearly detected. The temporal evolution of the LWC was closely related to the meteorological and snow-hydrological data. Due to its non-destructive setup, its cost-efficiency and global availability, this approach has the potential to be implemented in distributed sensor networks for avalanche prediction or basin-wide melt onset measurements.

  13. "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pangbourne, Laura

    2010-01-01

    Winter in the UK has, in recent years, brought a significant amount of snow and cold weather. This was the case while the author was a trainee teacher on placement at a rural primary school in Dartmoor early in 2010. The day started promisingly with the class looking at the weather forecast on the interactive whiteboard and having a short…

  14. Slip avalanche in nanoscratching of metallic glasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, D. X.; Wang, G.; Ren, J. L.; Song, S. X.; Li, J.; Yi, J.; Jia, Y. D.; Xu, H.; Chan, K. C.; Liaw, P. K.

    2017-09-01

    Slip avalanches, similar to discrete earthquake events, of Zr-, Co-, and Ce-based metallic glasses during nanoscratching were investigated. Differing from the conventional continuum approach, mean-field theory, which is an inherently-discrete model, was applied to analytically compute intermittent slip avalanches. Mean-field theory was first connected with the potential energy barrier and concentration of free volume in order to study the stick-slip behavior. The results suggest that the motion behavior of free volume affects the critical slip avalanche size.

  15. Continuum description of avalanches in granular media.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aranson, I. S.; Tsimring, L. S.

    2000-12-05

    A continuum theory of partially fluidized granular flows is proposed. The theory is based on a combination of the mass and momentum conservation equations with the order parameter equation which describes the transition between flowing and static components of the granular system. We apply this model to the dynamics of avalanches in chutes. The theory provides a quantitative description of recent observations of granular flows on rough inclined planes (Daerr and Douady 1999): layer bistability, and the transition from triangular avalanches propagating downhill at small inclination angles to balloon-shaped avalanches also propagating uphill for larger angles.

  16. Photovoltaic cell electrical heating system for removing snow on panel including verification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Agnes; Weiss, Helmut

    2017-11-16

    Small photovoltaic plants in private ownership are typically rated at 5 kW (peak). The panels are mounted on roofs at a decline angle of 20° to 45°. In winter time, a dense layer of snow at a width of e.g., 10 cm keeps off solar radiation from the photovoltaic cells for weeks under continental climate conditions. Practically, no energy is produced over the time of snow coverage. Only until outside air temperature has risen high enough for a rather long-time interval to allow partial melting of snow; the snow layer rushes down in an avalanche. Following this proposal, snow removal can be arranged electrically at an extremely positive energy balance in a fast way. A photovoltaic cell is a large junction area diode inside with a threshold voltage of about 0.6 to 0.7 V (depending on temperature). This forward voltage drop created by an externally driven current through the modules can be efficiently used to provide well-distributed heat dissipation at the cell and further on at the glass surface of the whole panel. The adhesion of snow on glass is widely reduced through this heating in case a thin water film can be produced by this external short time heating. Laboratory experiments provided a temperature increase through rated panel current of more than 10 °C within about 10 min. This heating can initiate the avalanche for snow removal on intention as described before provided the clamping effect on snow at the edge of the panel frame is overcome by an additional heating foil. Basics of internal cell heat production, heating thermal effects in time course, thermographic measurements on temperature distribution, power circuit opportunities including battery storage elements and snow-removal under practical conditions are described.

  17. Loropetalum chinense 'Snow Panda'

    Science.gov (United States)

    A new Loropetalum chinense, ‘Snow Panda’, developed at the U.S. National Arboretum is described. ‘Snow Panda’ (NA75507, PI660659) originated from seeds collected near Yan Chi He, Hubei, China in 1994 by the North America-China Plant Exploration Consortium (NACPEC). Several seedlings from this trip w...

  18. Snow and Glacier Hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brubaker, Kaye

    The study of snow and ice is rich in both fundamental science and practical applications. Snow and Glacier Hydrology offers something for everyone, from resource practitioners in regions where water supply depends on seasonal snow pack or glaciers, to research scientists seeking to understand the role of the solid phase in the water cycle and climate. The book is aimed at the advanced undergraduate or graduate-level student. A perusal of online documentation for snow hydrology classes suggests that there is currently no single text or reference book on this topic in general use. Instructors rely on chapters from general hydrology texts or operational manuals, collections of journal papers, or their own notes. This variety reflects the fact that snow and ice regions differ in climate, topography, language, water law, hazards, and resource use (hydropower, irrigation, recreation). Given this diversity, producing a universally applicable book is a challenge.

  19. Statistical Distributions of Electron Avalanches and Streamers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Ficker

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A new theoretical concept of fractal multiplication of electron avalanches has resulted in forming a generalized distribution function whose multiparameter character has been subjected to detailed discussion. 

  20. Electromagnetic radiation field of an electron avalanche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooray, Vernon; Cooray, Gerald

    2012-11-01

    Electron avalanches are the main constituent of electrical discharges in the atmosphere. However, the electromagnetic radiation field generated by a single electron avalanche growing in different field configurations has not yet been evaluated in the literature. In this paper, the electromagnetic radiation fields created by electron avalanches were evaluated for electric fields in pointed, co-axial and spherical geometries. The results show that the radiation field has a duration of approximately 1-2 ns, with a rise time in the range of 0.25 ns. The wave-shape takes the form of an initial peak followed by an overshoot in the opposite direction. The electromagnetic spectrum generated by the avalanches has a peak around 109 Hz.

  1. Statistics of Electron Avalanches and Streamers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Ficker

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available We have studied the severe systematic deviations of populations of electron avalanches from the Furry distribution, which has been held to be the statistical law corresponding to them, and a possible explanation has been sought. A  new theoretical concept based on fractal avalanche multiplication has been proposed and is shown to be a convenient candidate for explaining these deviations from Furry statistics. 

  2. Parameters of a runaway electron avalanche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oreshkin, E. V.; Barengolts, S. A.; Oreshkin, V. I.; Mesyats, G. A.

    2017-10-01

    The features of runaway electron avalanches developing in air at different pressures are investigated using a three-dimensional numerical simulation. The simulation results indicate that an avalanche of this type can be characterized, besides the time and length of its exponential growth, by the propagation velocity and by the average kinetic energy of the runaway electrons. It is shown that these parameters obey the similarity laws applied to gas discharges.

  3. Computational cell biologists snowed in at Cranwell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carson, J H; Cowan, A; Loew, L M

    2001-06-01

    Cell biology is being inundated by an avalanche of data from the genomics and proteomics enterprises. The complexity and sheer volume of information threaten to overwhelm the ability of traditional cell biologists to grasp its implications and develop experimentally testable hypotheses. For this reason, some have begun to explore computational approaches towards organizing complex data into quantitative models. This requires communication and collaboration between the biological science community and and the physical and mathematical sciences communities. A recent meeting [The First International Symposium on Computational Cell Biology, Cranwell Resort, Lenox, MA, USA; 4-6 March 2001. Organizers: J.H. Carson, A. Cowan, and L.M. Loew (www.nrcam.uchc.edu/conference).] made a first attempt to bring these two communities together. Three feet of new snow fell during the meeting, but the 125 attendees, an unusual mixture of cell biologists, computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists, and engineers, were having too much fun defining the new field of computational cell biology to notice that they were literally snowed in.

  4. The dynamics of surges in the 3 February 2015 avalanches in Vallée de la Sionne

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, A.; McElwaine, J. N.; Sovilla, B.; Ash, M.; Brennan, P.

    2016-11-01

    Five avalanches were artificially released at the Vallée de la Sionne test site in the west of Switzerland on 3 February 2015 and recorded by the GEOphysical flow dynamics using pulsed Doppler radAR Mark 3 radar system. The radar beam penetrates the dilute powder cloud and measures reflections from the underlying denser avalanche features allowing the tracking of the flow at 111 Hz with 0.75 m downslope resolution. The data show that the avalanches contain many internal surges. The large or "major" surges originate from the secondary release of slabs. These slabs can each contain more mass than the initial release, and thus can greatly affect the flow dynamics, by unevenly distributing the mass. The small or "minor" surges appear to be a roll wave-like instability, and these can greatly influence the front dynamics as they can repeatedly overtake the leading edge. We analyzed the friction acting on the fronts of minor surges using a Voellmy-like, simple one-dimensional model with frictional resistance and velocity-squared drag. This model fits the data of the overall velocity, but it cannot capture the dynamics and especially the slowing of the minor surges, which requires dramatically varying effective friction. Our findings suggest that current avalanche models based on Voellmy-like friction laws do not accurately describe the physics of the intermittent frontal region of large mixed avalanches. We suggest that these data can only be explained by changes in the snow surface, such as the entrainment of the upper snow layers and the smoothing by earlier flow fronts.

  5. The Snow Must Go On: Ground Ice Encasement, Snow Compaction and Absence of Snow Differently Cause Soil Hypoxia, CO2 Accumulation and Tree Seedling Damage in Boreal Forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Françoise Martz

    Full Text Available At high latitudes, the climate has warmed at twice the rate of the global average with most changes observed in autumn, winter and spring. Increasing winter temperatures and wide temperature fluctuations are leading to more frequent rain-on-snow events and freeze-thaw cycles causing snow compaction and formation of ice layers in the snowpack, thus creating ice encasement (IE. By decreasing the snowpack insulation capacity and restricting soil-atmosphere gas exchange, modification of the snow properties may lead to colder soil but also to hypoxia and accumulation of trace gases in the subnivean environment. To test the effects of these overwintering conditions changes on plant winter survival and growth, we established a snow manipulation experiment in a coniferous forest in Northern Finland with Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings. In addition to ambient conditions and prevention of IE, we applied three snow manipulation levels: IE created by artificial rain-on-snow events, snow compaction and complete snow removal. Snow removal led to deeper soil frost during winter, but no clear effect of IE or snow compaction done in early winter was observed on soil temperature. Hypoxia and accumulation of CO2 were highest in the IE plots but, more importantly, the duration of CO2 concentration above 5% was 17 days in IE plots compared to 0 days in ambient plots. IE was the most damaging winter condition for both species, decreasing the proportion of healthy seedlings by 47% for spruce and 76% for pine compared to ambient conditions. Seedlings in all three treatments tended to grow less than seedlings in ambient conditions but only IE had a significant effect on spruce growth. Our results demonstrate a negative impact of winter climate change on boreal forest regeneration and productivity. Changing snow conditions may thus partially mitigate the positive effect of increasing growing season temperatures on boreal forest productivity.

  6. The Snow Must Go On: Ground Ice Encasement, Snow Compaction and Absence of Snow Differently Cause Soil Hypoxia, CO2 Accumulation and Tree Seedling Damage in Boreal Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martz, Françoise; Vuosku, Jaana; Ovaskainen, Anu; Stark, Sari; Rautio, Pasi

    2016-01-01

    At high latitudes, the climate has warmed at twice the rate of the global average with most changes observed in autumn, winter and spring. Increasing winter temperatures and wide temperature fluctuations are leading to more frequent rain-on-snow events and freeze-thaw cycles causing snow compaction and formation of ice layers in the snowpack, thus creating ice encasement (IE). By decreasing the snowpack insulation capacity and restricting soil-atmosphere gas exchange, modification of the snow properties may lead to colder soil but also to hypoxia and accumulation of trace gases in the subnivean environment. To test the effects of these overwintering conditions changes on plant winter survival and growth, we established a snow manipulation experiment in a coniferous forest in Northern Finland with Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings. In addition to ambient conditions and prevention of IE, we applied three snow manipulation levels: IE created by artificial rain-on-snow events, snow compaction and complete snow removal. Snow removal led to deeper soil frost during winter, but no clear effect of IE or snow compaction done in early winter was observed on soil temperature. Hypoxia and accumulation of CO2 were highest in the IE plots but, more importantly, the duration of CO2 concentration above 5% was 17 days in IE plots compared to 0 days in ambient plots. IE was the most damaging winter condition for both species, decreasing the proportion of healthy seedlings by 47% for spruce and 76% for pine compared to ambient conditions. Seedlings in all three treatments tended to grow less than seedlings in ambient conditions but only IE had a significant effect on spruce growth. Our results demonstrate a negative impact of winter climate change on boreal forest regeneration and productivity. Changing snow conditions may thus partially mitigate the positive effect of increasing growing season temperatures on boreal forest productivity.

  7. Rainwater propagation through snowpack during rain-on-snow sprinkling experiments under different snow conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Juras

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The mechanisms of rainwater propagation and runoff generation during rain-on-snow (ROS events are still insufficiently known. Understanding storage and transport of liquid water in natural snowpacks is crucial, especially for forecasting of natural hazards such as floods and wet snow avalanches. In this study, propagation of rainwater through snow was investigated by sprinkling experiments with deuterium-enriched water and applying an alternative hydrograph separation technique on samples collected from the snowpack runoff. This allowed us to quantify the contribution of rainwater, snowmelt and initial liquid water released from the snowpack. Four field experiments were carried out during winter 2015 in the vicinity of Davos, Switzerland. Blocks of natural snow were isolated from the surrounding snowpack to inhibit lateral exchange of water and were exposed to artificial rainfall using deuterium-enriched water. The experiments were composed of four 30 min periods of sprinkling, separated by three 30 min breaks. The snowpack runoff was continuously gauged and sampled periodically for the deuterium signature. At the onset of each experiment antecedent liquid water was first pushed out by the sprinkling water. Hydrographs showed four pronounced peaks corresponding to the four sprinkling bursts. The contribution of rainwater to snowpack runoff consistently increased over the course of the experiment but never exceeded 86 %. An experiment conducted on a non-ripe snowpack suggested the development of preferential flow paths that allowed rainwater to efficiently propagate through the snowpack limiting the time for mass exchange processes to take effect. In contrast, experiments conducted on ripe isothermal snowpack showed a slower response behaviour and resulted in a total runoff volume which consisted of less than 50 % of the rain input.

  8. Rainwater propagation through snowpack during rain-on-snow sprinkling experiments under different snow conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juras, Roman; Würzer, Sebastian; Pavlásek, Jirka; Vitvar, Tomáš; Jonas, Tobias

    2017-09-01

    The mechanisms of rainwater propagation and runoff generation during rain-on-snow (ROS) events are still insufficiently known. Understanding storage and transport of liquid water in natural snowpacks is crucial, especially for forecasting of natural hazards such as floods and wet snow avalanches. In this study, propagation of rainwater through snow was investigated by sprinkling experiments with deuterium-enriched water and applying an alternative hydrograph separation technique on samples collected from the snowpack runoff. This allowed us to quantify the contribution of rainwater, snowmelt and initial liquid water released from the snowpack. Four field experiments were carried out during winter 2015 in the vicinity of Davos, Switzerland. Blocks of natural snow were isolated from the surrounding snowpack to inhibit lateral exchange of water and were exposed to artificial rainfall using deuterium-enriched water. The experiments were composed of four 30 min periods of sprinkling, separated by three 30 min breaks. The snowpack runoff was continuously gauged and sampled periodically for the deuterium signature. At the onset of each experiment antecedent liquid water was first pushed out by the sprinkling water. Hydrographs showed four pronounced peaks corresponding to the four sprinkling bursts. The contribution of rainwater to snowpack runoff consistently increased over the course of the experiment but never exceeded 86 %. An experiment conducted on a non-ripe snowpack suggested the development of preferential flow paths that allowed rainwater to efficiently propagate through the snowpack limiting the time for mass exchange processes to take effect. In contrast, experiments conducted on ripe isothermal snowpack showed a slower response behaviour and resulted in a total runoff volume which consisted of less than 50 % of the rain input.

  9. Snow model analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    This study developed a new snow model and a database which warehouses geometric, weather and traffic : data on New Jersey highways. The complexity of the model development lies in considering variable road : width, different spreading/plowing pattern...

  10. MODSNOW-Tool: an operational tool for daily snow cover monitoring using MODIS data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gafurov, Abror; Lüdtke, Stefan; Unger-Shayesteh, Katy; Vorogushyn, Sergiy; Schöne, Tilo; Schmidt, Sebastian; Kalashnikova, Olga; Merz, Bruno

    2017-04-01

    Spatially distributed snow cover information in mountain areas is extremely important for water storage estimations, seasonal water availability forecasting, or the assessment of snow-related hazards (e.g. enhanced snow-melt following intensive rains, or avalanche events). Moreover, spatially distributed snow cover information can be used to calibrate and/or validate hydrological models. We present the MODSNOW-Tool - an operational monitoring tool offers a user-friendly application which can be used for catchment-based operational snow cover monitoring. The application automatically downloads and processes freely available daily Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow cover data. The MODSNOW-Tool uses a step-wise approach for cloud removal and delivers cloud-free snow cover maps for the selected river basins including basin specific snow cover extent statistics. The accuracy of cloud-eliminated MODSNOW snow cover maps was validated for 84 almost cloud-free days in the Karadarya river basin in Central Asia, and an average accuracy of 94 % was achieved. The MODSNOW-Tool can be used in operational and non-operational mode. In the operational mode, the tool is set up as a scheduled task on a local computer allowing automatic execution without user interaction and delivers snow cover maps on a daily basis. In the non-operational mode, the tool can be used to process historical time series of snow cover maps. The MODSNOW-Tool is currently implemented and in use at the national hydrometeorological services of four Central Asian states - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and used for seasonal water availability forecast.

  11. Observing and characterizing avalanche activity in the Khumbu Himal, Nepal, using Pleiades and airborne HDR imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Sarah; Nicholson, Lindsey; Klug, Christoph; Rieg, Lorenzo; Sailer, Rudolf; Bucher, Tilman; Brauchle, Jörg

    2017-04-01

    In the high, steep terrain of the Khumbu Himal, Nepal, snow avalanches play an important role in glacier mass balance, and rockfall supplies much of the rock material that forms the extensive debris covers on glaciers in the region. Information on the frequency and size of gravitational mass movements is helpful for understanding current and future glacier behaviour but currently lacking. In this study we use a combination of high resolution Pleiades optical satellite imagery in conjunction with airborne HDR imagery of slopes in deep shadow or overexposed snow slopes, provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) MACS system (see Brauchle et al., MM3.2/GI2.12/GMPV6.4/HS11.13/NH8.9/SSS12.24), to undertake a qualitative observational study of the gravitational processes evident in these sets of imagery. We classify the features found and discuss their likely frequency in the context of previously published research findings. Terrain analysis based upon digital terrain models derived from the same Pleiades imagery is used to investigate the slope angle, degree of confinement, curvature and aspect of observed avalanche and rock fall tracks. This work presents a first overview of the types of gravitational slides affecting glaciers of the Khumbu Himal. Subsequent research efforts will focus on attempting to quantify volumes of mass movement using repeat satellite imagery.

  12. Smartphone applications for communicating avalanche risk information - a study on how they are developed and evaluated by their providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charrière, Marie K. M.; Bogaard, Thom A.

    2016-05-01

    Every year, people are victims of avalanches. It is commonly assumed that one way to decrease those losses is to inform about danger levels. This paper presents a study on current practices in the development and evaluation of smartphones applications that are dedicated to avalanche risk communication. The analysis based on semi-structured interviews with developers of six smartphone apps highlights the context of their development, how choices of content and visualization were made and how their effectiveness is evaluated by the developers themselves. It appears that all these communicators agree on the message to disseminate and the general representation concepts (i.e., use of the international avalanche danger scale and of a tiered approach). However, the specific ways this message is presented (e.g., maps, icons) is not uniform. Moreover, only simple evaluation processes (e.g., usage monitoring) are conducted by the developers. However, they are well aware that further efforts need to be made in order to thoroughly analyze the effectiveness of the smartphone apps in terms of their real impact (e.g., increase in awareness or change in behavior). This work also highlighted that the smartphone applications are in transition from being one-way communication tools to becoming two-way communication platforms, with the possibility for non-experts users to report on snow and avalanche conditions. This paper indicates challenges that avalanche risk communication is facing, although it is indisputably the most advanced and standardized practice compared to communication tools for other natural hazards. In addition to being relevant for the avalanche risk communication community, this research is therefore of interest for scientists and practitioners working on risk communication related to natural hazards.

  13. A multiphysical ensemble system of numerical snow modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafaysse, Matthieu; Cluzet, Bertrand; Dumont, Marie; Lejeune, Yves; Vionnet, Vincent; Morin, Samuel

    2017-05-01

    Physically based multilayer snowpack models suffer from various modelling errors. To represent these errors, we built the new multiphysical ensemble system ESCROC (Ensemble System Crocus) by implementing new representations of different physical processes in the deterministic coupled multilayer ground/snowpack model SURFEX/ISBA/Crocus. This ensemble was driven and evaluated at Col de Porte (1325 m a.s.l., French alps) over 18 years with a high-quality meteorological and snow data set. A total number of 7776 simulations were evaluated separately, accounting for the uncertainties of evaluation data. The ability of the ensemble to capture the uncertainty associated to modelling errors is assessed for snow depth, snow water equivalent, bulk density, albedo and surface temperature. Different sub-ensembles of the ESCROC system were studied with probabilistic tools to compare their performance. Results show that optimal members of the ESCROC system are able to explain more than half of the total simulation errors. Integrating members with biases exceeding the range corresponding to observational uncertainty is necessary to obtain an optimal dispersion, but this issue can also be a consequence of the fact that meteorological forcing uncertainties were not accounted for. The ESCROC system promises the integration of numerical snow-modelling errors in ensemble forecasting and ensemble assimilation systems in support of avalanche hazard forecasting and other snowpack-modelling applications.

  14. Post-glacial rock avalanche causing epigenetic gorge incision (Strassberg gorge, Eastern Alps).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Diethard

    2015-04-01

    In the western part of the Eastern Alps, the Strassberg gorge 1.5 km in length and down to 100 m in depth shows a marked asymmetry in height of its right/left brinklines. The gorge is incised into Upper Triassic dolostones, and parallels an older valley filled with Quaternary deposits. Upstream, the valley-fill consists of (a) glacial till (Last Glacial Maximum, LGM), overlain by (b) a rock avalanche deposit (RAD) at least a few tens of meters thick, and (c) alluvial deposits shed over the RAD (except for projecting boulders); the RAD is locally also downlapped by scree slopes. Downstream, the valley-fill consists of glacio-fluvial deposits overlain by LGM till and, on top, the RAD. The rock avalanche defaced from the west slope of mount Hohe Munde (2662 m asl), and consists exclusively of clasts of Wetterstein Limestone (Triassic p. p.). Rock avalanche defacement was tied to a system of NW-SE trending strike-slip faults (Telfs fault zone). The rock avalanche descended before the old valley was significantly cleared of glaciofluvial/glacial deposits of the LGM. On a plateau west of the present bedrock gorge, LGM till is veneered over a large area by RAD; the till and the RAD both were later involved in slumping. The RAD covers a total planview area of ~3.7 square kilometers. The fahrböschung of the rock avalanche is reconstructed between 16°-14.5°. In its proximal part, the rock avalanche propagated by dynamic fragmentation; in the distal part, propagation was by sheet-like 'plug flow', perhaps in part over a snow cover. The filling of the old valley by the RAD led to: (a) formation and filling of a small intramontane basin directly upstream, and (b) incision of the present Strassberg gorge along a course westward-parallel to the old valley. Mean rates of bedrock incision required to form the deepest reach of the present canyon range from 1 cm/a (since 10 ka) to 0.7 cm/a (since 15 ka). In the considered area, talus breccias of pre-LGM age locally show zones of

  15. Reforestation and land use change as drivers for a decrease of avalanche damage in mid-latitude mountains (NW Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Hernández, Cristina; Ruiz-Fernández, Jesús; Sánchez-Posada, Covadonga; Pereira, Susana; Oliva, Marc; Vieira, Gonçalo

    2017-06-01

    Natural conditions that explain the triggering of snow avalanches are becoming better-known, but our understanding of how socio-environmental changes can influence the occurrence of damaging avalanches is still limited. This study analyses the evolution of snow avalanche damage in the Asturian Massif (NW Spain) between 1800 and 2015, paying special attention to changes in land-use and land-cover patterns. A damage index has been performed using historical sources, photointerpretation and fieldwork-based data, which were introduced in a GIS and processed by means of statistical analysis. Mapping allowed connecting spatiotemporal variations of damage and changes in human-environment interactions. The total number of victims was 342 (192 dead and 150 injured). Results show stability in the number of avalanches during the study period, but a progressive decrease in the damage per avalanche. Changes in land use explain the evolution of damage and its spatial/temporal behaviour. The role played by vegetation cover is at the root of this process: damage was the highest during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when a massive deforestation process affected the protective forest. This deforestation was the result of demographic growth and intensive grazing, disentailment laws and emerging coal mining. Since the mid-20th century, the transformation of a traditional land-management system based on overexploitation into a system based on land marginalization and reforestation, together with the decline of deforestation due to industrial and legal causes, resulted in the decrease of avalanches that affected settlements (mostly those released below the potential timberline). The decrease of damage has been sharper in the western sector of the Asturian Massif, where oak deforestation was very intense in the past and where lithology allows for a more successful ecological succession at present. Taking into account that reforestation can be observed in mountain environments of

  16. Lemming winter habitat choice: a snow-fencing experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Donald G; Bilodeau, Frédéric; Krebs, Charles J; Gauthier, Gilles; Kenney, Alice J; Gilbert, B Scott; Leung, Maria C-Y; Duchesne, David; Hofer, Elizabeth

    2012-04-01

    The insulative value of early and deep winter snow is thought to enhance winter reproduction and survival by arctic lemmings (Lemmus and Dicrostonyx spp). This leads to the general hypothesis that landscapes with persistently low lemming population densities, or low amplitude population fluctuations, have a low proportion of the land base with deep snow. We experimentally tested a component of this hypothesis, that snow depth influences habitat choice, at three Canadian Arctic sites: Bylot Island, Nunavut; Herschel Island, Yukon; Komakuk Beach, Yukon. We used snow fencing to enhance snow depth on 9-ha tundra habitats, and measured the intensity of winter use of these and control areas by counting rodent winter nests in spring. At all three sites, the density of winter nests increased in treated areas compared to control areas after the treatment, and remained higher on treated areas during the treatment. The treatment was relaxed at one site, and winter nest density returned to pre-treatment levels. The rodents' proportional use of treated areas compared to adjacent control areas increased and remained higher during the treatment. At two of three sites, lemmings and voles showed significant attraction to the areas of deepest snow accumulation closest to the fences. The strength of the treatment effect appeared to depend on how quickly the ground level temperature regime became stable in autumn, coincident with snow depths near the hiemal threshold. Our results provide strong support for the hypothesis that snow depth is a primary determinant of winter habitat choice by tundra lemmings and voles.

  17. Maximal avalanches in the Bak-Sneppen model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gillett, A.J.; Meester, R.W.J.; van der Wal, P.

    2006-01-01

    We study the durations of the avalanches in the maximal avalanche decomposition of the Bak-Sneppen evolution model. We show that all the avalanches in this maximal decomposition have infinite expectation, but only 'barely', in the sense that if we made the appropriate threshold a tiny amount smaller

  18. A Hidden Markov Model for avalanche forecasting on Chowkibal ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    for operational avalanche forecasting in the ski area of the Parsenn region and found quite useful for operational purpose. Following the suggestions of. Obled and Good (1980) and Buser et al. (1987),. McClung and Tweedy (1994) derived a numerical avalanche prediction scheme for avalanche forecast- ing on Kootenay ...

  19. Real time avalanche detection for high risk areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-12-01

    Avalanches routinely occur on State Highway 21 (SH21) between Lowman and Stanley, Idaho each winter. The avalanches pose : a threat to the safety of maintenance workers and the traveling public. A real-time avalanche detection system will allow the :...

  20. A close-ridge small-scale atmospheric flow field and its influence on snow accumulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, F.; Lehning, M.; Hoch, S. W.; Mott, R.

    2017-08-01

    The rough, steep, and complex terrain in the alpine environment causes a variety of flow patterns such as blocking, speed-up, or flow separation, which influence precipitation, snow deposition, and ultimately snow distribution on the ground. Cloud-terrain interactions, flow-particle interactions, and snow transport affect snow accumulation patterns, but the relative importance of these processes is not fully understood, in particular, in complex mountainous terrain. A unique combination of measurements and model simulations is used in a local case study during a 2 day snowfall event to demonstrate the current understanding of snow accumulation in very steep alpine terrain. Doppler wind lidar measurements show an eddy-like structure on the leeward side of the Sattelhorn ridge (in the Dischma valley near Davos, Switzerland), which could partly be replicated by Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) flow simulations. Snow deposition measurements with a terrestrial laser scanner show a complex deposition pattern, which is only partially captured by Alpine3D deposition simulations driven by the ARPS flow fields. This shows that additional processes such as avalanches may play a role or that a more refined simulation of flow or flow-particle interactions is required to fully understand snow distribution in very steep mountainous terrain.

  1. Characterization of the Zymoetz river rock avalanche

    OpenAIRE

    Boultbee, Nichole Leanne

    2005-01-01

    On June 8, 2002, the Pacific Northern Gas pipeline in the Zymoetz River valley was severed over a distance of tens of meters by a large debris flow. The event initiated as a rock avalanche in Glen Falls Creek, a tributary of the 6 3 Zymoetz River. The rock avalanche involved I XI 0 m of volcaniclastic bedrock, and travelled through a complex flow path, to finally deposit a large fan in the main Zymoetz River. Approximately half of the debris volume was deposited in the cirque basin at the hea...

  2. Relating rock avalanche morphology to emplacement processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufresne, Anja; Prager, Christoph; Bösmeier, Annette

    2015-04-01

    The morphology, structure and sedimentological characteristics of rock avalanche deposits reflect both internal emplacement processes and external influences, such as runout path characteristics. The latter is mainly predisposed by topography, substrate types, and hydrogeological conditions. Additionally, the geological setting at the source slope controls, e.g. the spatial distribution of accumulated lithologies and hence material property-related changes in morphology, or the maximum clast size and amount of fines of different lithological units. The Holocene Tschirgant rock avalanche (Tyrol, Austria) resulted from failure of an intensely deformed carbonate rock mass on the southeast face of a 2,370-m-high mountain ridge. The initially sliding rock mass rapidly fragmented as it moved towards the floor of the Inn River valley. Part of the 200-250 x 106 m3 (Patzelt 2012) rock avalanche debris collided with and moved around an opposing bedrock ridge and flowed into the Ötz valley, reaching up to 6.3 km from source. Where the Tschirgant rock avalanche spread freely it formed longitudinal ridges aligned along motion direction as well as smaller hummocks. Encountering high topography, it left runup ridges, fallback patterns (i.e. secondary collapse), and compressional morphology (successively elevated, transverse ridges). Further evidence for the mechanical landslide behaviour is given by large volumes of mobilized valley-fill sediments (polymict gravels and sands). These sediments indicate both shearing and compressional faulting within the rock avalanche mass (forming their own morphological units through, e.g. in situ bulldozing or as distinctly different hummocky terrain), but also indicate extension of the spreading landslide mass (i.e. intercalated/injected gravels encountered mainly in morphological depressions between hummocks). Further influences on its morphology are given by the different lithological units. E.g. the transition from massive dolomite

  3. A simulated avalanche search and rescue mission induces temporary physiological and behavioural changes in military dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diverio, Silvana; Barbato, Olimpia; Cavallina, Roberta; Guelfi, Gabriella; Iaboni, Martina; Zasso, Renato; Di Mari, Walter; Santoro, Michele Matteo; Knowles, Toby G

    2016-09-01

    Saving human lives is of paramount importance in avalanche rescue missions. Avalanche military dogs represent an invaluable resource in these operations. However, their performance can be influenced by several environmental, social and transport challenges. If too severe, these are likely to activate a range of responses to stress, which might put at risk the dogs' welfare. The aim of this study was to assess the physiological and behavioural responses of a group of military dogs to a Simulated Avalanche Search and Rescue mission (SASR). Seventeen avalanche dogs from the Italian Military Force Guardia di Finanza (SAGF dogs) were monitored during a simulated search for a buried operator in an artificial avalanche area (SASR). Heart rate (HR), body temperature (RBT) and blood samples were collected at rest the day before the trial (T0), immediately after helicopter transport at the onset of the SASR (T1), after the discovery of the buried operator (T2) and 2h later (T3). Heart rate (HR), rectal body temperature (RBT), cortisol, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), creatine kinase (CK), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were measured. During the search mission the behaviour of each SAGF dog was measured by focal animal sampling and qualitatively assessed by its handler and two observers. Inter-rater agreement was evaluated. Snow and environmental variables were also measured. All dogs successfully completed their search for the buried, simulated victim within 10min. The SASR was shown to exert significant increases on RBT, NEFA and cortisol (Pdog's search mission ability was found only for motivation, signalling behaviour, signs of stress and possessive reward playing. More time signalling was related to shorter search time. In conclusion, despite extreme environmental and training conditions only temporary physiological and behavioural changes were recorded in the avalanche dogs. Their excellent performance in successful simulated SASR

  4. LOCAL CONDITIONS AND IMPACTS OF THE AVALANCHES. CASE STUDIES IN REPRESENTATIVE SECTORS WITHIN PIATRA CRAIULUI AND FĂGĂRAȘ MOUNTAINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANCA MUNTEANU

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Genesis conditions and effects of avalanches. Case studies in representative sectors within Piatra Craiului and Fagars mountains. The present paper aims at investigating the avalanches and their impact on the environment components. Snow avalanches are natural phenomena, which are controlled by the specific features of the mountain realm. They start suddenly due to the combination of meteorological and non-meteorological factors, which make the loose materials (snow, ice, detritus, vegetation or soil collapse or slide down along the slope. In consequence, erosion is increased or facilitated because of the impact they have on the other components of the environment (thalwegs deepening, forest destruction. The distribution of avalanches is hard to be highlighted, because of the inaccessible lands and the adverse meteorological conditions. From this reason, one needs to know their complex features, namely the morphology, vegetation and spatial dynamics of the areas prone to such phenomena. The effects on the environment can be easily identified in the mountain realm, inasmuch as they create typical corridors along the streams crossing the forests. At the same time, however, they have certain effects on the slope deposits, too. These will be further presented with examples for the eastern slope of the Piatra Craiului Mts. and the Suru – Negoiu section in the Făgăraș Mts. These areas are deemed representative for each of the mentioned mountain massifs.

  5. A methodology for determining the optimal position and dimensions of snow fences in alpine terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokop, A.; Procter, E.; Mott, R.

    2009-04-01

    Snow fences are used to accumulate snow in defined areas as permanent protection measures. However, the snow cover distribution in alpine terrain is known to be highly influenced by the local wind field. Therefore positioning and dimensioning of snow fences is -contrary to level terrain- a difficult matter. In this study we present a new methodology to achieve this goal and we provide an example of a potential avalanche release zone. The methodology contains the following steps: 1) Statistical analyses of wind data from permanent meteorological measurement stations in close distance to the investigation area. 2) Additional automatic wind measurements within the investigation area. 3) Generation of snow depth maps using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) technology and picture analyses. In this respect the TLS device, RIEGL LPM-321, was applied. The following technical features were provided by the used device: a) Measuring range: up to more than 4000 m, b) beam divergence: 0.8 mRad, c) scanning speed: 1000 Hz d) wavelength of 0.9 µm (near infrared). The spatial distribution of snow depth was measured and showed an accuracy of +/- 8 cm and a high resolution of 24 cm (at a distance of 800 m). This measuring system is able to capture the major snow drift zones. 4) Three-dimensional wind field modeling applying the atmospheric model ARPS (Advanced Regional Prediction System). Very high resolution wind fields (5 m horizontal resolution) were simulated initialized by measured wind data and data gained from a lower resolution atmospheric model (INCA) as input. 5) Computation of potential snow fence locations using the Tabler equation for classified snow drift events. Results of the example are presented and their reliability for positioning and dimensioning of snow fences in alpine terrain is discussed.

  6. Geochemical insights into the internal dynamics of debris avalanches. A case study: The Socompa avalanche, Chile

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Doucelance, Régis; Kelfoun, Karim; Labazuy, Philippe; Bosq, Chantal

    2014-01-01

    .... Here we present high‐precision Sr‐Nd isotope compositions, plus major and trace element concentrations, of matrix samples and rock fragments from the Socompa debris‐avalanche deposit (Chile...

  7. Nano-multiplication region avalanche photodiodes and arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xinyu (Inventor); Pain, Bedabrata (Inventor); Cunningham, Thomas J. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    An avalanche photodiode with a nano-scale reach-through structure comprising n-doped and p-doped regions, formed on a silicon island on an insulator, so that the avalanche photodiode may be electrically isolated from other circuitry on other silicon islands on the same silicon chip as the avalanche photodiode. For some embodiments, multiplied holes generated by an avalanche reduces the electric field in the depletion region of the n-doped and p-doped regions to bring about self-quenching of the avalanche photodiode. Other embodiments are described and claimed.

  8. A probabilistic model for martensitic avalanches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ball John M.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a probabilistic model for the description of martensitic avalanches. Our approach to the analysis of the model is based on an associated general branching random walk process. Comparisons are reported for numerical and analytical solutions and experimental observations.

  9. Measuring acoustic emissions in an avalanche slope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiweger, Ingrid; Schweizer, Jürg

    2014-05-01

    Measurements of acoustic emissions are a common technique for monitoring damage and predicting imminent failure of a material. Within natural hazards it has already been used to successfully predict the break-off of a hanging glacier. To explore the applicability of the acoustic emission (AE) technique for avalanche prediction, we installed two acoustic sensors (with 30 kHz and 60 kHz resonance frequency) in an avalanche prone slope at the Mittelgrat in the Parsenn ski area above Davos, Switzerland. The slope is north-east facing, frequently wind loaded, and approximately 35° steep. The AE signals - in particular the event energy and waiting time distributions - were compared with slope stability. The latter was determined by observing avalanche activity. The results of two winter's measurements yielded that the exponent β of the inverse cumulative distribution of event energy showed a significant drop (from a value of 3.5 to roughly 2.5) at very unstable conditions, i.e. on the three days during our measurement periods when spontaneous avalanches released on our study slope.

  10. Fractal avalanche ruptures in biological membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gözen, Irep; Dommersnes, Paul; Czolkos, Ilja; Jesorka, Aldo; Lobovkina, Tatsiana; Orwar, Owe

    2010-11-01

    Bilayer membranes envelope cells as well as organelles, and constitute the most ubiquitous biological material found in all branches of the phylogenetic tree. Cell membrane rupture is an important biological process, and substantial rupture rates are found in skeletal and cardiac muscle cells under a mechanical load. Rupture can also be induced by processes such as cell death, and active cell membrane repair mechanisms are essential to preserve cell integrity. Pore formation in cell membranes is also at the heart of many biomedical applications such as in drug, gene and short interfering RNA delivery. Membrane rupture dynamics has been studied in bilayer vesicles under tensile stress, which consistently produce circular pores. We observed very different rupture mechanics in bilayer membranes spreading on solid supports: in one instance fingering instabilities were seen resulting in floral-like pores and in another, the rupture proceeded in a series of rapid avalanches causing fractal membrane fragmentation. The intermittent character of rupture evolution and the broad distribution in avalanche sizes is consistent with crackling-noise dynamics. Such noisy dynamics appear in fracture of solid disordered materials, in dislocation avalanches in plastic deformations and domain wall magnetization avalanches. We also observed similar fractal rupture mechanics in spreading cell membranes.

  11. Snow, ice and solar radiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.

    2009-01-01

    The snow-covered ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland reflect most of the incoming solar radiation. The reflectivity, commonly called the albedo, of snow on these ice sheets has been observed to vary in space and time. In this thesis, temporal and spatial changes in snow albedo is found to depend

  12. SNOW STUDIES IN ANTARCTICA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    during winter. Most dunes are subsequently transformed into linear sastrugi so that by winter’s end the amplitude of the surface relief frequently...exceeds the thickness of snow accumulated annually. During the summer, however, these dunes and sastrugi are gradually worn down by a process of

  13. Ice and snow in the geographical names of the North-East of Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu. G. Seliverstov

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The place names related to snow and ice were revealed at the territory of Northeast of Russia. The processes and phenomena connected with snow and ice were also accounted for. The toponyms were pointing out presence or absence of specific components of glacio-nival system. They also described features of distribution of snow cover and character of its surface. The place names indicated events related to catastrophic avalanches and glaciers. The positions of the objects with such names were put on thematic maps. The maps reflected development of glacio-nival processes and phenomena in the studied region. It was established that the toponyms reflected not only local features. Some general laws of a glacio-nival complex of the region were found. The ideas on time of appearance of the place names were also expressed.

  14. Snow depth evolution on sea ice from Snow Buoy measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolaus, M.; Arndt, S.; Hendricks, S.; Hoppmann, M.; Katlein, C.; König-Langlo, G.; Nicolaus, A.; Rossmann, H. L.; Schiller, M.; Schwegmann, S.; Langevin, D.

    2016-12-01

    Snow cover is an Essential Climate Variable. On sea ice, snow dominates the energy and momentum exchanges across the atmosphere-ice-ocean interfaces, and actively contributes to sea ice mass balance. Yet, snow depth on sea ice is one of the least known and most difficult to observe parameters of the Arctic and Antarctic; mainly due to its exceptionally high spatial and temporal variability. In this study; we present a unique time series dataset of snow depth and air temperature evolution on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice recorded by autonomous instruments. Snow Buoys record snow depth with four independent ultrasonic sensors, increasing the reliability of the measurements and allowing for additional analyses. Auxiliary measurements include surface and air temperature, barometric pressure and GPS position. 39 deployments of such Snow Buoys were achieved over the last three years either on drifting pack ice, on landfast sea ice or on an ice shelf. Here we highlight results from two pairs of Snow Buoys installed on drifting pack ice in the Weddell Sea. The data reveals large regional differences in the annual cycle of snow depth. Almost no reduction in snow depth (snow melt) was observed in the inner and southern part of the Weddell Sea, allowing a net snow accumulation of 0.2 to 0.9 m per year. In contrast, summer snow melt close to the ice edge resulted in a decrease of about 0.5 m during the summer 2015/16. Another array of eight Snow Buoys was installed on central Arctic sea ice in September 2015. Their air temperature record revealed exceptionally high air temperatures in the subsequent winter, even exceeding the melting point but with almost no impact on snow depth at that time. Future applications of Snow Buoys on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice will allow additional inter-annual studies of snow depth and snow processes, e.g. to support the development of snow depth data products from airborne and satellite data or though assimilation in numerical models.

  15. The Marocche rock avalanches (Trentino, Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivy-Ochs, Susan; Martin, Silvana; Campedel, Paolo; Viganò, Alfio; Alberti, Silvio; Rigo, Manuel; Vockenhuber, Christof

    2015-04-01

    The floors of the Adige and Sarca River valleys are punctuated by numerous rock avalanche deposits of undetermined age. With a view to understanding predisposition and triggering factors, thus ultimately paleoseismicity in the region, we are studying the geomorphology and timing of the largest rock avalanches of the River Sarca-Lake Garda area (e.g., Marocche, Monte Spinale, Lago di Tovel, Lago di Molveno, San Giovanni and Torbole). Among the most extensive of these deposits, with an area of 13 km2 and a volume of about 109 m3, are the Marocche. Marocche deposits cover the lower Sarca valley north of Lake Garda for a length of more than 8 km with 200 m of debris. Both collapse and bedding parallel sliding are a consequence of dip slopes and the extreme relief on the right side of the valley of nearly 2000 m from the bedrock below the valley floor to the peaks combined with the zones of structural weakness. The rock avalanches developed within carbonate rocks of Mesozoic age, mainly limestones of the Jurassic Calcari Grigi Group. The main scarps are located on the western side of the lower Sarca Valley, along the steep faces of Mt. Brento and Mt. Casale. The presence of these scarps is strictly related to the Southern Giudicarie and the Ballino fault systems. The former is here constituted by regular NNE-directed ESE-vergent thrust faults. The latter has been reactivated as normal faults. These complicated structural relationships favored complex failure mechanisms, including rock slide and massive collapse. At the Marocche itself, based on field relationships and analysis of lidar imagery, we differentiated two large rock avalanches: the Marocca di Kas in the south which overlies and in part buries the Marocche (s.s.) in the northern sector. Previous mapping had suggested up to five rock avalanches in the area where we differentiate two. In spite of hypotheses suggesting failure of the rock avalanches onto stagnating late Pleistocene glaciers, preliminary 36Cl

  16. Community variability of bacteria in alpine snow (Mont Blanc) containing Saharan dust deposition and their snow colonisation potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuvochina, Maria S; Marie, Dominique; Chevaillier, Servanne; Petit, Jean-Robert; Normand, Philippe; Alekhina, Irina A; Bulat, Sergey A

    2011-01-01

    Microorganisms uplifted during dust storms survive long-range transport in the atmosphere and could colonize high-altitude snow. Bacterial communities in alpine snow on a Mont Blanc glacier, associated with four depositions of Saharan dust during the period 2006-2009, were studied using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and flow cytometry. Also, sand from the Tunisian Sahara, Saharan dust collected in Grenoble and Mont Blanc snow containing no Saharan dust (one sample of each) were analyzed. The bacterial community composition varied significantly in snow containing four dust depositions over a 3-year period. Out of 61 phylotypes recovered from dusty snow, only three phylotypes were detected in more than one sample. Overall, 15 phylotypes were recognized as potential snow colonizers. For snow samples, these phylotypes belonged to Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria, while for Saharan sand/dust samples they belonged to Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Deinococcus-Thermus and Proteobacteria. Thus, regardless of the time-scale, Saharan dust events can bring different microbiota with no common species set to alpine glaciers. This seems to be defined more by event peculiarities and aeolian transport conditions than by the bacterial load from the original dust source.

  17. LiDAR-based characterization of the Mt Shasta debris avalanche deposit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tortini, R.; Carn, S. A.; van Wyk de Vries, B.

    2013-12-01

    The failure of destabilized volcano flanks, due either to tectonic activity on basement structures underlying the volcanic edifice, magmatic intrusion or external forcing (e.g. weather events), is a likely occurrence during the lifetime of a stratovolcano. Flank failure can generate large debris avalanches, and the significant hazards associated with volcanic debris avalanches in the Cascade range were demonstrated by the collapse of Mt St Helens (WA, USA), which triggered its devastating explosive eruption in May 1980. Mt Shasta is a 4,317 m high, snow-capped, steep-sloped stratovolcano located in Northern California. The most voluminous of the Cascade volcanoes, the current edifice began forming on the remnants of an ancestral Mt Shasta that collapsed approximately 300,000 to 380,000 years ago producing one of the largest debris avalanches known on Earth. The debris avalanche deposit (DAD) covers a surface of 450 km2 across the Shasta valley, for a total volume of approximately 26 km3. A LiDAR point cloud and orthophoto of the Shasta DAD surveyed by the NCALM consortium provides a new topographic dataset of the area with unprecedented resolution. This will permit the identification of subtle topographic features of the Shasta DAD not apparent in the field or in coarser resolution datasets. Statistical measures of the LiDAR-derived digital elevation model, such as surface texture, will be used to detect and characterize the hummock topography, differentiate between various DAD facies and geomorphic units, and extract the morphological parameters for subsequent analogue and numerical modeling of the debris avalanche. This work aims to improve our understanding of the Mt Shasta DAD morphology and its dynamics, and provide insight into the cause, timing of events and mode of emplacement of the DAD. The Cascade range includes numerous large extinct, dormant or active stratovolcanoes, and knowledge of the link between basement structures and the Mt Shasta DAD will

  18. Volcanic debris avalanche transport and emplacement: water content and fragmentation vs disaggregation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roverato, Matteo

    2016-04-01

    Volcanic Debris Avalanches are voluminous, heterogeneous mass-flows of poorly sorted sediments (micron - 10's m) that move downslope under the effect of gravity. They travel with extremely high velocity for long distances with very potential high destructive power. These flows may reach initial velocities as high as 100m/s, travel for several tens of kilometers, and spread over broad sectors. They are commonly considered as inertial dry grain flows where particle-particle interaction can be within a frictional and/or collisional regime. It is largely assumed that fragmentation of particles within a debris avalanche occurs primarily at the moment of the edifice failure, due to sudden material decompression and dilation. Following failure, the dislodged mass starts to slide or glide downslope, and progressive disaggregation begins. Only minimal fragmentation is thought to occur during flow due to grain-grain contact. Thus, the main process responsible for generating an interclast matrix during transport is the disaggregation of already fractured clasts and megaclasts, particularly those that are already diamictons. However, data obtained from the Pungarehu volcanic debris avalanche deposit (VDAD) illustrate that fragmentation of intact rock may also occur during debris avalanche motion and through collisional and frictional grain-grain contacts experienced during long-runout flow. More, depending on their water and clay content, these granular and block-sliding flows may transform into a debris flow with distance from source, changing completely their flow behaviour and enhancing their run-out and hazard impacts. Pungarehu VDAD (ca. 25 Ka cal.) was emplaced by the largest known collapse of the Taranaki volcano (New Zealand) occurred near the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), with snow and ice cover, fluids circulation, hydrothermal alteration and substantial groundwater present. This VDAD appears to encompass a range of flow behaviour from proximal unsaturated and unmixed

  19. Stochastic simulation of electron avalanches on supercomputers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rogasinsky, S. V.; Marchenko, M. A. [Institute of Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Geophysics of the SB RAS, Novosibirsk State University, Prospekt Akademika Lavrentieva 6, 6300090, Novosibirsk (Russian Federation)

    2014-12-09

    In the paper, we present a three-dimensional parallel Monte Carlo algorithm named ELSHOW which is developed for simulation of electron avalanches in gases. Parallel implementation of the ELSHOW was made on supercomputers with different architectures (massive parallel and hybrid ones). Using the ELSHOW, calculations of such integral characteristics as the number of particles in an avalanche, the coefficient of impact ionization, the drift velocity, and the others were made. Also, special precise computations were made to select an appropriate size of the time step using the technique of dependent statistical tests. Particularly, the algorithm consists of special methods of distribution modeling, a lexicographic implementation scheme for “branching” of trajectories, justified estimation of functionals. A comparison of the obtained results for nitrogen with previously published theoretical and experimental data was made.

  20. Fractal properties of LED avalanche breakdown

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonina S. Shashkina

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The conventional model of the processes occurring in the course of a p–n-junction's partial avalanche breakdown has been analyzed in this paper. Microplasma noise spectra of industrially produced LEDs were compared with those predicted by the model. It was established that the data obtained experimentally on reverse-biased LEDs could not be described in terms of this model. The degree to which the fractal properties were pronounced was shown to be variable by changing the reverse voltage. The discovered fractal properties of microplasma noise can serve as the basis for further studies which are bound to explain the breakdown characteristics of real LEDs and to correct the conventional model of p–n-junction's avalanche breakdown.

  1. GEM scintillation readout with avalanche photodiodes

    CERN Document Server

    Conceição, A S; Fernandes, L M P; Monteiro, C M B; Coelho, L C C; Azevedo, C D R; Veloso, J F C A; Lopesac, J A M; dos Santosa, J M F

    2007-01-01

    The use of the scintillation produced in the charge avalanches in GEM holes as signal amplification and readout is investigated for xenon. A VUV-sensitive avalanche photodiode has been used as photosensor. Detector gains of about 4 × 104 are achieved in scintillation readout mode, for GEM voltages of 490 V and for a photosensor gain of 150. Those gains are more than one order of magnitude larger than what is obtained using charge readout. In addition, the energy resolutions achieved with the scintillation readout are lower than those achieved with charge readout. The GEM scintillation yield in xenon was measured as a function of GEM voltage, presenting values that are about a half of those achieved for the charge yield, and reach about 730 photons per primary electron at GEM voltages of 490 V.

  2. Avalanches in functional materials and geophysics

    CERN Document Server

    Saxena, Avadh; Planes, Antoni

    2017-01-01

    This book provides the state-of-the art of the present understanding of avalanche phenomena in both functional materials and geophysics. The main emphasis of the book is analyzing these apparently different problems within the common perspective of out-of-equilibrium phenomena displaying spatial and temporal complexity that occur in a broad range of scales. Many systems, when subjected to an external force, respond intermittently in the form of avalanches that often span over a wide range of sizes, energies and durations. This is often related to a class of critical behavior characterized by the absence of characteristic scales. Typical examples are magnetization processes, plastic deformation and failure occuring in functional materials. These phenomena share many similarities with seismicity arising from the earth crust failure due to stresses that originate from plate tectonics.

  3. Numerical simulation of wave propagation and snow failure from explosive loading

    CERN Document Server

    Sidler, Rolf; Dual, Jürg; Schweizer, Jürg

    2016-01-01

    Avalanche control by explosion is a widely applied method to minimize the avalanche risk to infrastructure in snow-covered mountain areas. However, the mechanisms involved leading from an explosion to the release of an avalanche are not well understood. Here we test the hypothesis that weak layers fail due to the stress caused by propagating acoustic waves. The underlying mechanism is that the stress induced by the acoustic waves exceeds the strength of the snow layers. We compare field measurements to a numerical simulation of acoustic wave propagation in a porous material. The simulation consists of an acoustic domain for the air above the snowpack and a poroelastic domain for the dry snowpack. The two domains are connected by a wave field decomposition and open pore boundary conditions. Empirical relations are used to derive a porous model of the snowpack from density profiles of the field experiment. Biot's equations are solved in the poroelastic domain to obtain simulated accelerations in the snowpack an...

  4. A Convolutional Neural Network Approach for Assisting Avalanche Search and Rescue Operations with UAV Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mesay Belete Bejiga

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Following an avalanche, one of the factors that affect victims’ chance of survival is the speed with which they are located and dug out. Rescue teams use techniques like trained rescue dogs and electronic transceivers to locate victims. However, the resources and time required to deploy rescue teams are major bottlenecks that decrease a victim’s chance of survival. Advances in the field of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs have enabled the use of flying robots equipped with sensors like optical cameras to assess the damage caused by natural or manmade disasters and locate victims in the debris. In this paper, we propose assisting avalanche search and rescue (SAR operations with UAVs fitted with vision cameras. The sequence of images of the avalanche debris captured by the UAV is processed with a pre-trained Convolutional Neural Network (CNN to extract discriminative features. A trained linear Support Vector Machine (SVM is integrated at the top of the CNN to detect objects of interest. Moreover, we introduce a pre-processing method to increase the detection rate and a post-processing method based on a Hidden Markov Model to improve the prediction performance of the classifier. Experimental results conducted on two different datasets at different levels of resolution show that the detection performance increases with an increase in resolution, while the computation time increases. Additionally, they also suggest that a significant decrease in processing time can be achieved thanks to the pre-processing step.

  5. Soil erosion in an avalanche release site (Valle d'Aosta: Italy): towards a winter factor for RUSLE in the Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanchi, S.; Freppaz, M.; Ceaglio, E.; Maggioni, M.; Meusburger, K.; Alewell, C.; Zanini, E.

    2014-07-01

    Soil erosion in Alpine areas is mainly related to extreme topographic and weather conditions. Although different methods of assessing soil erosion exist, the knowledge of erosive forces of the snow cover needs more investigation in order to allow soil erosion modeling in areas where the snow lays on the ground for several months. This study aims to assess whether the RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) empirical prediction model, which gives an estimation of water erosion in t ha yr-1 obtained from a combination of five factors (rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, topography, soil cover, protection practices) can be applied to mountain areas by introducing a winter factor (W), which should account for the soil erosion occurring in winter time by the snow cover. The W factor is calculated from the ratio of Ceasium-137 (137Cs) to RUSLE erosion rates. Ceasium-137 is another possible way of assessing soil erosion rates in the field. In contrast to RUSLE, it not only provides water-induced erosion but integrates all erosion agents involved. Thus, we hypothesize that in mountain areas the difference between the two approaches is related to the soil erosion by snow. In this study we compared 137Cs-based measurement of soil redistribution and soil loss estimated with RUSLE in a mountain slope affected by avalanches, in order to assess the relative importance of winter erosion processes such as snow gliding and full-depth avalanches. Three subareas were considered: DS, avalanche defense structures, RA, release area, and TA, track area, characterized by different prevalent winter processes. The RUSLE estimates and the 137Cs redistribution gave significantly different results. The resulting ranges of W evidenced relevant differences in the role of winter erosion in the considered subareas, and the application of an avalanche simulation model corroborated these findings. Thus, the higher rates obtained with the 137Cs method confirmed the relevant role of winter soil

  6. Snow cover stability patterns in the Eastern European Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitterer, C.; Schweizer, J.

    2009-04-01

    Information on snowpack instability is highly relevant when assessing avalanche danger. However, manual snowpack observations including stability tests are usually sparse - in time and space, and their results are spatially variable. The amount of variation depends on the scale of investigation. To find distinct patterns of instability at a supra-regional scale we derived stability information from manual snow profile data collected in parts of the Eastern European Alps and analyzed it. The data consisted of over 1600 snow profiles recorded in Bavaria (Germany), South Tyrol (Italy), Tyrol (Austria) and Grisons (Switzerland) during the winters of 2005/2006 (N = 976) and 2006/2007 (N = 676). Due to differences in recording standards it was not possible to classify the profiles in regard to stability using well established stability interpretations. Therefore, a new stability index was developed based on the structural instability index. This stability index is solely based on manual snowpack data such as grain type, grain size, hand hardness and layer depth. Threshold values for the new stability index were determined using a training data set consisting of 477 snow profiles for which both the structural instability index and a manual stability interpretation were available. Persistent weak layers within the snowpack, i.e. faceted crystals, depth hoar and surface hoar, were nearly always present. The new stability index detected general instabilities such as a weak basal snowpack layers which generally form during cold and dry periods early in the winter season. Storm snow instabilities which typically persist for only a few days were not well detected with the new stability index. Profiles were analyzed in two-week intervals and stability patterns were identified visually. This interval was chosen based on the numbers of profiles which were available for a given time interval. A shorter interval would have resulted in an undersized number of profiles. On average

  7. GeSn/Si Avalanche Photodetectors on Si substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-16

    whole device structure will be grown by a unique home-built Ultra-high vacuum Chemical Vapor Deposition (UHV- CVD) machine. The detailed problems... avalanche photodiode (APD): The GeSn APD with separate absorption-charge-multiplication (SACM) structure was grown and characterized. The design took... Avalanche photo diode Avalanche photo diode (APD) based on Separate Absorption-Charge-Multiplication (SACM) structure has been fabicated. The

  8. Powder avalanche and catching dam interaction : influence of upstream dam slope ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caccamo, Paolo; Naaim-Bouvet, Florence; Faug, Thierry

    2013-04-01

    The influence of an obstacle on the dynamics of a finite-volume density current modelling a powder-snow avalanche was investigated. A constant volume of a dyed salt solution reproduced the small-scale aerosol flowing down an inclined channel immersed in a water tank. Reference tests in the absence of the obstacle characterized the dynamics parameters of the flow and then the influence of two different types of obstacles on these parameters was studied. Both of the obstacles represent a catching dam one with a vertical uphill face (OBS1) and the second one with an inclined uphill face 32° (OBS2). A high resolution acoustic velocimeter allows measurements on the 3D Flow velocity. For the reference avalanche, it was shown that the maximum velocity norm can be up to 18% greater than the maximum horizontal contribution (parallel to the slope) and that the ratio maximum velocity norm over front velocity varies between 1.75 and 2.2. THis ratio varies between 1.7 and 2.8 for the obstacles situation. In terms of protection effectiveness, laboratory tests showed that a catching dam with the upstream vertical to the slope is more efficient than a dam with an inclined upstream face. In presence of OBS2 the flow does not hit the obstacle but it rather passes smoothly over it, without any visible detachment from the surface. The ramp effect is remarkable and the avalanche reaches faster (in terms of time) a given point downstream from the obstacle. On the contrary, in the OBS1 configuration, the incoming flow hits the vertical wall and bursts. The flow is subjected to a strong deflection with the formation of a vertical jet.

  9. Experimental study of snow friction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Caroline; Canale, Luca; Siria, Alessandro; Quere, David; Bocquet, Lyderic; Clanet, Christophe

    2017-11-01

    Snow friction results from the interplay of different physical processes: solid friction of granular material, phase change and lubrication, heat transport, capillarity, elasticity and plasticity. The multiple conditions of temperature, humidity and density of the snow result in different regimes of friction. In particular, there is an optimal amount of melted water to lubricate the contact between the ski sole and the snow grains. The thickness of the water layer depends on temperature, speed... A huge variety of waxes have been empirically developed to adapt the amount of water to the conditions of skiing, but remain mysterious. In these study, we investigate experimentally the mechanisms of snow friction at different scales: first, the friction of a ski on snow is measured on a test bench, depending on the snow characteristics and for different waxes. Then microscopic experiments are led in order to understand the friction at the ice crystals scale.

  10. Experimental measurements on a powder avalanche impacting an obstacle: 3D velocity field and exerted pressures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caccamo, P.; Naaim-Bouvet, F.; Bellot, H.; Ousset, F.; Faug, T.

    2012-04-01

    In the framework of the Alcotra DYNAVAL Interreg project, this experimental study aims at investigating the dynamical behaviour of a powder snow avalanche impacting an obstacle. Tests have been realised in a water tank where a salty water solution (rho=1.2kg m-3) flows down in a channel and impacts an obstacle at a distance d=1m from the releasing gate. The set-up geometry reproduces a simplified small-scale model of the real avalanche site of Taconnaz (Chamonix, France). A high-resolution acoustic velocimeter allows measurements on the 3D flow velocity. By measuring the velocity just upstream and downstream of the obstacle, it is possible to determine the influence of the obstacle on the flow. In a lack of suitable sensors, the pressure exerted on the obstacle is calculated using the classical formula P=1/2rhoU2. Then, density values are required. A new method to measure the flow density is advanced and preliminary results are presented.

  11. Snow, ice and solar radiation

    OpenAIRE

    Kuipers Munneke, P.

    2009-01-01

    The snow-covered ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland reflect most of the incoming solar radiation. The reflectivity, commonly called the albedo, of snow on these ice sheets has been observed to vary in space and time. In this thesis, temporal and spatial changes in snow albedo is found to depend mostly on variations in the size of the snow crystals on the surface. Firstly, a radiative transfer model is developed and adapted in order to study the propagation of solar radiation through an at...

  12. Evaluation of forest snow processes models (SnowMKIP2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nick Rutter; Richard Essery; John Pomeroy; Nuria Altimir; Kostas Andreadis; Ian Baker; Alan Barr; Paul Bartlett; Aaron Boone; Huiping Deng; Herve Douville; Emanuel Dutra; Kelly Elder; others

    2009-01-01

    Thirty-three snowpack models of varying complexity and purpose were evaluated across a wide range of hydrometeorological and forest canopy conditions at five Northern Hemisphere locations, for up to two winter snow seasons. Modeled estimates of snow water equivalent (SWE) or depth were compared to observations at forest and open sites at each location. Precipitation...

  13. 'Snow White' in Color

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This color image taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the trench dubbed 'Snow White,' after further digging on the 25th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (June 19, 2008). The lander's solar panel is casting a shadow over a portion of the trench. The trench is about 5 centimeters (2 inches) deep and 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

  14. Inventory of rock avalanches in western Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska, 1984-2016: a baseline data set for evaluating the impact of climate change on avalanche magnitude, mobility, and frequency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Coe, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    The effects of climate change have the potential to impact slope stability. Negative impacts are expected to be greatest at high northerly latitudes where degradation of permafrost in rock and soil, debuttressing of slopes as a result of glacial retreat, and changes in ocean ice-cover are likely to increase the susceptibility of slopes to landslides. In the United States, the greatest increases in air temperature and precipitation are expected to occur in Alaska. In order to assess the impact that these environmental changes will have on landslide size (magnitude), mobility, and frequency, inventories of historical landslides are needed. These inventories provide baseline data that can be used to identify changes in historical and future landslide magnitude, mobility, and frequency.  This data release presents GIS and attribute data for an inventory of rock avalanches in a 5000 km2 area of western Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska. We created the inventory from 30 m resolution Landsat imagery acquired from June 1984 to September 2016.  For each calendar year, we visually examined a minimum of one Landsat image obtained between the months of May and October. We examined a total of 104 Landsat images. The contrast between the spectral signatures of freshly exposed rock avalanche source areas and deposits and surrounding undisturbed snow and ice was typically significant enough to detect surficial changes. We identified and mapped rock avalanches by locating areas with 1) high contrast compared to surrounding snow and ice, 2) different spectral signatures between successive Landsat images, and 3) lobate forms typical of rock-avalanche deposits. Using these criteria, we mapped a total of 24 rock avalanches ranging in size from 0.1 to 22 km2.Attribute data for each rock avalanche includes: a date, or range in possible dates, of occurrence; the name of the Landsat image(s) used to identify and map the avalanche; the total area covered by the rock avalanche

  15. Snow Plow Activity (2015-2016)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Allegheny County / City of Pittsburgh / Western PA Regional Data Center — Snow Plow data from the the City of Pittsburgh's Snow Plow Tracker. These data are collected from the Snow Plow Tracker's Fusion Table and converted to geoJSON....

  16. Type-II Superlattice Avalanche Photodiodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jun

    Type-II superlattice avalanche photodiodes have shown advantages compared to conventional mercury cadmium telluride photodiodes for infrared wavelength detection. However, surface or interface leakage current has been a major issue for superlattice avalanche photodiodes, especially in infrared wavelength region. First, passivation of the superlattice device with ammonium sulfide and thioacetamide was carried out, and its surface quality was studied by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. The study showed that both ammonium sulfide and thiacetamide passivation can actively remove the native oxide at the surface. Thiacetamide passivation combine more sulfur bonds with III-V elements than that of ammonium sulfide. Another X-ray photoelectron spectra of thiacetamide-treated atomic layer deposited zinc sulfide capped InAs/GaSb superlattice was performed to investigate the interface sulfur bond conditions. Sb--S and As--S bonds disappear while In-S bond gets enhanced, indicating that Indium Sulfide should be the major components at the interface after ZnS deposition. Second, the simulation of electrical characteristics for zinc sulfide, silicon nitride and silicon dioxide passivated superlattice devices was performed by SILVACO software to fit the experimental results and to discover the surface current mechanism. Different surface current mechanism strengths were found. Third, several novel dual-carrier avalanche photodiode structures were designed and simulated. The structures had alternate carrier multiplication regions, placed next to a wider electron multiplication region, creating dual-carrier multiplication feedback systems. Gain and excess noise factor of these structures were simulated and compared based on the dead space multiplication theory under uniform electric field. From the simulation, the applied bias can be greatly lowered or the thickness can be shrunk to achieve the same gain from the conventional device. The width of the thin region was the most

  17. TCAD simulation of Low Gain Avalanche Detectors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dalal, Ranjeet; Jain, Geetika; Bhardwaj, Ashutosh, E-mail: ashutosh.bhardwaj@cern.ch; Ranjan, Kirti

    2016-11-11

    In the present work, detailed simulation using Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) tool, Silvaco for non-irradiated and irradiated LGAD (Low Gain Avalanche Detector) devices has been carried out. The effects of different design parameters and proton irradiation on LGAD operation are discussed in detail. An already published effective two trap bulk damage model is used to simulate the radiation damage without implementing any acceptor removal term. The TCAD simulation for irradiated LGAD devices produce decreasing gain with increasing fluence, similar to the measurement results. The space charge density and electric field distribution are used to illustrate the possible reasons for the degradation of gain of the irradiated LGAD devices.

  18. Avalanche Photodiode Arrays for Optical Communications Receivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, M.; Vilnrotter, V.

    2001-01-01

    An avalanche photodiode (APD) array for ground-based optical communications receivers is investigated for the reception of optical signals through the turbulent atmosphere. Kolmogorov phase screen simulations are used to generate realistic spatial distributions of the received optical field. It is shown that use of an APD array for pulse-position modulation detection can improve performance by up to 4 dB over single APD detection in the presence of turbulence, but that photon-counting detector arrays yield even greater gains.

  19. TCAD simulation of Low Gain Avalanche Detectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalal, Ranjeet; Jain, Geetika; Bhardwaj, Ashutosh; Ranjan, Kirti

    2016-11-01

    In the present work, detailed simulation using Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) tool, Silvaco for non-irradiated and irradiated LGAD (Low Gain Avalanche Detector) devices has been carried out. The effects of different design parameters and proton irradiation on LGAD operation are discussed in detail. An already published effective two trap bulk damage model is used to simulate the radiation damage without implementing any acceptor removal term. The TCAD simulation for irradiated LGAD devices produce decreasing gain with increasing fluence, similar to the measurement results. The space charge density and electric field distribution are used to illustrate the possible reasons for the degradation of gain of the irradiated LGAD devices.

  20. Bilayer avalanche spin-diode logic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Friedman, Joseph S., E-mail: joseph.friedman@u-psud.fr; Querlioz, Damien [Institut d’Electronique Fondamentale, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS, 91405 Orsay (France); Fadel, Eric R. [Department of Materials Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Wessels, Bruce W. [Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Sahakian, Alan V. [Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States)

    2015-11-15

    A novel spintronic computing paradigm is proposed and analyzed in which InSb p-n bilayer avalanche spin-diodes are cascaded to efficiently perform complex logic operations. This spin-diode logic family uses control wires to generate magnetic fields that modulate the resistance of the spin-diodes, and currents through these devices control the resistance of cascaded devices. Electromagnetic simulations are performed to demonstrate the cascading mechanism, and guidelines are provided for the development of this innovative computing technology. This cascading scheme permits compact logic circuits with switching speeds determined by electromagnetic wave propagation rather than electron motion, enabling high-performance spintronic computing.

  1. Electric field distribution and simulation of avalanche formation due ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Electric field distributions and their role in the formation of avalanche due to the passage of heavy ions in parallel grid avalanche type wire chamber detectors are evaluated using a Monte Carlo simulation. The relative merits and demerits of parallel and crossed wire grid configurations are studied. It is found that the crossed ...

  2. Radiation and Temperature Hard Multi-Pixel Avalanche Photodiodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bensaoula, Abdelhak (Inventor); Starikov, David (Inventor); Pillai, Rajeev (Inventor)

    2017-01-01

    The structure and method of fabricating a radiation and temperature hard avalanche photodiode with integrated radiation and temperature hard readout circuit, comprising a substrate, an avalanche region, an absorption region, and a plurality of Ohmic contacts are presented. The present disclosure provides for tuning of spectral sensitivity and high device efficiency, resulting in photon counting capability with decreased crosstalk and reduced dark current.

  3. Avalanche transmission and critical behaviour in load-bearing ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The strength and stability properties of hierarchical load-bearing networks and their strengthened variants have been discussed in a recent work. Here, we study the avalanche time distributions on these load-bearing networks. The avalanche time distributions of the V-lattice, a unique realization of the networks, show ...

  4. A multilayer physically based snowpack model simulating direct and indirect radiative impacts of light-absorbing impurities in snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuzet, Francois; Dumont, Marie; Lafaysse, Matthieu; Picard, Ghislain; Arnaud, Laurent; Voisin, Didier; Lejeune, Yves; Charrois, Luc; Nabat, Pierre; Morin, Samuel

    2017-11-01

    snowpack except for extreme deposition events which are greatly underestimated. For this particular season, the simulated melt-out date advances by 6 to 9 days due to the presence of light-absorbing impurities. The model makes it possible to apportion the relative importance of direct and indirect impacts of light-absorbing impurities on energy absorption in snow. For the snow season considered, the direct impact in the visible part of the solar spectrum accounts for 85 % of the total impact, while the indirect impact related to accelerated snow metamorphism decreasing near-surface specific surface area and thus decreasing near-infrared albedo accounts for 15 % of the total impact. Our model results demonstrate that these relative proportions vary with time during the season, with potentially significant impacts for snowmelt and avalanche prediction.

  5. Age of Palos Verdes submarine debris avalanche, southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Normark, W.R.; McGann, M.; Sliter, R.

    2004-01-01

    The Palos Verdes debris avalanche is the largest, by volume, late Quaternary mass-wasted deposit recognized from the inner California Borderland basins. Early workers speculated that the sediment failure giving rise to the deposit is young, taking place well after sea level reached its present position. A newly acquired, closely-spaced grid of high-resolution, deep-tow boomer profiles of the debris avalanche shows that the Palos Verdes debris avalanche fills a turbidite leveed channel that extends seaward from San Pedro Sea Valley, with the bulk of the avalanche deposit appearing to result from a single failure on the adjacent slope. Radiocarbon dates from piston-cored sediment samples acquired near the distal edge of the avalanche deposit indicate that the main failure took place about 7500 yr BP. ?? 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Depositional origin of snow sastrugi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, K. C.; Tremblay, B.

    2006-12-01

    Sastrugi are wind-parallel elongated surface roughness features found on both land and sea ice. Simple models of sastrugi formation suggest that these features grow via deposition of windblown snow in the lee of an initial perturbation in surface topography, and subsequent erosion of the up-wind end of the bump. We present a mechanism for the creation of sastrugi nucleation sites: the initial surface perturbation. Modeling results of plumes of blowing snow moving at or above 15 meters per second (at the 10m reference level) show that when the snow surface is depleted of loose (erodible) snow, small amounts of deposition occur. Once formed, these irregularly spaced small deposits of snow (less than 0.1 cm over 1m2 or less) can persist and propagate.

  7. ALS-based hummock size-distance relationship assessment of Mt Shasta debris avalanche deposit, Northern California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tortini, Riccardo; Carn, Simon; van Wyk de Vries, Benjamin

    2015-04-01

    The failure of destabilized volcano flanks is a likely occurrence during the lifetime of a stratovolcano, generating large debris avalanches and drastically changing landforms around volcanoes. The significant hazards associated with these events in the Cascade range were demonstrated, for example, by the collapse of Mt St Helens (WA), which triggered its devastating explosive eruption in 1980. The rapid modification of the landforms due to these events makes it difficult to estimate the magnitude of prehistoric avalanches. However, the widespread preservation of hummocks along the course of rockslide-debris avalanches is highly significant for understanding the physical characteristics of these landslides. Mt Shasta is a 4,317 m high, snow-capped, steep-sloped stratovolcano located in Northern California. The current edifice began forming on the remnants of an ancestral Mt Shasta that collapsed ~300-380k years ago producing one of the largest debris avalanches known on Earth. The debris avalanche deposit (DAD) covers a surface of ~450 km2 across the Shasta valley, with an estimated volume of ~26 km3. We analyze ALS data on hummocks from the prehistoric Shasta valley DAD in northern California (USA) to derive the relationship between hummock size and distance from landslide source, and interpret the geomorphic significance of the intercept and slope coefficients of the observed functional relationships. Given the limited extent of the ALS survey (i.e. 40 km2), the high-resolution dataset is used for validation of the morphological parameters extracted from freely available, broader coverage DTMs such as the National Elevation Dataset (NED). The ALS dataset also permits the identification of subtle topographic features not apparent in the field or in coarser resolution datasets, including a previously unmapped fault, of crucial importance for both seismic and volcanic hazard assessment in volcanic areas. We present evidence from the Shasta DAD of neotectonic

  8. Avalanches of Singing Sand in the Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagois-Bohy, Simon; Courrech Du Pont, Sylvain; Douady, Stéphane

    2011-03-01

    The song of dunes is a natural phenomenon that has arisen travellers' curiosity for a long time, from Marco Polo to R.A. Bagnold. Scientific observations in the XXth century have shown that the sound is emitted during a shear flow of these particular grains, the free surface of the flow having coherent vibrations like a loud speaker. The sound emission is also submitted to a threshold effect with many parameters like humidity, flow speed, surface of the grains. The sound has been reproduced in laboratory avalanche experiments close to the natural phenomenon on field, but set in a channel with a hard bottom and a few centimeters of sand flowing, which contradicts explanations of the sound that involve a sand dune under the avalanche flow. Flow rates measurements also show the presence of a plug region in the flow above the sheared band, with the same characteristic length as the coherence zones of the sound. Finally we show experimentally that the Froude number, once modified to take into account the height of this plug band, is the parameter that sets the amplitude of the sound, and produces a threshold that depends on the grain type.

  9. Single electron multiplication distribution in GEM avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    László, András; Hamar, Gergő; Kiss, Gábor; Varga, Dezső

    2016-10-01

    In this paper, measurement results and experimental methodology are presented on the determination of multiplication distributions of avalanches initiated by single electron in GEM foils. The measurement relies on the amplification of photoelectrons by the GEM under study, which is subsequently amplified in an MWPC for signal enhancement and readout. The intrinsic detector resolution, namely the sigma-over-mean ratio of the multiplication distribution is also elaborated. Small gain dependence of the shape of the avalanche response distribution is observed in the range of net effective gain of 15 to 100. The distribution has an exponentially decaying tail at large amplitudes. At small amplitudes, the applied working gas is seen to have a well visible effect on the shape of the multiplication distribution. Equivalently, the working gas has an influence on the intrinsic detector resolution of GEMs via suppression of the low amplitude responses. A sigma-over-mean ratio of 0.75 was reached using a neon based mixture, whereas other gases provided an intrinsic detector resolution closer to 1, meaning a multiplication distribution closer to the low-field limit exponential case.

  10. Reducing financial avalanches by random investments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biondo, Alessio Emanuele; Pluchino, Alessandro; Rapisarda, Andrea; Helbing, Dirk

    2013-12-01

    Building on similarities between earthquakes and extreme financial events, we use a self-organized criticality-generating model to study herding and avalanche dynamics in financial markets. We consider a community of interacting investors, distributed in a small-world network, who bet on the bullish (increasing) or bearish (decreasing) behavior of the market which has been specified according to the S&P 500 historical time series. Remarkably, we find that the size of herding-related avalanches in the community can be strongly reduced by the presence of a relatively small percentage of traders, randomly distributed inside the network, who adopt a random investment strategy. Our findings suggest a promising strategy to limit the size of financial bubbles and crashes. We also obtain that the resulting wealth distribution of all traders corresponds to the well-known Pareto power law, while that of random traders is exponential. In other words, for technical traders, the risk of losses is much greater than the probability of gains compared to those of random traders.

  11. Snow metamorphism: A fractal approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbone, Anna; Chiaia, Bernardino M.; Frigo, Barbara; Türk, Christian

    2010-09-01

    Snow is a porous disordered medium consisting of air and three water phases: ice, vapor, and liquid. The ice phase consists of an assemblage of grains, ice matrix, initially arranged over a random load bearing skeleton. The quantitative relationship between density and morphological characteristics of different snow microstructures is still an open issue. In this work, a three-dimensional fractal description of density corresponding to different snow microstructure is put forward. First, snow density is simulated in terms of a generalized Menger sponge model. Then, a fully three-dimensional compact stochastic fractal model is adopted. The latter approach yields a quantitative map of the randomness of the snow texture, which is described as a three-dimensional fractional Brownian field with the Hurst exponent H varying as continuous parameters. The Hurst exponent is found to be strongly dependent on snow morphology and density. The approach might be applied to all those cases where the morphological evolution of snow cover or ice sheets should be conveniently described at a quantitative level.

  12. Disordered artificial spin ices: Avalanches and criticality (invited)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reichhardt, Cynthia J. Olson, E-mail: cjrx@lanl.gov; Chern, Gia-Wei; Reichhardt, Charles [Center for Nonlinear Studies and Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States); Libál, Andras [Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, Babes-Bolyai University, RO-400591 Cluj-Napoca (Romania)

    2015-05-07

    We show that square and kagome artificial spin ices with disconnected islands exhibit disorder-induced nonequilibrium phase transitions. The critical point of the transition is characterized by a diverging length scale and the effective spin reconfiguration avalanche sizes are power-law distributed. For weak disorder, the magnetization reversal is dominated by system-spanning avalanche events characteristic of a supercritical regime, while at strong disorder, the avalanche distributions have subcritical behavior and are cut off above a length scale that decreases with increasing disorder. The different type of geometrical frustration in the two lattices produces distinct forms of critical avalanche behavior. Avalanches in the square ice consist of the propagation of locally stable domain walls separating the two polarized ground states, and we find a scaling collapse consistent with an interface depinning mechanism. In the fully frustrated kagome ice, however, the avalanches branch strongly in a manner reminiscent of directed percolation. We also observe an interesting crossover in the power-law scaling of the kagome ice avalanches at low disorder. Our results show that artificial spin ices are ideal systems in which to study a variety of nonequilibrium critical point phenomena as the microscopic degrees of freedom can be accessed directly in experiments.

  13. Patterns of death among avalanche fatalities: a 21-year review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Jeff; Haegeli, Pascal; Abu-Laban, Riyad B.; Shuster, Michael; Butt, John C.

    2009-01-01

    Background Avalanches are a significant cause of winter recreational fatalities in mountain regions. The purpose of this study was to determine the relative contributions of trauma and asphyxia to avalanche deaths. Methods We reviewed all avalanche fatalities between 1984 and 2005 that had been investigated by the offices of the British Columbia Coroners Service and the Chief Medical Examiner of Alberta. In addition, we searched the database of the Canadian Avalanche Centre for fatal avalanche details. We calculated injury severity scores for all victims who underwent autopsy. Results There were 204 avalanche fatalities with mortality information over the 21-year study period. Of these, 117 victims underwent autopsy, and 87 underwent forensic external examination. Asphyxia caused 154 (75%) deaths. Trauma caused 48 (24%) deaths, with the rate of death from trauma ranging from 9% (4/44) for snowmobilers to 42% (5/12) for ice climbers. In addition, 13% (12/92) of the asphyxia victims who underwent autopsy had major trauma, defined as an injury severity score of greater than 15. Only 48% (23/48) of victims for whom trauma was the primary cause of death had been completely buried. Interpretation Asphyxia and severe trauma caused most avalanche fatalities in western Canada. The relative rates differed between snowmobilers and those engaged in other mountain activities. Our findings should guide recommendations for safety devices, safety measures and resuscitation. PMID:19213801

  14. Statistical analyses support power law distributions found in neuronal avalanches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Klaus

    Full Text Available The size distribution of neuronal avalanches in cortical networks has been reported to follow a power law distribution with exponent close to -1.5, which is a reflection of long-range spatial correlations in spontaneous neuronal activity. However, identifying power law scaling in empirical data can be difficult and sometimes controversial. In the present study, we tested the power law hypothesis for neuronal avalanches by using more stringent statistical analyses. In particular, we performed the following steps: (i analysis of finite-size scaling to identify scale-free dynamics in neuronal avalanches, (ii model parameter estimation to determine the specific exponent of the power law, and (iii comparison of the power law to alternative model distributions. Consistent with critical state dynamics, avalanche size distributions exhibited robust scaling behavior in which the maximum avalanche size was limited only by the spatial extent of sampling ("finite size" effect. This scale-free dynamics suggests the power law as a model for the distribution of avalanche sizes. Using both the Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistic and a maximum likelihood approach, we found the slope to be close to -1.5, which is in line with previous reports. Finally, the power law model for neuronal avalanches was compared to the exponential and to various heavy-tail distributions based on the Kolmogorov-Smirnov distance and by using a log-likelihood ratio test. Both the power law distribution without and with exponential cut-off provided significantly better fits to the cluster size distributions in neuronal avalanches than the exponential, the lognormal and the gamma distribution. In summary, our findings strongly support the power law scaling in neuronal avalanches, providing further evidence for critical state dynamics in superficial layers of cortex.

  15. Supraglacial rock avalanches and their effect on glacial deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reznichenko, N.; Davies, T. R. H.; Shulmeister, J.; Winkler, S.

    2012-04-01

    Although rock avalanches occur commonly in glaciated valleys, it is only recently that their effects on the regime and final deposits of debris-covered glaciers have been recognized. The supraglacially-emplaced rock avalanche deposits are distinct features on glacial surfaces due to their different sedimentology and greater depth than other debris covers. The metre-scale thickness and large areal extent of these deposits significantly impact the glacier mass balance by preventing ice-surface ablation (Reznichenko et al., 2011). These effects are often neglected in estimating the total change of glacial mass balance and its response to the catastrophic event. A supraglacial rock avalanche deposit can cause a glacier to form a moraine that will not reflect any current climate forcing. It is likely that only larger rock avalanche events (with respect to the size of the glacier) will result in a significant glacial response (e.g. advance or cessation of retreat). However, all supraglacially transported rock avalanche sediment will be recycled into moraines. The climatic signals extracted from the moraine chronologies of such glaciers may consequently have significant errors. The specific sedimentary characteristics of rock avalanche sediment such as agglomerates produced under high stress conditions (Reznichenko et al., in press) can be used to identify moraines that may have been formed from rock avalanche effect. Reznichenko, N.V., Davies, T.R.H. and Alexander, D.J., 2011. Effects of rock avalanches on glacier behaviour and moraine formation. Geomorphology, v. 132, is.3-4, p. 327-338 Reznichenko, N.V., Davies, T.R.H., Shulmeister, J. and Larsen S.H. Accepted. A new technique for identifying rock-avalanche-sourced sediment in moraines and some paleoclimatic implications. Geology.

  16. Unexpected Patterns in Snow and Dirt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerson, Bruce J.

    2018-01-01

    For more than 30 years, Albert A. Bartlett published "Thermal patterns in the snow" in this journal. These are patterns produced by heat sources underneath the snow. Bartlett's articles encouraged me to pay attention to patterns in snow and to understanding them. At winter's end the last snow becomes dirty and is heaped into piles. This…

  17. Assimilation of snow cover and snow depth into a snow model to estimate snow water equivalent and snowmelt runoff in a Himalayan catchment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stigter, Emmy E.; Wanders, Niko; Saloranta, Tuomo M.; Shea, Joseph M.; Bierkens, M.F.P.; Immerzeel, W.W.

    2017-01-01

    Snow is an important component of water storage in the Himalayas. Previous snowmelt studies in the Himalayas have predominantly relied on remotely sensed snow cover. However, snow cover data provide no direct information on the actual amount of water stored in a snowpack, i.e., the snow water

  18. ELECTRON AVALANCHE MODEL OF DIELECTRIC-VACUUM SURFACE BREAKDOWN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lauer, E J

    2007-02-21

    The model assumes that an 'initiating event' results in positive ions on the surface near the anode and reverses the direction of the normal component of electric field so that electrons in vacuum are attracted to the dielectric locally. A sequence of surface electron avalanches progresses in steps from the anode to the cathode. For 200 kV across 1 cm, the spacing of avalanches is predicted to be about 13 microns. The time for avalanches to step from the anode to the cathode is predicted to be about a ns.

  19. MODIS Snow Cover Mapping Decision Tree Technique: Snow and Cloud Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, George A.; Hall, Dorothy K.

    2010-01-01

    Accurate mapping of snow cover continues to challenge cryospheric scientists and modelers. The Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow data products have been used since 2000 by many investigators to map and monitor snow cover extent for various applications. Users have reported on the utility of the products and also on problems encountered. Three problems or hindrances in the use of the MODIS snow data products that have been reported in the literature are: cloud obscuration, snow/cloud confusion, and snow omission errors in thin or sparse snow cover conditions. Implementation of the MODIS snow algorithm in a decision tree technique using surface reflectance input to mitigate those problems is being investigated. The objective of this work is to use a decision tree structure for the snow algorithm. This should alleviate snow/cloud confusion and omission errors and provide a snow map with classes that convey information on how snow was detected, e.g. snow under clear sky, snow tinder cloud, to enable users' flexibility in interpreting and deriving a snow map. Results of a snow cover decision tree algorithm are compared to the standard MODIS snow map and found to exhibit improved ability to alleviate snow/cloud confusion in some situations allowing up to about 5% increase in mapped snow cover extent, thus accuracy, in some scenes.

  20. Avalanche statistics from data with low time resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBlanc, Michael; Nawano, Aya; Wright, Wendelin J.; Gu, Xiaojun; Uhl, J. T.; Dahmen, Karin A.

    2016-11-01

    Extracting avalanche distributions from experimental microplasticity data can be hampered by limited time resolution. We compute the effects of low time resolution on avalanche size distributions and give quantitative criteria for diagnosing and circumventing problems associated with low time resolution. We show that traditional analysis of data obtained at low acquisition rates can lead to avalanche size distributions with incorrect power-law exponents or no power-law scaling at all. Furthermore, we demonstrate that it can lead to apparent data collapses with incorrect power-law and cutoff exponents. We propose new methods to analyze low-resolution stress-time series that can recover the size distribution of the underlying avalanches even when the resolution is so low that naive analysis methods give incorrect results. We test these methods on both downsampled simulation data from a simple model and downsampled bulk metallic glass compression data and find that the methods recover the correct critical exponents.

  1. Non-linear behaviour of large-area avalanche photodiodes

    CERN Document Server

    Fernandes, L M P; Monteiro, C M B; Santos, J M; Morgado, R E

    2002-01-01

    The characterisation of photodiodes used as photosensors requires a determination of the number of electron-hole pairs produced by scintillation light. One method involves comparing signals produced by X-ray absorptions occurring directly in the avalanche photodiode with the light signals. When the light is derived from light-emitting diodes in the 400-600 nm range, significant non-linear behaviour is reported. In the present work, we extend the study of the linear behaviour to large-area avalanche photodiodes, of Advanced Photonix, used as photosensors of the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) scintillation light produced by argon (128 nm) and xenon (173 nm). We observed greater non-linearities in the avalanche photodiodes for the VUV scintillation light than reported previously for visible light, but considerably less than the non-linearities observed in other commercially available avalanche photodiodes.

  2. SiC Avalanche Photodiodes and Arrays Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Aymont Technology, Inc. (Aymont) will demonstrate the feasibility of SiC p-i-n avalanche photodiodes (APD) arrays. Aymont will demonstrate 4 x 4 arrays of 2 mm2 APDs...

  3. Relation of the runaway avalanche threshold to momentum space topology

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDevitt, Christopher J.; Guo, Zehua; Tang, Xian-Zhu

    2018-02-01

    The underlying physics responsible for the formation of an avalanche instability due to the generation of secondary electrons is studied. A careful examination of the momentum space topology of the runaway electron population is carried out with an eye toward identifying how qualitative changes in the momentum space of the runaway electrons is correlated with the avalanche threshold. It is found that the avalanche threshold is tied to the merger of an O and X point in the momentum space of the primary runaway electron population. Such a change of the momentum space topology is shown to be accurately described by a simple analytic model, thus providing a powerful means of determining the avalanche threshold for a range of model assumptions.

  4. The ringed seal's last refuge and the importance of snow cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, B. P.; Bitz, C. M.

    2010-12-01

    Ringed seals are strongly adapted to inhabiting seasonal ice cover throughout the Arctic Ocean, marginal seas, and some freshwater lakes. Their distribution has expanded and contracted with northern hemisphere ice cover and is expected to mirror declining ice cover in coming decades. Ringed seals require snow cover to provide shelter from extreme cold and from predators, and the southern extent of their range corresponds to the latitudes to which snow cover—sufficient to form and maintain subnivean lairs—extends. The lairs are especially critical to the survival of pups born and nursed under the snow in late March through May. Snow drifts 50 cm or deeper are necessary for lair occupation, and field measurements indicate that such drifting occurs only where average snow depths (on flat ice) exceed 20 cm. When snow depths are less, ringed seal pups freeze in their lairs and are vulnerable to predation by carnivores and birds. As the climate warms, winter precipitation is expected to increase in the Arctic Ocean, potentially favoring formation and occupation of lairs. At the same time, increasingly late ice formation is expected to decrease the overall accumulation of snow, an effect exacerbated by the high fraction of annual snow fall that occurs in autumn. Early snow melts also contribute to pup mortality and are likely to increase as the climate warms. We forecast April snow depths on Arctic sea ice through the year 2100 in seven runs of CCSM3. Despite predicted increases in winter precipitation in the Arctic, the model forecasted that the accumulation of snow on sea ice will decrease by almost 50% in this century. The timing of the onset of snow melt changes little in the projections, but the shallower snow pack will melt more quickly in the warmer climate. In almost all portions of the range, average snow depths are expected to be less than 20 cm and inadequate for successful rearing of ringed seal young by the end of the century and—in many locations

  5. Wavelength dependence of silicon avalanche photodiode fabricated by CMOS process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed Napiah, Zul Atfyi Fauzan; Hishiki, Takuya; Iiyama, Koichi

    2017-07-01

    Avalanche photodiodes fabricated by CMOS process (CMOS-APDs) have features of high avalanche gain below 10 V, wide bandwidth over 5 GHz, and easy integration with electronic circuits. In CMOS-APDs, guard ring structure is introduced for high-speed operation by canceling photo-generated carriers in the substrate at the sacrifice of the responsivity. We describe here wavelength dependence of the responsivity and the bandwidth of the CMOS-APDs with shorted and opened guard ring structure.

  6. Slab avalanche release area estimation: a new GIS tool

    OpenAIRE

    Veitinger, Jochen; Sovilla, Betty; Purves, Ross S.

    2014-01-01

    Location and extent of avalanche starting zones are of crucial importance to correctly estimate the potential danger that avalanches pose to roads, railways or other infrastructure. Presently, release area assessment is based on terrain analysis combined with expert judgment. Tools for the automatic definition of release areas are scarce and exclusively based on parameters derived from summer topography, such as slope and curvature. This leads to several limitations concerning the performance...

  7. Avalanche risk assessment for the link Osh - Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazarkulova, Kydyr

    2015-04-01

    The Bishkek-Osh road is main North-South ground transportation connection between the two major cities of Kyrgyzstan. One of the causes for frequent interruptions and closures between November and May is the avalanche risk due to local terrain characteristics and orographically induced precipitation maxima during winter. As a first step towards more effective prediction and implementation of mitigating measures the development of a digital avalanche inventory ('avalanche cadastre') has been initiated. This is aiming at modeling regional risk, and prioritizes the implementation of protective infrastructures in the most avalanche-prone zones. In addition, this helps with continuous monitoring of avalanche behaviour and the assessment of potential influence of climate change. For the parameterisation of models and support of decisions, details about avalanche incidences need to be collected. Historical data collected during Soviet time serve as an important baseline, complemented by more recent data. Overall, developing such a geo database shall be useful and effective for future planning at the Ministry of Emergency Services. This paper demonstrates important parameters to be collected and critical role of historical data as a baseline. Geodatabases are being developed on ArcGIS and used locally for planning preventive measures.

  8. Avalanches driven by pressure gradients in a magnetized plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Compernolle, B.; Morales, G. J.

    2017-11-01

    The results are presented for a basic heat transport experiment involving an off-axis heat source in which avalanche events occur. The configuration consists of a long, hollow, cylindrical region of elevated electron temperature embedded in a colder plasma, and far from the device walls [Van Compernolle et al. Phys. Rev. E 91, 031102(R) (2015)]. The avalanche events are identified as sudden rearrangements of the pressure profile following the growth of fluctuations from ambient noise. The intermittent collapses of the plasma pressure profile are associated with unstable drift-Alfvén waves and exhibit both radial and poloidal dynamics. After each collapse, the plasma enters a quiescent phase in which the pressure profile slowly recovers and steepens until a threshold is exceeded, and the process repeats. The use of reference probes as time markers allows for the visualization of the 2D spatio-temporal evolution of the avalanche events. Avalanches are observed only for a limited combination of heating powers and magnetic fields. At higher heating powers, the system transits from the avalanche regime into a regime dominated by sustained drift-Alfvén wave activity. This manuscript focuses on new results that illustrate the individual contributions to the avalanche process from density and temperature gradients in the presence of zero-order, sheared flows.

  9. A revision of the Haiming rock avalanche (Eastern Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufresne, Anja; Ostermann, Marc; Kelfoun, Karim; Ring, Max; Asam, Dario; Prager, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    The carbonate Haiming rock avalanche is directly neighbouring the larger Tschirgant rock avalanche deposit, both located in the upper Inn valley (Tyrol, Austria). Based on detailed morpho-lithologic mapping of the deposit, which has not been done at Haiming before, the sedimentology of the Holocene landslide debris is characterised. Structural-tectonic elements of the bedrock units at the scarp area are supplemented with borehole data from drillings at the source area giving valuable insights into the complex geological bedrock composition and structure. New source and runout reconstructions allow updated volumetric calculations, which are subsequently integrated into numerical runout modelling. Haiming is one of few topographically unobstructed rock avalanches, yet its morphology was greatly influenced by fluvial terraces, which are still discernible through the deposit on LiDAR hillshade images. We also address the influence of the rock avalanche on the valley floor and local river system as a short-lived dam and its interaction with fluvial incision. Finally, we discuss the Haiming rock avalanche in view of the other massive rock slope failures in the area ("Fernpass cluster"), their spatio-temporal distribution, and point out further highlights of this simple(?) rock avalanche deposit.

  10. Model for dimensioning required area for snow banks - A study of snow bank parameters

    OpenAIRE

    Dupuy, Aurora Myhre

    2017-01-01

    After snow events, winter maintenance crews typically plow snow from the driving lanes to the side of the road, creating snow banks. Snow banks may impact cyclists and pedestrians as sidewalks are often used for temporary snow storage. In urban areas, where the space is limited, snow hauling is performed, which is expensive and time-consuming. Thus, it is desirable to limit the volume of hauled snow, but this requires increasing the width of the roadway to allow for more on-street snow storag...

  11. Black carbon aerosol size in snow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, J P; Gao, R S; Perring, A E; Spackman, J R; Fahey, D W

    2013-01-01

    The effect of anthropogenic black carbon (BC) aerosol on snow is of enduring interest due to its consequences for climate forcing. Until now, too little attention has been focused on BC's size in snow, an important parameter affecting BC light absorption in snow. Here we present first observations of this parameter, revealing that BC can be shifted to larger sizes in snow than are typically seen in the atmosphere, in part due to the processes associated with BC removal from the atmosphere. Mie theory analysis indicates a corresponding reduction in BC absorption in snow of 40%, making BC size in snow the dominant source of uncertainty in BC's absorption properties for calculations of BC's snow albedo climate forcing. The shift reduces estimated BC global mean snow forcing by 30%, and has scientific implications for our understanding of snow albedo and the processing of atmospheric BC aerosol in snowfall.

  12. Politics of Snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burko, D.

    2012-12-01

    In a 2010 catalog introduction for my exhibition titled: POLITICS OF SNOW, Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change wrote the following: "Climate change has been taken over by politics…We are awash in talking points, briefing papers, scientific studies, and communiqués from national governments… Diane Burko's paintings remind us that all these words can often obscure or even obstruct our view of what is truly happening …..There is only so much you can do with words. People need to see that the world is changing before our eyes. When we look at Diane's images of the effects of climate change, we connect to something much deeper and more profound (and more moving) than the latest political pitch from one side or another in this debate…These paintings also connect us to something else. Even as Diane documents how things are changing, she also reminds us of the stunning beauty of nature - and, in turn, the urgency of doing everything in our power to protect it." The creation of this body of work was made possible because of the collaboration of many glacial geologists and scientists who continually share their visual data with me. Since 2006 I've been gathering repeats from people like Bruce Molnia (USGS) and Tad Pfeffer of Alaskan glaciers, from Daniel Fagre (USGS) of Glacier National Park and Lonnie Thompson and Jason Box (Ohio University's Byrd Polar Center) about Kilimanjaro, Qori Kalis and Petermann glaciers as well as from photographer David Breashears on the disappearing Himalayan glaciers. In my practice, I acknowledge the photographers, or archive agencies, such as USGS, NASA or Snow and Ice Center, in the title and all printed material. As a landscape painter and photographer my intent is to not reproduce those images but rather use them as inspiration. At first I used the documentary evidence in sets of diptychs or triptychs. Since 2010 I have incorporated geological charts of recessional lines, graphs, symbols and

  13. Assimilation of snow cover and snow depth into a snow model to estimate snow water equivalent and snowmelt runoff in a Himalayan catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. E. Stigter

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Snow is an important component of water storage in the Himalayas. Previous snowmelt studies in the Himalayas have predominantly relied on remotely sensed snow cover. However, snow cover data provide no direct information on the actual amount of water stored in a snowpack, i.e., the snow water equivalent (SWE. Therefore, in this study remotely sensed snow cover was combined with in situ observations and a modified version of the seNorge snow model to estimate (climate sensitivity of SWE and snowmelt runoff in the Langtang catchment in Nepal. Snow cover data from Landsat 8 and the MOD10A2 snow cover product were validated with in situ snow cover observations provided by surface temperature and snow depth measurements resulting in classification accuracies of 85.7 and 83.1 % respectively. Optimal model parameter values were obtained through data assimilation of MOD10A2 snow maps and snow depth measurements using an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF. Independent validations of simulated snow depth and snow cover with observations show improvement after data assimilation compared to simulations without data assimilation. The approach of modeling snow depth in a Kalman filter framework allows for data-constrained estimation of snow depth rather than snow cover alone, and this has great potential for future studies in complex terrain, especially in the Himalayas. Climate sensitivity tests with the optimized snow model revealed that snowmelt runoff increases in winter and the early melt season (December to May and decreases during the late melt season (June to September as a result of the earlier onset of snowmelt due to increasing temperature. At high elevation a decrease in SWE due to higher air temperature is (partly compensated by an increase in precipitation, which emphasizes the need for accurate predictions on the changes in the spatial distribution of precipitation along with changes in temperature.

  14. Stress distribution calculations through a snow slab of varying elastic modulus; comparison with stability evaluation in the field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinkels, Laura; Borstad, Chris

    2017-04-01

    Field observations are the main tools for assessing the snow stability concerning dry snow slab avalanche release. Often, theoretical studies cannot directly be translated into useful information for avalanche recreationists and forecasters in the field, and vice versa; field observations are not always objective and quantifiable for theoretical studies. Moreover, numerical models often simplify the snowpack and generally use an isotropic single layer slab which is not representative of the real-life situation. The aim of this study is to investigate the stress distribution in a snowpack with an elastic modulus that continuously varies with depth. The focus lies on the difference between a slab with a gradient in hardness and a slab with isotropic hardness and the effect on the calculated maximum stress and the stability evaluation in the field. Approximately 20 different snow pits were evaluated in the mountains around Tromsø, Norway and Longyearbyen, Svalbard. In addition to the standard snowpack observations, the hardness was measured using a thin-blade gauge. Extended column tests were executed for stability evaluation. Measurements from the field were used as input for stress calculations for each snow pit using a line load solution for a sloping half space with a non-homogeneous elastic modulus. The hardness measurements were used to calculate the elastic modulus and a power law relation was fit through the modulus in the slab. The calculated shear stress was compared to the estimated stability and character of the specific snowpack The results show that the approach used for this study improves the calculation of stress at a given depth, although many assumptions and simplifications were still needed. Comparison with the snow profiles indicate that calculated stresses correlate well with the observed snowpack properties and stability. The calculated shear stresses can be introduced in the standard stability index and give a better indication for the

  15. A nineteenth century avalanche episode reconstruction via historic newspapers: from unstructured information to standardized information

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Cristina; Ruíz, Jesús; Gallinar, David; Sánchez de Posada, Covadonga

    2014-05-01

    Several climatic risks studies based on the analysis of data recorded in newspapers have been published to date. These studies deal with both general (Moltó, 2000; García y Martí, 2000; Hernández Varela et al., 2003; Olcina, 2005) and specific risks such as landslides (Domínguez et al., 1999; Devoli et al., 2007; Polemio y Petrucci, 2010) seastorms (Yanes y Marzol, 2009) and snowstorms (Olcina y Moltó, 2002) among others. The purpose of this paper is to report on the methodology and results of the study of an extreme historical event happened in the Asturian Massif (Northern Spain) in 1888. Special attention has been paid to methodological aspects and to the difficulties found in the goal of devising a method that would enable the reconstruction of this kind of phenomena on the basis of nivometheorogical conditions, geographical location and socio-economic impact. To a great deal we focused our efforts on designing a logical database structure and a set of tables that would allow us to store and cross the information for statistical analysis. This includes outlier detection in order to ensure the quality of the results. The information sources used in our study have been the issues of the daily newspaper 'El Carbayón' and the weekly newspaper 'El Oriente de Asturias' published in Oviedo and Llanes (Asturias) between the 20th of January and 30th of May 1888. A total of 92 issues have been collected via the hard copy microfilm housed in the Central Library of Asturias. We reviewed 70 reports relating to avalanche events happened in the aforementioned period of time. We grouped the consequences of the events into 3 main categories (personal injuries, material damages and absence of both) and 5 child categories (deaths, wounded, house and attached building damage, livestock injuries, damage to infrastructures and communications). We gathered data about the thickness of snow-cover, the number of consecutive snowstorms and, in order to facilitate a territorial

  16. Skier triggering of backcountry avalanches with skilled route selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinickas, Alexandra; Haegeli, Pascal; Jamieson, Bruce

    2015-04-01

    Jamieson (2009) provided numerical estimates for the baseline probabilities of triggering an avalanche by a backcountry skier making fresh tracks without skilled route selection as a function of the North American avalanche danger scale (i.e., hazard levels Low, Moderate, Considerable, High and Extreme). Using the results of an expert survey, he showed that triggering probabilities while skiing directly up, down or across a trigger zone without skilled route selection increase roughly by a factor of 10 with each step of the North American avalanche danger scale (i.e. hazard level). The objective of the present study is to examine the effect of skilled route selection on the relationship between triggering probability and hazard level. To assess the effect of skilled route selection on triggering probability by hazard level, we analysed avalanche hazard assessments as well as reports of skiing activity and triggering of avalanches from 11 Canadian helicopter and snowcat operations during two winters (2012-13 and 2013-14). These reports were submitted to the daily information exchange among Canadian avalanche safety operations, and reflect professional decision-making and route selection practices of guides leading groups of skiers. We selected all skier-controlled or accidentally triggered avalanches with a destructive size greater than size 1 according to the Canadian avalanche size classification, triggered by any member of a guided group (guide or guest). These operations forecast the avalanche hazard daily for each of three elevation bands: alpine, treeline and below treeline. In contrast to the 2009 study, an exposure was defined as a group skiing within any one of the three elevation bands, and consequently within a hazard rating, for the day (~4,300 ratings over two winters). For example, a group that skied below treeline (rated Moderate) and treeline (rated Considerable) in one day, would receive one count for exposure to Moderate hazard, and one count for

  17. r.avaflow, the GIS simulation model for avalanche and debris flows: new developments and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mergili, Martin; Queiroz de Oliveira, Gustavo; Fischer, Jan-Thomas; Krenn, Julia; Kulisch, Helmut; Malcherek, Andreas; Pudasaini, Shiva P.

    2016-04-01

    We present the latest developments and discuss some of the key challenges with regard to the novel and unified computational tool r.avaflow, representing an advanced, comprehensive, GIS-based open source simulation environment for two-phase geophysical mass flows such as avalanches of snow or rock, flows of debris or mud, and related process chains. r.avaflow is freely available and adoptable as a raster module of the GRASS GIS software (http://www.avaflow.org). We focus on the following issues: (1) We back-calculate a laboratory-scale debris flow experiment with r.avaflow and thereby show that different types of drag may govern the evolving flow dynamics, depending on the initial flow configuratiuon. In particular, it appears necessary to consider viscous ambient drag in order to achieve simulation results in line with experimentally measurements. (2) We employ a set of well-documented rock avalanche events to illustrate the use of a built-in functionality for parameter sensitivity analysis and optimization. To do so, we demonstrate possible strategies going beyond the deficient one-at-a-time simulation approach. They allow us to test three or more parameters at once with a limited number of model runs. Computational times are kept at an acceptable level by multi-core processing strategies and use of the Vienna Scientific Cluster. We further discuss a number of key issues with regard to (i) arbitrary mountain topography; and (ii) entrainment and deposition of material. Most tests indicate a good model performance when the affected areas predicted for a late stage of the flow simulation are compared with observed affected areas. However, we note that such a validation is not fully justified without the implementation of a physically correct model for the deposition process. Acknowledgement: The work was conducted as part of the international cooperation project "A GIS simulation model for avalanche and debris flows (avaflow)" supported by the Austrian Science Fund

  18. Estimation of soil redistribution rates due to snow cover related processes in a mountainous area (Valle d'Aosta, NW Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Ceaglio

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Mountain areas are widely affected by soil erosion, which is generally linked to runoff processes occurring in the growing season and snowmelt period. Also processes like snow gliding and full-depth snow avalanches may be important factors that can enhance soil erosion, however the role and importance of snow movements as agents of soil redistribution are not well understood yet. The aim of this study was to provide information on the relative importance of snow related processes in comparison to runoff processes. In the study area, which is an avalanche path characterized by intense snow movements, soil redistribution rates were quantified with two methods: (i by field measurements of sediment yield in an avalanche deposition area during 2009 and 2010 winter seasons; (ii by caesium-137 method, which supplies the cumulative net soil loss/gain since 1986, including all the soil erosion processes. The snow related soil accumulation estimated with data from the deposit area (27.5 Mg ha−1 event−1 and 161.0 Mg ha−1 event−1 was not only higher than the yearly sediment amounts, reported in literature, due to runoff processes, but it was even more intense than the yearly total deposition rate assessed with 137Cs (12.6 Mg ha−1 yr−1. The snow related soil erosion rates estimated from the sediment yield at the avalanche deposit area (3.7 Mg ha−1 and 20.8 Mg ha−1 were greater than the erosion rates reported in literature and related to runoff processes; they were comparable to the yearly total erosion rates assessed with the 137Cs method (13.4 Mg ha−1 yr−1 and 8.8 Mg ha−1 yr−1. The 137Cs method also showed that, where the ground avalanche does not release, the erosion and deposition of soil particles from the upper part of the basin was considerable and likely related to

  19. Guiding thermomagnetic avalanches with soft magnetic stripes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vlasko-Vlasov, V. K.; Colauto, F.; Benseman, T.; Rosenmann, D.; Kwok, W. -K.

    2017-12-01

    We demonstrate the potential for manipulating the ultrafast dynamics of thermomagnetic flux avalanches (TMA) in superconducting films with soft magnetic stripes deposited on the film. By tuning the in-plane magnetization of the stripes, we induce lines of strong magnetic potentials for Abrikosov vortices, resulting in guided slow motion of vortices along the stripe edges and preferential bursts of TMA along the stripes. Furthermore, we show that transversely polarized stripes can reduce the TMA size by diverting magnetic flux away from the major trunk of the TMA into interstripe gaps. Our data indicate that TMAs are launched from locations with enhanced vortex entry barrier, where flux accumulation followed by accelerated vortex discharge significantly reduces the threshold of the applied field ramping speed required for the creation of TMAs. Finally, vortex-antivortex annihilation at the moving front of an expanding TMA can account for the enhanced TMA activity in the receding branches of the sample's magnetization cycle and the preferred propagation of TMAs into maximum trapped flux regions.

  20. OPTIMIZING THROUGH CO-EVOLUTIONARY AVALANCHES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    S. BOETTCHER; A. PERCUS

    2000-08-01

    We explore a new general-purpose heuristic for finding high-quality solutions to hard optimization problems. The method, called extremal optimization, is inspired by ''self-organized critically,'' a concept introduced to describe emergent complexity in many physical systems. In contrast to Genetic Algorithms which operate on an entire ''gene-pool'' of possible solutions, extremal optimization successively replaces extremely undesirable elements of a sub-optimal solution with new, random ones. Large fluctuations, called ''avalanches,'' ensue that efficiently explore many local optima. Drawing upon models used to simulate far-from-equilibrium dynamics, extremal optimization complements approximation methods inspired by equilibrium statistical physics, such as simulated annealing. With only one adjustable parameter, its performance has proved competitive with more elaborate methods, especially near phase transitions. Those phase transitions are found in the parameter space of most optimization problems, and have recently been conjectured to be the origin of some of the hardest instances in computational complexity. We will demonstrate how extremal optimization can be implemented for a variety of combinatorial optimization problems. We believe that extremal optimization will be a useful tool in the investigation of phase transitions in combinatorial optimization problems, hence valuable in elucidating the origin of computational complexity.

  1. Guiding thermomagnetic avalanches with soft magnetic stripes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlasko-Vlasov, V. K.; Colauto, F.; Benseman, T.; Rosenmann, D.; Kwok, W.-K.

    2017-12-01

    We demonstrate the potential for manipulating the ultrafast dynamics of thermomagnetic flux avalanches (TMA) in superconducting films with soft magnetic stripes deposited on the film. By tuning the in-plane magnetization of the stripes, we induce lines of strong magnetic potentials for Abrikosov vortices, resulting in guided slow motion of vortices along the stripe edges and preferential bursts of TMA along the stripes. Furthermore, we show that transversely polarized stripes can reduce the TMA size by diverting magnetic flux away from the major trunk of the TMA into interstripe gaps. Our data indicate that TMAs are launched from locations with enhanced vortex entry barrier, where flux accumulation followed by accelerated vortex discharge significantly reduces the threshold of the applied field ramping speed required for the creation of TMAs. Finally, vortex-antivortex annihilation at the moving front of an expanding TMA can account for the enhanced TMA activity in the receding branches of the sample's magnetization cycle and the preferred propagation of TMAs into maximum trapped flux regions.

  2. Dead Time of Single Photon Avalanche Diodes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neri, L., E-mail: lorenzo.neri@ct.infn.it [INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, via S.Sofia 62, I-95125, Catania (Italy); Universita degli Studi di Catania, via S.Sofia 64, I-95123, Catania (Italy); Tudisco, S. [INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, via S.Sofia 62, I-95125, Catania (Italy); Musumeci, F.; Scordino, A. [Universita degli Studi di Catania, via S.Sofia 64, I-95123, Catania (Italy); Fallica, G.; Mazzillo, M. [ST-Microelectronics, stradale Primosole 50, I-95100, Catania (Italy); Zimbone, M. [Universita degli Studi di Catania, via S.Sofia 64, I-95123, Catania (Italy)

    2011-06-15

    Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) is the new generation of Geiger-Muller counter device developed in semiconductor technology [S. Privitera et al. Sensors Journal, vol 8 Iss. 8 (2008) 4636; S. Tudisco et al. IEEE Sensors Journal vol 8 ISS 7-8 (2008) 1324; S. Cova et al. Applied Optics 35 (1996) 1956]. Physical dead time model and noise production process has been analyzed and their corrections have been performed [S.H. Lee, R.P. Gardner, M. Jae, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. in Phys. Res. B 263 (2007) 46]. We have been able to extract the real amount of incident photon rate up to 10{sup 7}cps using a device with 0.97{mu}s total deadtime. We also developed the equation of the noise count rate vs incoming photon rate, supported by Montecarlo simulation and experimental data. We marked the difference between dark rate and noise count rate, and introduced the noise rate inside the hybrid deadtime equation used for SPAD device.

  3. Avalanche outbreaks emerging in cooperative contagions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Weiran; Chen, Li; Ghanbarnejad, Fakhteh; Grassberger, Peter

    2015-11-01

    The spreading of contagions can exhibit a percolation transition, which separates transitory prevalence from outbreaks that reach a finite fraction of the population. Such transitions are commonly believed to be continuous, but empirical studies have shown more violent spreading modes when the participating agents are not limited to one type. Striking examples include the co-epidemic of the Spanish flu and pneumonia that occurred in 1918 (refs , ), and, more recently, the concurrent prevalence of HIV/AIDS and a host of diseases. It remains unclear to what extent an outbreak in the presence of interacting pathogens differs from that due to an ordinary single-agent process. Here we study a mechanistic model for understanding contagion processes involving inter-agent cooperation. Our stochastic simulations reveal the possible emergence of a massive avalanche-like outbreak right at the threshold, which is manifested as a discontinuous phase transition. Such an abrupt change arises only if the underlying network topology supports a bottleneck for cascaded mutual infections. Surprisingly, all these discontinuous transitions are accompanied by non-trivial critical behaviours, presenting a rare case of hybrid transition. The findings may imply the origin of catastrophic occurrences in many realistic systems, from co-epidemics to financial contagions.

  4. Avalanches in a granular stick-slip experiment: detection using wavelets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abed Zadeh Aghil

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Avalanches have been experimentally investigated in a wide range of physical systems from granular physics to friction. Here, we measure and detect avalanches in a 2D granular stick-slip experiment. We discuss the conventional way of signal processing for avalanche extraction and how statistics depend on several parameters that are chosen in the analysis process. Then, we introduce another way of detecting avalanches using wavelet transformations that can be applied in many other systems. We show that by using this method and measuring Lipschitz exponents, we can intelligently detect noise in a signal, which leads to a better avalanche extraction and more reliable avalanche statistics.

  5. Tomography-based characterization of ice-air interface dynamics of temperature gradient snow metamorphism under advective conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebner, Pirmin Philipp; Andreoli, Christian; Schneebeli, Martin; Steinfeld, Aldo

    2015-12-01

    Snow at or close to the surface commonly undergoes temperature gradient metamorphism under advective flow, which alters its microstructure and physical properties. A functional understanding of this process is essential for many disciplines, from modeling the effects of snow on regional and global climate to assessing avalanche formation. Time-lapse X-ray microtomography was applied to investigate the structural dynamics of temperature gradient snow metamorphism exposed to an advective airflow in controlled laboratory conditions. Experiments specifically analyzed sublimation and deposition of water vapor on the ice structure. In addition, an analysis of the ice-air interface dynamics was carried out using a macroscopic equivalent model of heat and water vapor transport through a snow layer. The results indicate that sublimation of the ice matrix dominated for flow rates deposition supplied by the advective flow counteracted sublimation. A flow rate dependence of water vapor deposition at the ice interface was observed, asymptotically approaching an average estimated maximum deposition rate on the whole sample of 1.05 · 10-4 kg m-3 s-1. The growth of microsized whisker-like crystals on larger ice crystals was detected on microscope photographs, leading to an increase of the specific surface area and thus suggest a change of the physical and optical properties of the snow. The estimated values of the curvature effect of the ice crystals and the interface kinetic coefficient are in good agreement with previously published values.

  6. Avalanches in a stochastic model of spiking neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Benayoun

    Full Text Available Neuronal avalanches are a form of spontaneous activity widely observed in cortical slices and other types of nervous tissue, both in vivo and in vitro. They are characterized by irregular, isolated population bursts when many neurons fire together, where the number of spikes per burst obeys a power law distribution. We simulate, using the Gillespie algorithm, a model of neuronal avalanches based on stochastic single neurons. The network consists of excitatory and inhibitory neurons, first with all-to-all connectivity and later with random sparse connectivity. Analyzing our model using the system size expansion, we show that the model obeys the standard Wilson-Cowan equations for large network sizes ( neurons. When excitation and inhibition are closely balanced, networks of thousands of neurons exhibit irregular synchronous activity, including the characteristic power law distribution of avalanche size. We show that these avalanches are due to the balanced network having weakly stable functionally feedforward dynamics, which amplifies some small fluctuations into the large population bursts. Balanced networks are thought to underlie a variety of observed network behaviours and have useful computational properties, such as responding quickly to changes in input. Thus, the appearance of avalanches in such functionally feedforward networks indicates that avalanches may be a simple consequence of a widely present network structure, when neuron dynamics are noisy. An important implication is that a network need not be "critical" for the production of avalanches, so experimentally observed power laws in burst size may be a signature of noisy functionally feedforward structure rather than of, for example, self-organized criticality.

  7. Lessons learned from the snow emergency management of winter season 2008-2009 in Piemonte

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovo, Dr.; Pelosini, Dr.; Cordola, Dr.

    2009-09-01

    The winter season 2008-2009 has been characterized by heavy snowfalls over the whole Piemonte, in the Western Alps region. The snowfalls have been exceptional because of their earliness, persistence and intensity. The impact on the regional environment and territory has been relevant, also from the economical point of view, as well as the effort of the people involved in the forecasting, prevention and fighting actions. The environmental induced effects have been shown until late spring. The main critical situations have been arisen from the snowfalls earliness in season, the several snow precipitation events over the plains, the big amount of snow accumulation on the ground, as well as the anomaly with respect to the last 30 years climatic trend of snow conditions in Piemonte. The damage costs to the public property caused by the snowfalls have been estimated by the Regione Piemonte to be 470 million euros, giving evidence of the real emergency dimension of the event, never occurred during the last 20 years. The technical support from the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection of Regione Piemonte (Arpa Piemonte) to the emergency management allowed to analyse and highlight the direct and induced effects of the heavy snowfalls, outlining risk scenarios characterized by different space and time scales. The risk scenarios deployment provided a prompt recommendation list, both for the emergency management and for the natural phenomena evolution surveillance planning to assure the people and property safety. The risk scenarios related to the snow emergency are different according to the geographical and anthropic territory aspects. In the mountains, several natural avalanche releases, characterized frequently by a large size, may affect villages, but they may also interrupt the main and secondary roads both down in the valleys and small villages road access, requiring a long time for the complete and safe snow removal and road re-opening. The avalanches often

  8. A 240-year history of avalanche risk in the Vosges Mountains based on non-conventional (resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Giacona

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Despite the strong societal impact of mountain risks, their systematic documentation remains poor. Therefore, snow avalanche chronologies exceeding several decades are exceptional, especially in medium-high mountain ranges. This article implements a combination of historical and geographical methods leading to the reconstruction, at the scale of the entire Vosges Mountains (north-east of France, of more than 700 avalanches that have occurred since the late eighteenth century on 128 paths. The clearly episodic nature of the derived geo-chronology can be explained by three interrelated factors that have changed together over time: the body and reliability of sources, social practices conditioning the vulnerability and the natural hazard itself. Finally, the geo-chronology reflects the changes in the meaning of the hazard in social space. Specifically, the event which could be retrieved from the historical sources is an aspect of the interaction between society and its environment. These results confirm the role of the historian in contextualising and evaluating such data. It transforms these data into information that is relevant for mitigating risk and understanding its change over time. The work also demonstrates the usefulness of constructing an original database from a diverse suite of historical data and field investigations. This approach could be applied to other risk phenomena in the frequent situation in which archival data are sparse.

  9. A 240-year history of avalanche risk in the Vosges Mountains based on non-conventional (re)sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacona, Florie; Eckert, Nicolas; Martin, Brice

    2017-06-01

    Despite the strong societal impact of mountain risks, their systematic documentation remains poor. Therefore, snow avalanche chronologies exceeding several decades are exceptional, especially in medium-high mountain ranges. This article implements a combination of historical and geographical methods leading to the reconstruction, at the scale of the entire Vosges Mountains (north-east of France), of more than 700 avalanches that have occurred since the late eighteenth century on 128 paths. The clearly episodic nature of the derived geo-chronology can be explained by three interrelated factors that have changed together over time: the body and reliability of sources, social practices conditioning the vulnerability and the natural hazard itself. Finally, the geo-chronology reflects the changes in the meaning of the hazard in social space. Specifically, the event which could be retrieved from the historical sources is an aspect of the interaction between society and its environment. These results confirm the role of the historian in contextualising and evaluating such data. It transforms these data into information that is relevant for mitigating risk and understanding its change over time. The work also demonstrates the usefulness of constructing an original database from a diverse suite of historical data and field investigations. This approach could be applied to other risk phenomena in the frequent situation in which archival data are sparse.

  10. Velocity-dependent frictional weakening of large rock avalanche basal facies: Implications for rock avalanche hypermobility?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Y. F.; Dong, J. J.; Cheng, Q. G.

    2017-03-01

    To characterize the hypermobility mechanism of rock avalanches, a series of rotary shear tests at different shearing velocities (Veq) ranging from 0.07 m/s to 1.31 m/s and at a normal stress of 1.47 MPa were carried out on soil sampled from the basal facies of the Yigong rock avalanche that occurred in the Tibetan plateau in China. Through conducting these tests, the macroscale and microscale features of the deformed samples were analyzed in detail with the following valuable conclusions being reached: (1) soil subjected to rotary shear exhibits a clear velocity-dependent weakening characteristic with an apparent steady state friction of 0.13 being reached at Veq ≥ 0.61 m/s, (2) high-temperature rises and layers with high porosity were observed in the samples sheared at Veq ≥ 0.61 m/s, and (3) the cooperation of thermal pressurization and moisture fluidization induced by friction heating plays an important role in explaining the marked frictional weakening of the soil. In addition, the appearance of nanoparticles due to particle fragmentation should facilitate the weakening of the soil but is not the key reason for the marked frictional weakening.

  11. Correlation and prediction of snow water equivalent from snow sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce J. McGurk; David L. Azuma

    1992-01-01

    Since 1982, under an agreement between the California Department of Water Resources and the USDA Forest Service, snow sensors have been installed and operated in Forest Service-administered wilderness areas in the Sierra Nevada of California. The sensors are to be removed by 2005 because of the premise that sufficient data will have been collected to allow "...

  12. Implications of Grainfall for Avalanches and Barchan Dune Morphodynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nield, J. M.; Wiggs, G.; Baddock, M. C.; Hipondoka, M.

    2016-12-01

    Sediment accumulation on aeolian dunes is predominately though avalanching (or grainflow). This grainflow is initiated by the accumulation of grainfall deposits, close to the dune brink. When the accumulation, or `bulge', exceeds an angle of repose, avalanches are initiated and sediment is transported down the lee of the dune. The location of sediment accumulation, or avalanche initiation point, is determined by the distance that grainfall can travel from the dune brink. While previous studies have focused on determining angles at which avalanches occur, along with depositional flux rates, technical constraints have limited the testing of models to predict grainfall zone dynamics under varying wind conditions. Here we use terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to measure both grainfall distance and associated lee slope surface change of a 5 m high barchan dune under variable wind speeds, on the Skeleton Coast, Namibia. We find that under stronger winds, the distance that grainfall can travel from the brink expands (by up to 0.45 m for a 3 m/s increase in wind speed). Along with this expansion of the grainfall distance there is an increase in saltation flux over the brink. The increased grainfall distance shifts sand further from the brink resulting in dominant avalanche initiation point locations expanding from 0.3 m to 0.4 m for wind speeds above 6 m/s. This shift also corresponds to the appearance of secondary avalanches, which are initiated by primary avalanche lobe deposits extending outside of the main grainfall zone. Ultimately, under stronger winds the expansion of the grainfall distance contributes to the destabilisation and movement of increased sediment volumes down the lee slope. Avalanches under stronger wind speeds, therefore, increase in thickness, width and length, while during weaker wind speeds, most of the grainfall and grainflow is limited to the upper section of the lee slope. The implication of this dual avalanche behaviour under variable wind

  13. Intermittent flow under constant forcing: Acoustic emission from creep avalanches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salje, Ekhard K. H.; Liu, Hanlong; Jin, Linsen; Jiang, Deyi; Xiao, Yang; Jiang, Xiang

    2018-01-01

    While avalanches in field driven ferroic systems (e.g., Barkhausen noise), domain switching of martensitic nanostructures, and the collapse of porous materials are well documented, creep avalanches (avalanches under constant forcing) were never observed. Collapse avalanches generate particularly large acoustic emission (AE) signals and were hence chosen to investigate crackling noise under creep conditions. Piezoelectric SiO2 has a strong piezoelectric response even at the nanoscale so that we chose weakly bound SiO2 spheres in natural sandstone as a representative for the study of avalanches under time-independent, constant force. We found highly non-stationary crackling noise with four activity periods, each with power law distributed AE emission. Only the period before the final collapse shows the mean field behavior (ɛ near 1.39), in agreement with previous dynamic measurements at a constant stress rate. All earlier event periods show collapse with larger exponents (ɛ = 1.65). The waiting time exponents are classic with τ near 2.2 and 1.32. Creep data generate power law mixing with "effective" exponents for the full dataset with combinations of mean field and non-mean field regimes. We find close agreement with the predicted time-dependent fiber bound simulations, including events and waiting time distributions. Båth's law holds under creep conditions.

  14. Solid-state flat panel imager with avalanche amorphous selenium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheuermann, James R.; Howansky, Adrian; Goldan, Amir H.; Tousignant, Olivier; Levéille, Sébastien; Tanioka, K.; Zhao, Wei

    2016-03-01

    Active matrix flat panel imagers (AMFPI) have become the dominant detector technology for digital radiography and fluoroscopy. For low dose imaging, electronic noise from the amorphous silicon thin film transistor (TFT) array degrades imaging performance. We have fabricated the first prototype solid-state AMFPI using a uniform layer of avalanche amorphous selenium (a-Se) photoconductor to amplify the signal to eliminate the effect of electronic noise. We have previously developed a large area solid-state avalanche a-Se sensor structure referred to as High Gain Avalanche Rushing Photoconductor (HARP) capable of achieving gains of 75. In this work we successfully deposited this HARP structure onto a 24 x 30 cm2 TFT array with a pixel pitch of 85 μm. An electric field (ESe) up to 105 Vμm-1 was applied across the a-Se layer without breakdown. Using the HARP layer as a direct detector, an X-ray avalanche gain of 15 +/- 3 was achieved at ESe = 105 Vμm-1. In indirect mode with a 150 μm thick structured CsI scintillator, an optical gain of 76 +/- 5 was measured at ESe = 105 Vμm-1. Image quality at low dose increases with the avalanche gain until the electronic noise is overcome at a constant exposure level of 0.76 mR. We demonstrate the success of a solid-state HARP X-ray imager as well as the largest active area HARP sensor to date.

  15. 44 CFR 206.227 - Snow assistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 44 Emergency Management and Assistance 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Snow assistance. 206.227 Section 206.227 Emergency Management and Assistance FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF... Snow assistance. Emergency or major disaster declarations based on snow or blizzard conditions will be...

  16. Performance evaluation of snow and ice plows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-01

    Removal of ice and snow from road surfaces is a critical task in the northern tier of the United States, : including Illinois. Highways with high levels of traffic are expected to be cleared of snow and ice quickly : after each snow storm. This is ne...

  17. A novel approach for automatic snow depth estimation using UAV-taken images without ground control points

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizinski, Bartlomiej; Niedzielski, Tomasz

    2017-04-01

    Recent developments in snow depth reconstruction based on remote sensing techniques include the use of photographs of snow-covered terrain taken by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). There are several approaches that utilize visible-light photos (RGB) or near infrared images (NIR). The majority of the methods in question are based on reconstructing the digital surface model (DSM) of the snow-covered area with the use of the Structure-from-Motion (SfM) algorithm and the stereo-vision software. Having reconstructed the above-mentioned DSM it is straightforward to calculate the snow depth map which may be produced as a difference between the DSM of snow-covered terrain and the snow-free DSM, known as the reference surface. In order to use the aforementioned procedure, the high spatial accuracy of the two DSMs must be ensured. Traditionally, this is done using the ground control points (GCPs), either artificial or natural terrain features that are visible on aerial images, the coordinates of which are measured in the field using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver by qualified personnel. The field measurements may be time-taking (GCPs must be well distributed in the study area, therefore the field experts should travel over long distances) and dangerous (the field experts may be exposed to avalanche risk or cold). Thus, there is a need to elaborate methods that enable the above-mentioned automatic snow depth map production without the use of GCPs. One of such attempts is shown in this paper which aims to present the novel method which is based on real-time processing of snow-covered and snow-free dense point clouds produced by SfM. The two stage georeferencing is proposed. The initial (low accuracy) one assigns true geographic, and subsequently projected, coordinates to the two dense point clouds, while the said initially-registered dense point clouds are matched using the iterative closest point (ICP) algorithm in the final (high accuracy) stage. The

  18. Assessment of the economic risk for the ski resorts of changes in snow cover duration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Sokratov

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Winter tourism that is intensively developed in the Russian Federation in recent years strongly depends on the snow availability and properties in the region. Climate changes exert significant influence on the functioning of mountain ski resorts, especially if they are located in areas with relatively high air temperatures in winter season. At the present time, a snowy cluster of mountain ski resorts is intensively progressing in vicinity of Krasnaya Polyana. This region in the West Caucasus (Russia is characterized by relatively warm climate conditions. The snow cover thickness (of 1% insurance in area of the Aibga mountain range may reach 8.1 m. But the snow cover thickness is not the only characteristic of the mountain skiing attractiveness. According to the Swiss standards a mountain ski resort can be considered reliable if during seven seasons of ten ones the snow cover with minimal thickness of 30–50 cm exists for a time not shorter than 100 days during a period from 1st December till 15th April.According to the forecast, during future decades the calculated amount of solid precipitation should reduce by 25–30% in mountain regions on the south macro-slope of the Great Caucasus. As the calculations show, by 2041–2050 the maximal decade thickness of snow cover will decrease by 29–35% while a number of days with snow – by 35–40%. If this is the case, artificial snow will be needed in addition to the natural one. But, under warm climate conditions using of plants for artificial snow production will require a certain perfecting of the nowadays technologies, and very likely, with use of chemicals. That is why a shadowing of existing mountain ski routes by means of the tree planting along them could be ecologically more promising. As for the mountain ski resorts of the West Caucasus, we should mention a possible weakening of the avalanche activity as a potential positive effect of the climate warming predicted by models.

  19. The diversity of flux avalanche patterns in superconducting films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vestgården, J. I.; Shantsev, D. V.; Galperin, Y. M.; Johansen, T. H.

    2013-05-01

    The variety of morphologies in flux patterns created by thermomagnetic dendritic avalanches in type-II superconducting films is investigated using numerical simulations. The avalanches are triggered by introducing a hot spot at the edge of a strip-shaped sample, which is initially prepared in a partially penetrated Bean critical state by slowly ramping the transversely applied magnetic field. The simulation scheme is based on a model accounting for the nonlinear and nonlocal electrodynamics of superconductors in the transverse geometry. By systematically varying the parameters representing the Joule heating, heat conduction in the film, and heat transfer to the substrate, a wide variety of avalanche patterns are formed, and quantitative characterizations of the areal extension, branch width etc are made. The results show that branching is suppressed by the lateral heat diffusion, while large Joule heating gives many branches, and heat removal into the substrate limits the areal size. The morphology shows significant dependence also on the initial flux penetration depth.

  20. Dynamic rock fragmentation: thresholds for long runout rock avalanches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.T. Bowman

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The dynamic fragmentation of rock within rock avalanches is examined using the fragmentation concepts introduced by Grady and co-workers. The analyses use typical material values for weak chalk and limestone in order to determine theoretical strain rate thresholds for dynamic fragmentation and resulting fragment sizes. These are found to compare favourably with data obtained from field observations of long runout rock avalanches and chalk cliff collapses in spite of the simplicity of the approach used. The results provide insight as to the energy requirements to develop long runout behaviour and hence may help to explain the observed similarities between large rock avalanches and much smaller scale chalk cliff collapses as seen in Europe.

  1. Avalanches and plastic flow in crystal plasticity: an overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papanikolaou, Stefanos; Cui, Yinan; Ghoniem, Nasr

    2018-01-01

    Crystal plasticity is mediated through dislocations, which form knotted configurations in a complex energy landscape. Once they disentangle and move, they may also be impeded by permanent obstacles with finite energy barriers or frustrating long-range interactions. The outcome of such complexity is the emergence of dislocation avalanches as the basic mechanism of plastic flow in solids at the nanoscale. While the deformation behavior of bulk materials appears smooth, a predictive model should clearly be based upon the character of these dislocation avalanches and their associated strain bursts. We provide here a comprehensive overview of experimental observations, theoretical models and computational approaches that have been developed to unravel the multiple aspects of dislocation avalanche physics and the phenomena leading to strain bursts in crystal plasticity.

  2. Experimental method to predict avalanches based on neural networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Zhdanov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The article presents results of experimental use of currently available statistical methods to classify the avalanche‑dangerous precipitations and snowfalls in the Kishi Almaty river basin. The avalanche service of Kazakhstan uses graphical methods for prediction of avalanches developed by I.V. Kondrashov and E.I. Kolesnikov. The main objective of this work was to develop a modern model that could be used directly at the avalanche stations. Classification of winter precipitations into dangerous snowfalls and non‑dangerous ones was performed by two following ways: the linear discriminant function (canonical analysis and artificial neural networks. Observational data on weather and avalanches in the gorge Kishi Almaty in the gorge Kishi Almaty were used as a training sample. Coefficients for the canonical variables were calculated by the software «Statistica» (Russian version 6.0, and then the necessary formula had been constructed. The accuracy of the above classification was 96%. Simulator by the authors L.N. Yasnitsky and F.М. Cherepanov was used to learn the neural networks. The trained neural network demonstrated 98% accuracy of the classification. Prepared statistical models are recommended to be tested at the snow‑avalanche stations. Results of the tests will be used for estimation of the model quality and its readiness for the operational work. In future, we plan to apply these models for classification of the avalanche danger by the five‑point international scale.

  3. Comparison of the Snow Simulations in Community Land Model Using Two Snow Cover Fraction Parameterizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhipeng; Hu, Zeyong

    2016-04-01

    Snow cover is an important component of local- and regional-scale energy and water budgets, especially in mountainous areas. This paper evaluates the snow simulations by using two snow cover fraction schemes in CLM4.5 (NY07 is the original snow-covered area parameterization used in CLM4, and SL12 is the default scheme in CLM4.5). Off-line simulations are carried out forced by the China Meteorological forcing dataset from January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2010 over the Tibetan Plateau. Simulated snow cover fraction (SCF), snow depth, and snow water equivalent (SWE) were compared against a set of observations including the Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) snow cover product, the daily snow depth dataset of China, and China Meteorological Administration (CMA) in-situ snow depth and SWE observations. The comparison results indicate significant differences existing between those two SCF parameterizations simulations. Overall, the SL12 formulation shows a certain improvement compared to the NY07 scheme used in CLM4, with the percentage of correctly modeled snow/no snow being 75.8% and 81.8% when compared with the IMS snow product, respectively. Yet, this improvement varies both temporally and spatially. Both these two snow cover schemes overestimated the snow depth, in comparison with the daily snow depth dataset of China, the average biases of simulated snow depth are 7.38cm (8.77cm), 6.97cm (8.2cm) and 5.49cm (5.76cm) NY07 (and SL12) in the snow accumulation period (September through next February), snowmelt period (March through May) and snow-free period (June through August), respectively. When compared with the CMA in-situ snow depth observations, averaged biases are 3.18cm (4.38cm), 2.85cm (4.34cm) and 0.34cm (0.34cm) for NY07 (SL12), respectively. Though SL12 does worse snow depth simulation than NY07, the simulated SWE by SL12 is better than that by NY07, with average biases being 2.64mm, 6.22mm, 1.33mm for NY07, and 1.47mm, 2.63mm, 0.31mm

  4. Sixteen-year follow-up of childhood avalanche survivors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thordardottir, E.B.; Valdimarsdóttir, Unnur A; Hansdottir, Ingunn

    2016-01-01

    stress disorder (PTSD) can provide a gateway to recovery as well as enhancement of preventive measures. Objective: Among childhood avalanche survivors, we aimed to investigate risk factors for PTSD symptoms and the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and PTSD symptoms in adulthood. Methods......: Childhood survivors (aged 2-19 at the time of exposure) of two avalanches were identified through nationwide registers 16 years later. The PosttraumaticDiagnostic Scale was used to assess current PTSD symptoms. One-way ANOVA was used to explore PTSD symptoms by background and trauma-specific factors...

  5. Progress in simulations of micropattern gas avalanche detectors

    CERN Document Server

    Cwetanski, Peter

    2000-01-01

    Helpful for a better understanding of the intrinsic processes in the various gas avalanche detectors are simulations, involving three- dimensional Finite Element Method (FEM) field map computations in order to describe the more and more complex geometries. Drift, multiplication and attachment procedures are simulated using Monte Carlo techniques. Recent results show a remarkable agreement with gain and energy resolution measurements thanks to the refined computations of gas transport properties and improved avalanching models. As examples the influence of wire eccentricity on gas gain and energy resolution in the ATLAS TRT straws is shown as well as performed studies of the Micromegas detector. 8 Refs.

  6. A stable snow-atmosphere coupled mode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Liang; Zhu, Yuxiang; Liu, Haiwen; Liu, Zhongfang; Liu, Yanju; Li, Xiuping; Chen, Zhou

    2016-10-01

    Snow is both an important lower boundary forcing of the atmosphere and a response to atmospheric forcing in the extratropics. It is still unclear whether a stable snow-atmosphere coupled mode exists in the extratropics, like the ENSO in the tropics. Using Sliding Correlation analysis over Any Window, the present study quantitatively evaluates the stability of coupling relationships between the major modes of winter snow over the Northern Hemisphere and the winter atmospheric Arctic Oscillation (AO), the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) and the Siberian High over the period 1872-2010, and discusses their possible relationships for different seasons. Results show that the first mode of the winter snow cover fraction and the winter AO together constitute a stable snow-atmosphere coupled mode, the SNAO. The coupled mode is stronger during recent decades than before. The snow anomaly over Europe is one key factor of the SNAO mode due to the high stability there, and the polar vortex anomaly in the atmosphere is its other key factor. The continuity of signals in the SNAO between autumn and winter is weaker than that between winter and spring. The second winter snow mode is generally stably correlated with the winter AAO and was more stable before the 1970s. The AAO signal with boreal snow has a strong continuity in seasonal transition. Generally, through these coupled modes, snow and atmosphere can interact in the same season or between different seasons: autumn snow can influence the winter atmosphere; the winter atmosphere can influence spring snow.

  7. Demographic effects of extreme weather events: snow storms, breeding success, and population growth rate in a long-lived Antarctic seabird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Descamps, Sébastien; Tarroux, Arnaud; Varpe, Øystein; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Tveraa, Torkild; Lorentsen, Svein-Håkon

    2015-01-01

    Weather extremes are one important element of ongoing climate change, but their impacts are poorly understood because they are, by definition, rare events. If the frequency and severity of extreme weather events increase, there is an urgent need to understand and predict the ecological consequences of such events. In this study, we aimed to quantify the effects of snow storms on nest survival in Antarctic petrels and assess whether snow storms are an important driver of annual breeding success and population growth rate. We used detailed data on daily individual nest survival in a year with frequent and heavy snow storms, and long term data on petrel productivity (i.e., number of chicks produced) at the colony level. Our results indicated that snow storms are an important determinant of nest survival and overall productivity. Snow storm events explained 30% of the daily nest survival within the 2011/2012 season and nearly 30% of the interannual variation in colony productivity in period 1985-2014. Snow storms are a key driver of Antarctic petrel breeding success, and potentially population dynamics. We also found state-dependent effects of snow storms and chicks in poor condition were more likely to die during a snow storm than chicks in good condition. This stresses the importance of considering interactions between individual heterogeneity and extreme weather events to understand both individual and population responses to climate change.

  8. Warming, soil moisture, and loss of snow increase Bromus tectorum’s population growth rate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo Compagnoni

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Climate change threatens to exacerbate the impacts of invasive species. In temperate ecosystems, direct effects of warming may be compounded by dramatic reductions in winter snow cover. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum is arguably the most destructive biological invader in basins of the North American Intermountain West, and warming could increase its performance through direct effects on demographic rates or through indirect effects mediated by loss of snow. We conducted a two-year experimental manipulation of temperature and snow pack to test whether 1 warming increases cheatgrass population growth rate and 2 reduced snow cover contributes to cheatgrass’ positive response to warming. We used infrared heaters operating continuously to create the warming treatment, but turned heaters on only during snowfalls for the snowmelt treatment. We monitored cheatgrass population growth rate and the vital rates that determine it: emergence, survival and fecundity. Growth rate increased in both warming and snowmelt treatments. The largest increases occurred in warming plots during the wettest year, indicating that the magnitude of response to warming depends on moisture availability. Warming increased both fecundity and survival, especially in the wet year, while snowmelt contributed to the positive effects of warming by increasing survival. Our results indicate that increasing temperature will exacerbate cheatgrass impacts, especially where warming causes large reductions in the depth and duration of snow cover.

  9. Snow and ice: Chapter 3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littell, Jeremy; McAfee, Stephanie A.; O'Neel, Shad; Sass, Louis; Burgess, Evan; Colt, Steve; Clark, Paul; Hayward, Gregory D.; Colt, Steve; McTeague, Monica L.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.

    2017-01-01

    Temperature and precipitation are key determinants of snowpack levels. Therefore, climate change is likely to affect the role of snow and ice in the landscapes and hydrology of the Chugach National Forest region.Downscaled climate projections developed by Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning (SNAP) are useful for examining projected changes in snow at relatively fine resolution using a variable called “snowday fraction (SDF),” the percentage of days with precipitation falling as snow.We summarized SNAP monthly SDF from five different global climate models for the Chugach region by 500 m elevation bands, and compared historical (1971–2000) and future (2030–2059) SDF. We found that:Snow-day fraction and snow-water equivalent (SWE) are projected to decline most in late autumn (October to November) and at lower elevations.Snow-day fraction is projected to decrease 23 percent (averaged across five climate models) from October to March, between sea level and 500 m. Between sea level and 1000 m, SDF is projected to decrease by 17 percent between October and March.Snow-water equivalent is projected to decrease most in autumn (October and November) and at lower elevations (below 1500 m), an average of -26 percent for the 2030–2059 period compared to 1971– 2000. Averaged across the cool season and the entire domain, SWE is projected to decrease at elevations below 1000 m because of increased temperature, but increase at higher elevations because of increased precipitation.Compared to 1971–2000, the percentage of the landscape that is snowdominant in 2030–2059 is projected to decrease, and the percentage in which rain and snow are co-dominant (transient hydrology) is projected to increase from 27 to 37 percent. Most of this change is at lower elevations.Glaciers on the Chugach National Forest are currently losing about 6 km3 of ice per year; half of this loss comes from Columbia Glacier (Berthier et al. 2010).Over the past decade, almost all

  10. Snow fracture: From micro-cracking to global failure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capelli, Achille; Reiweger, Ingrid; Schweizer, Jürg

    2017-04-01

    Slab avalanches are caused by a crack forming and propagating in a weak layer within the snow cover, which eventually causes the detachment of the overlying cohesive slab. The gradual damage process leading to the nucleation of the initial failure is still not entirely understood. Therefore, we studied the damage process preceding snow failure by analyzing the acoustic emissions (AE) generated by bond failure or micro-cracking. The AE allow studying the ongoing progressive failure in a non-destructive way. We performed fully load-controlled failure experiments on snow samples presenting a weak layer and recorded the generated AE. The size and frequency of the generated AE increased before failure revealing an acceleration of the damage process with increased size and frequency of damage and/or microscopic cracks. The AE energy was power-law distributed and the exponent (b-value) decreased approaching failure. The waiting time followed an exponential distribution with increasing exponential coefficient λ before failure. The decrease of the b-value and the increase of λ correspond to a change in the event distribution statistics indicating a transition from homogeneously distributed uncorrelated damage producing mostly small AE to localized damage, which cause larger correlated events which leads to brittle failure. We observed brittle failure for the fast experiment and a more ductile behavior for the slow experiments. This rate dependence was reflected also in the AE signature. In the slow experiments the b value and λ were almost constant, and the energy rate increase was moderate indicating that the damage process was in a stable state - suggesting the damage and healing processes to be balanced. On a shorter time scale, however, the AE parameters varied indicating that the damage process was not steady but consisted of a sum of small bursts. We assume that the bursts may have been generated by cascades of correlated micro-cracks caused by localization of

  11. Features of the Electron Avalanche in the Great Gas Amplification Mode

    CERN Document Server

    Zalikhanov, B Zh

    2005-01-01

    The results of studying the electron avalanche in narrow-gap wire chambers in the avalanche-to-streamer transition region are presented. Characteristics of the chambers in the great gas amplification mode ($\\geqslant 10^7$) are given. Specific features of the electric field distribution in narrow-gap chambers made it possible to reveal earlier unknown processes which proceed in a high-current avalanche and elucidate the avalanche development dynamics. Qualitative explanation is offered for these processes, and on its basis consideration is given to the possibility of the avalanche-to-streamer transition and the streamer growth mechanism.

  12. Light Attenuation in Falling Snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    1978-08-01

    Mexico 38002 DA Task No. 1L161102-B3A I I -CNTROLLING OFFICE NAME AkD ADDRESS 12 REPORT DATE US Army Electronics Resedrch 3 August 1978 and Development...Range 1.5 km 0- I ’ ’ I S1 1 VINO \\ t 01 111 -- I 0- l L _ l-..-1. . . i . . . 4 0 DiAMETER (CM) Figure 7. Snow particle size distribution functions

  13. Dendritic flux avalanches in superconducting Nb3Sn films

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rudnev, IA; Antonenko, SV; Shantsev, DV; Johansen, TH; Primenko, AE

    2003-01-01

    The penetration of magnetic flux into a thin superconducting film of Nb3Sn with critical temperature 17.8 K and critical current density 6 MA/cm(2) was visualized using magneto-optical imaging. Below 8 K an avalanche-like flux penetration in form of big and branching dendritic structures was

  14. AVALANCHE BREAKDOWN OF p-n-JUNCTION IN RADIOTECHNICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Shashkina

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents research results of fractal properties of microplasma noise at LED avalanche breakdown in the visible spectrum (λ= 660; 700 nm. The breakdown type of p-n-junctionwas determined as a result of measured current-voltage characteristics at room temperature, at the temperature of 100-105 °C and after cooling down to room temperature. It was shown that the breakdown of avalanche type is realized in the majority of LEDs. It was established that the partial avalanche breakdown mode may be realized in LEDs, when a small current flows in pulses through the device. By increasing the voltage, pulse amplitude increases, closely spaced pulses merge, and time intervals between them are reduced. To interpret experimental results we applied model of processes occurring in microplasma, and noise model of partial and advanced avalanche breakdown (by A.S. Tager. The study revealed previously non-described features of microplasma noise – the fractal nature of microplasma noise. The algorithm for fractal dimension calculating was implemented in MATLAB. The dependence of fractal dimension on the reverse voltage applied to the LEDs was found out. Obtained fractal signal can be applied in optical communication systems for noise free and confidential information transmission.

  15. Catastrophic debris avalanche deposit of Socompa volcano, northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, P. W.; Gardeweg, M.; Ramirez, C. F.; Rothery, D. A.

    1985-01-01

    Between 10,000 and 500 yr ago the Socompa volcano in northern Chile experienced a catastrophic collapse of a 70 deg sector of the original cone, causing a debris avalanche that descended nearly 3000 m vertically and traveled more than 35 km from the volcano. The deposits cover some 490 sq km and have a minimum volume of 15 cu km. Parts of the original cone slumped in a nearly coherent form and are now preserved as large blocks more than 400 m high. The primary avalanche traveled northwestward over sloping ground before coming to rest transiently, forming a prominent marginal ridge, and then slid away northeastward to form a secondary flow, overriding much of the primary avalanche deposit. Abundant, prismatic, jointed dacite blocks within the debris avalanche deposit and a thin, fine-grained pumiceous deposit beneath it suggest that the collapse was triggered by magmatic activity and may have been accompanied by a violent lateral blast. Collapse was followed by eruption of pumiceous pyroclastic flows and extrusion of voluminous dacite domes.

  16. Impurity impact ionization avalanche in p-type diamond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortet, V.; Soltani, A.

    2011-11-01

    Electrical conductivity of a highly boron doped chemical vapor deposited diamond thin film has been studied at different temperatures under high electric field conditions. Current-voltage characteristics have been measured using pulsed technique to reduce thermal effects. Experimental results evidence deep impurity impact ionization avalanche in p-type diamond up to room temperature.

  17. Group Dynamics and Decision Making: Backcountry Recreationists in Avalanche Terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bright, Leslie Shay

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe and determine the prevalence of decision-making characteristics of recreational backcountry groups when making a decision of where to travel and ride in avalanche terrain from the perspective of individuals. Decision-making characteristics encompassed communication, decision-making processes, leadership,…

  18. Electron avalanche structure determined by random walk theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Englert, G. W.

    1973-01-01

    A self-consistent avalanche solution which accounts for collective long range Coulomb interactions as well as short range elastic and inelastic collisions between electrons and background atoms is made possible by a random walk technique. Results show that the electric field patterns in the early formation stages of avalanches in helium are close to those obtained from theory based on constant transport coefficients. Regions of maximum and minimum induced electrostatic potential phi are located on the axis of symmetry and within the volume covered by the electron swarm. As formation time continues, however, the region of minimum phi moves to slightly higher radii and the electric field between the extrema becomes somewhat erratic. In the intermediate formation periods the avalanche growth is slightly retarded by the high concentration of ions in the tail which oppose the external electric field. Eventually the formation of ions and electrons in the localized regions of high field strength more than offset this effect causing a very abrupt increase in avalanche growth.

  19. Rock-avalanche dynamics revealed by large-scale field mapping and seismic signals at a highly mobile avalanche in the West Salt Creek valley, western Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coe, Jeffrey A.; Baum, Rex L.; Allstadt, Kate; Kochevar, Bernard; Schmitt, Robert G.; Morgan, Matthew L.; White, Jonathan L.; Stratton, Benjamin T.; Hayashi, Timothy A.; Kean, Jason W.

    2016-01-01

    On 25 May 2014, a rain-on-snow–induced rock avalanche occurred in the West Salt Creek valley on the northern flank of Grand Mesa in western Colorado (United States). The avalanche mobilized from a preexisting rock slide in the Green River Formation and traveled 4.6 km down the confined valley, killing three people. The avalanche was rare for the contiguous United States because of its large size (54.5 Mm3) and high mobility (height/length = 0.14). To understand the avalanche failure sequence, mechanisms, and mobility, we conducted a forensic analysis using large-scale (1:1000) structural mapping and seismic data. We used high-resolution, unmanned aircraft system imagery as a base for field mapping, and analyzed seismic data from 22 broadband stations (distances rock-slide source area) and one short-period network. We inverted broadband data to derive a time series of forces that the avalanche exerted on the earth and tracked these forces using curves in the avalanche path. Our results revealed that the rock avalanche was a cascade of landslide events, rather than a single massive failure. The sequence began with an early morning landslide/debris flow that started ∼10 h before the main avalanche. The main avalanche lasted ∼3.5 min and traveled at average velocities ranging from 15 to 36 m/s. For at least two hours after the avalanche ceased movement, a central, hummock-rich core continued to move slowly. Since 25 May 2014, numerous shallow landslides, rock slides, and rock falls have created new structures and modified avalanche topography. Mobility of the main avalanche and central core was likely enhanced by valley floor material that liquefied from undrained loading by the overriding avalanche. Although the base was likely at least partially liquefied, our mapping indicates that the overriding avalanche internally deformed predominantly by sliding along discrete shear surfaces in material that was nearly dry and had substantial frictional strength. These

  20. Rock avalanches clusters along the northern Chile coastal scarp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosta, G. B.; Hermanns, R. L.; Dehls, J.; Lari, S.; Sepulveda, S.

    2017-07-01

    Rock avalanche clusters can be relevant indicators of the evolution of specific regions. They can be used to define: the type and intensity of triggering events, their recurrence and potential probability of occurrence, the progressive damage of the rock mass, the mechanisms of transport and deposition, as well as the environmental conditions at the time of occurrence. This paper tackles these subjects by analyzing two main clusters of rock avalanches (each event between 0.6 and 30 Mm3), separated by few kilometers and located along the coastal scarp of Northern Chile, south of Iquique. It lies, hence, within a seismic area characterized by a long seismic gap that ended on April 1st, 2014 with a Mw 8.2 earthquake. The scar position, high along the coastal cliff, supports seismic triggering for these clusters. The deposits' relative positions are used to obtain the sequence of rock avalanching events for each cluster. The progressive decrease of volume in the sequence of rock avalanches forming each cluster fits well the theoretical models for successive slope failures. These sequences seem to agree with those derived by dating the deposits with ages spanning between 4 kyr and 60 kyr. An average uplift rate of 0.2 mm/yr in the last 40 kyr is estimated for the coastal plain giving a further constraint to the rock avalanche deposition considering the absence of reworking of the deposits. Volume estimates and datings allow the estimation of an erosion rate contribution of about 0.098-0.112 mm km- 2 yr- 1 which is well comparable to values presented in the literature for earthquake induced landslides. We have carried out numerical modeling in order to analyze the mobility of the rock avalanches and examine the environmental conditions that controlled the runout. In doing so, we have considered the sequence of individual rock avalanches within the specific clusters, thus including in the models the confining effect caused by the presence of previous deposits. Bingham

  1. Refining calibration and predictions of a Bayesian statistical-dynamical model for long term avalanche forecasting using dendrochronological reconstructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckert, Nicolas; Schläppy, Romain; Jomelli, Vincent; Naaim, Mohamed

    2013-04-01

    A crucial step for proposing relevant long-term mitigation measures in long term avalanche forecasting is the accurate definition of high return period avalanches. Recently, "statistical-dynamical" approach combining a numerical model with stochastic operators describing the variability of its inputs-outputs have emerged. Their main interests is to take into account the topographic dependency of snow avalanche runout distances, and to constrain the correlation structure between model's variables by physical rules, so as to simulate the different marginal distributions of interest (pressure, flow depth, etc.) with a reasonable realism. Bayesian methods have been shown to be well adapted to achieve model inference, getting rid of identifiability problems thanks to prior information. An important problem which has virtually never been considered before is the validation of the predictions resulting from a statistical-dynamical approach (or from any other engineering method for computing extreme avalanches). In hydrology, independent "fossil" data such as flood deposits in caves are sometimes confronted to design discharges corresponding to high return periods. Hence, the aim of this work is to implement a similar comparison between high return period avalanches obtained with a statistical-dynamical approach and independent validation data resulting from careful dendrogeomorphological reconstructions. To do so, an up-to-date statistical model based on the depth-averaged equations and the classical Voellmy friction law is used on a well-documented case study. First, parameter values resulting from another path are applied, and the dendrological validation sample shows that this approach fails in providing realistic prediction for the case study. This may be due to the strongly bounded behaviour of runouts in this case (the extreme of their distribution is identified as belonging to the Weibull attraction domain). Second, local calibration on the available avalanche

  2. Meteorological variables to aid forecasting deep slab avalanches on persistent weak layers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marienthal, Alex; Hendrikx, Jordy; Birkeland, Karl; Irvine, Kathryn M.

    2015-01-01

    Deep slab avalanches are particularly challenging to forecast. These avalanches are difficult to trigger, yet when they release they tend to propagate far and can result in large and destructive avalanches. We utilized a 44-year record of avalanche control and meteorological data from Bridger Bowl ski area in southwest Montana to test the usefulness of meteorological variables for predicting seasons and days with deep slab avalanches. We defined deep slab avalanches as those that failed on persistent weak layers deeper than 0.9 m, and that occurred after February 1st. Previous studies often used meteorological variables from days prior to avalanches, but we also considered meteorological variables over the early months of the season. We used classification trees and random forests for our analyses. Our results showed seasons with either dry or wet deep slabs on persistent weak layers typically had less precipitation from November through January than seasons without deep slabs on persistent weak layers. Days with deep slab avalanches on persistent weak layers often had warmer minimum 24-hour air temperatures, and more precipitation over the prior seven days, than days without deep slabs on persistent weak layers. Days with deep wet slab avalanches on persistent weak layers were typically preceded by three days of above freezing air temperatures. Seasonal and daily meteorological variables were found useful to aid forecasting dry and wet deep slab avalanches on persistent weak layers, and should be used in combination with continuous observation of the snowpack and avalanche activity.

  3. Storing snow for the next winter: Two case studies on the application of snow farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünewald, Thomas; Wolfsperger, Fabian

    2016-04-01

    Snow farming is the conservation of snow during the warm half-year. This means that large piles of snow are formed in spring in order to be conserved over the summer season. Well-insulating materials such as chipped wood are added as surface cover to reduce melting. The aim of snow farming is to provide a "snow guaranty" for autumn or early winter - this means that a specific amount of snow will definitively be available, independent of the weather conditions. The conserved snow can then be used as basis for the preparation of winter sports grounds such as cross-country tracks or ski runs. This helps in the organization of early winter season sport events such as World Cup races or to provide appropriate training conditions for athletes. We present a study on two snow farming projects, one in Davos (Switzerland) and one in the Martell valley of South Tyrol. At both places snow farming has been used for several years. For the summer season 2015, we monitored both snow piles in order to assess the amount of snow conserved. High resolution terrestrial laser scanning was performed to measure snow volumes of the piles at the beginning and at the end of the summer period. Results showed that only 20% to 30 % of the snow mass was lost due to ablation. This mass loss was surprisingly low considering the extremely warm and dry summer. In order to identify the most relevant drivers of snow melt we also present simulations with the sophisticated snow cover models SNOWPACK and Alpine3D. The simulations are driven by meteorological input data recorded in the vicinity of the piles and enable a detailed analysis of the relevant processes controlling the energy balance. The models can be applied to optimize settings for snow farming and to examine the suitability of new locations, configurations or cover material for future snow farming projects.

  4. [The research of the relationship between snow properties and the bidirectional polarized reflectance from snow surface].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Zhong-Qiu; Wu, Zheng-Fang; Zhao, Yun-Sheng

    2014-10-01

    In the context of remote sensing, the reflectance of snow is a key factor for accurate inversion for snow properties, such as snow grain size, albedo, because of it is influenced by the change of snow properties. The polarized reflectance is a general phenomenon during the reflected progress in natural incident light In this paper, based on the correct measurements for the multiple-angle reflected property of snow field in visible and near infrared wavelength (from 350 to 2,500 nm), the influence of snow grain size and wet snow on the bidirectional polarized property of snow was measured and analyzed. Combining the results measured in the field and previous conclusions confirms that the relation between polarization and snow grain size is obvious in infrared wavelength (at about 1,500 nm), which means the degree of polarization increasing with an increase of snow grain size in the forward scattering direction, it is because the strong absorption of ice near 1,500 nm leads to the single scattering light contributes to the reflection information obtained by the sensor; in other word, the larger grain size, the more absorption accompanying the larger polarization in forward scattering direction; we can illustrate that the change from dry snow to wet snow also influences the polarization property of snow, because of the water on the surface of snow particle adheres the adjacent particles, that means the wet snow grain size is larger than the dry snow grain size. Therefore, combining the multiple-angle polarization with reflectance will provide solid method and theoretical basis for inversion of snow properties.

  5. Spatial and Temporal Variability of Surface Snow Accumulation and Snow Chemistry at East Antarctic Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motoyama, H.; Ito, K.; Hirabayashi, M.

    2014-12-01

    Snow stakes along the traverse routes have been observed for long term monitoring program 'the variation of ice sheet surface mass balance' from the 1960's by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition in Shirase glacier drainage basin, East Antarctica. During the traverse route between coastal S16 point (69 02'S, 40 03'E, 580m a.s.l.) to inland Dome Fuji (77 22'S, 39 42'E, 3,810m a.s.l.), the snow stake observations every 2 km have been carried out from 1993. Yearly net snow accumulations from S16 to Dome Fuji were calculated. Heavy, modern and light snow events were observed. They were different in way accumulating spatial pattern depending on places. The yearly accumulation rates were compared with seasonal change of AAO-index (SAM). As a result, yearly accumulation rate and AAO-index showed the positive correlation.Surface snow samplings were conducted every 10km along the traverse route. Generally, the snow surface features are classified into three regions. (1) the coastal region: smooth surface, high snow accumulation (2) the katabatic slope region: rough sastrugi surface and smooth glazed surface(3) the high plateau region: smooth surface, little snow accumulation The chemistry of surface snow changes from the coast to inland. Furthermore, the chemical properties of snow are different for each surface at the same area. We can classify the surface snow with fresh drifting snow, deposited drift snow, soft and hard surface snow, sustrugi, surface hoar and so on. The value of each isotope ration and ion concentration greatly varied. Sometimes, snow might deposit thick equally. But the deposited snow was redistributed by the wind. When the snowstorm occurred, the blowing snow started to deposit in a certain opportunity. As for it, the area was not the uniform. It is necessary to discuss inhomogeneity of the depositional condition quantitatively.

  6. Evaluating snow density models for integration in operational snow water resources monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonas, T.; Magnusson, J.

    2012-12-01

    In the Alps, the distribution of seasonal snow is highly complex in time and space. Being able to monitor snow water resources is crucial for lake and reservoir management as well as for forecasting of snow-melt related spring floods. In Switzerland, while networks for periodic SWE measurements exist, they do not resolve the variability of snow at spatial and temporal scales as required by the national snow water resources monitoring program. However, there are hundreds of stations that provide daily snow depth information. Including these stations into SWE monitoring schemes requires the use of snow density models. In this study we first look at several model approaches to predict SWE under different scenarios regarding data availability: single snow depth reading, daily snow depth, daily snow and temperature data, etc. The model assessment is based on a large archive of snow pit data measured in the Swiss Alps over several decades. In a second step, we apply the above models to integrate daily snow depth readings in a data assimilation scheme to provide SWE distribution at medium to large scale. Finally, we compare the results of the data assimilation scheme intended for larger scale applications against field data from a 50 km2 test catchment that resolves the natural variability of snow depth and density at a smaller scale. This comparison reveals interesting differences in average density and depth from both data sets, suggesting that including a basic representation of small-scale variability may enhance larger-scale model approaches.

  7. Snow, the Great River, and the Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rango, A.

    2005-12-01

    While many major rivers around the world originate from alpine snowpacks in mountain regions, some experience the extreme contrast of flowing through harsh desert environments downriver. One such stream is the Rio Grande which rises in the San Juan and the Sangre de Christo mountains of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Eventually, the snow fed Rio Grande flows through North America's largest desert, the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico, and simultaneously becomes part of the border between the United States and Mexico. As is often true, urban areas develop along the river corridors rather than in more inaccessible mountain regions. This demographic preference tends to isolate the vast majority of population in the Rio Grande, who are dependent on water for their livelihoods, from the mountain snowpacks where the flow is generated. Ironically then, snow is seldom viewed as the source of the much needed water flowing through the desert by the majority of the basin's population. In arid regions of the western U.S., water demand far exceeds the water supply, and water use is apportioned under the doctrine of prior appropriation with the oldest right getting the first use of water. The increasing population in urban areas does not usually have a right to use the water flowing through the desert unless water rights have been purchased by municipalities from the major category of water user in these basins, namely, irrigated agriculture. In the entire Rio Grande basin, irrigation makes up 80% of the consumptive use of water. Additionally, basin compacts and international treaties apportion water between states and countries. Because these formal agreements were based on above average runoff years, there is little flexibility in changing the use of water, particularly in dry to normal runoff years. Most of the older water rights in the Rio Grande, especially the upper basin, are supplied by snowmelt. This leaves the lower basin to depend upon

  8. The 2013 eruption of Pavlof Volcano, Alaska: a spatter eruption at an ice- and snow-clad volcano

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waythomas, Christopher F.; Haney, Matthew M.; Fee, David; Schneider, David J.; Wech, Aaron G.

    2014-01-01

    The 2013 eruption of Pavlof Volcano, Alaska began on 13 May and ended 49 days later on 1 July. The eruption was characterized by persistent lava fountaining from a vent just north of the summit, intermittent strombolian explosions, and ash, gas, and aerosol plumes that reached as high as 8 km above sea level and on several occasions extended as much as 500 km downwind of the volcano. During the first several days of the eruption, accumulations of spatter near the vent periodically collapsed to form small pyroclastic avalanches that eroded and melted snow and ice to form lahars on the lower north flank of the volcano. Continued lava fountaining led to the production of agglutinate lava flows that extended to the base of the volcano, about 3–4 km beyond the vent. The generation of fountain-fed lava flows was a dominant process during the 2013 eruption; however, episodic collapse of spatter accumulations and formation of hot spatter-rich granular avalanches was a more efficient process for melting snow and ice and initiating lahars. The lahars and ash plumes generated during the eruption did not pose any serious hazards for the area. However, numerous local airline flights were cancelled or rerouted, and trace amounts of ash fall occurred at all of the local communities surrounding the volcano, including Cold Bay, Nelson Lagoon, Sand Point, and King Cove.

  9. Nimbus-7 SMMR Derived Monthly Global Snow Cover and Snow Depth

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The data set consists of monthly global snow cover and snow depth derived from Nimbus-7 SMMR data for 1978 through 1987. The SMMR data are interpolated for spatial...

  10. Application of MODIS snow cover products: wildfire impacts on snow and melt in the Sierra Nevada

    OpenAIRE

    P. D. Micheletty; A. M. Kinoshita; T. S. Hogue

    2014-01-01

    The current work evaluates the spatial and temporal variability in snow after a large forest fire in northern California with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow covered area and grain size (MODSCAG) algorithm. MODIS MOD10A1 fractional snow covered area and MODSCAG fractional snow cover products are utilized to detect spatial and temporal changes in snowpack after the 2007 Moonlight Fire and an unburned basin, Grizzly Ridge, for water years...

  11. Application of MODIS snow cover products: wildfire impacts on snow and melt in the Sierra Nevada

    OpenAIRE

    P. D. Micheletty; A. M. Kinoshita; T. S. Hogue

    2014-01-01

    The current work evaluates the spatial and temporal variability in snow after a large forest fire in northern California using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow-covered area and grain size (MODSCAG). MODIS MOD10A1 fractional snow-covered area and MODSCAG fractional snow cover products are utilized to detect spatial and temporal changes in snowpack after the 2007 Moonlight Fire and an unburned basin, Grizzly Ridge, for water years (WY) 2002–2012. Esti...

  12. Brief communication "Snow profile associated measurements (SPAM) - a new instrument for quick snow profile measurements"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahtinen, P.

    2011-06-01

    A new instrument concept (SPAM) for snow profile associated measurements is presented. The potential of the concept is demonstrated by presenting preliminary results obtained with the prototype instrument. With this concept it is possible to retrieve rapid snow profiles of e.g. light extinction, reflectance, temperature and snow layer structure with high vertical resolution. As a side-product, also snow depth is retrieved.

  13. Optical sizing of irregular snow grains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Kokhanovsky

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available We discuss a possibility of snow grain size determination using spectral reflectance measurements in the near-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Errors related to often made assumption of the sphericity of grains are studied. Also we introduce a new method for the snow albedo and snow pollution monitoring using measurements in the visible part of the electromagnetic theory. Both exact and approximate methods of the radiative transfer are used for the solution of corresponding inverse problem. It is assumed that snow grains can be presented as randomly distributed irregular fractal particles. The developed techniques are applied to both ground and satellite data.

  14. Modeling of falling snow properties for snowpack models: towards a better link between falling snow and snow on the ground

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vionnet, Vincent; Milbrandt, Jason; Yamaguchi, Satoru; Morrison, Hugh

    2017-04-01

    Falling snow is made of different types of solid hydrometeors including single ice crystals, aggregates at different riming stages and graupel. This variability results from complex in-cloud processes (deposition, riming and aggregation) and sub-cloud processes (melting and sublimation). It has consequences for the properties of fresh fallen snow accumulating on the ground including density and specific surface area (SSA). These properties strongly affect the evolution of snow on the ground by modifying for example the albedo and the thermal conductivity. Detailed snowpack models such as Crocus or SNOWPACK use near-surface wind speed, air temperature and humidity to compute the density and SSA of falling snow. The shape, size and degree of riming of falling solid hydrometeors are not directly taken into account, which limit the accurate determination of properties of fresh fallen snow. An alternative is offered by new bulk cloud microphysics schemes implemented in numerical weather prediction system that can be used to drive snowpack model. In particular, the scheme P3 (Predicted Particle Properties) proposes an innovative representation of all ice-phase particles by predicting several physical properties (e.g. size, rime fraction, rime density …). In this study, we first theoretically analyze the strengths and limitations of P3 to represent the density and SSA of falling snow. Parameterizations are then proposed to derive density and SSA from P3 output. Finally, P3 implemented in the Canadian Global Environmental Multiscale (GEM) weather prediction model is used to simulate snowfall events observed at the Falling Snow Observatory (Nagoaka, Japan). Model predictions are compared with (i) observations of the type of falling snow particles derived from disdrometer data and (ii) manual measurements of fresh fallen snow density and SSA. This study is a first step towards the development of a more integrated approach between falling snow and snow on the ground.

  15. Surface energy balance of seasonal snow cover for snow-melt ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    This study describes time series analysis of snow-melt, radiation data and energy balance for a seasonal snow cover at Dhundi field station of SASE, which lies in Pir Panjal range of the. N–W Himalaya, for a winter season from 13 January to 12 April 2005. The analysis shows that mean snow surface temperature remains ...

  16. Application of MODIS snow cover products: wildfire impacts on snow and melt in the Sierra Nevada

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Micheletty, P. D; Kinoshita, A. M; Hogue, T. S

    2014-01-01

    ...) snow-covered area and grain size (MODSCAG). MODIS MOD10A1 fractional snow-covered area and MODSCAG fractional snow cover products are utilized to detect spatial and temporal changes in snowpack after the 2007 Moonlight Fire and an unburned...

  17. Hummocks: how they form and evolve in debris avalanches (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paguican, E. R.; van Wyk de Vries, B.; Lagmay, A.

    2013-12-01

    Hummocks are topographic features of large landslides and rockslide-debris avalanches common in volcanic settings. We use scaled analog models to study hummock formation and explore their importance in understanding landslide kinematics and dynamics. The models are designed to replicate large-scale volcanic collapses but are relevant also to non-volcanic settings. We characterize hummocks in terms of their evolution, spatial distribution, and internal structure from slide initiation to final arrest. Hummocks initially form by extensional faulting as a landslide begins to move. During motion, individual large blocks develop and spread, creating an initial distribution, with small hummocks at the landslide front and larger ones at the back. As the mass spreads, hummocks remain as discrete entities. They can get wider but may decrease in height, break up, or merge to form bigger and long anticlinal hummocks when confined. In areas of transverse movement within a landslide, elongate hummocks develop between strike-slip flower structures. Absence of hummocks and fault-like features in the deposit may imply a more fluidal flow of emplacement or very low cohesion of lithologies. Hummock size depends on their position in the initial mass, modified by subsequent breakup or coalescence. Hummock size, shape and spatial distribution vary between and within deposits. Such a universal structure with clear connection to the deformation process should provide a framework with which to study avalanche emplacement dynamics and conditions. We study well-preserved and well-sectioned hummocks in the Mt Iriga rockslide-debris avalanches (Philippines), to characterise the internal structure and relate hummocks to the landslide-avalanche behaviour. All the model structures are consistent with field observations and suggest a general brittle-slide emplacement for most landslide avalanches. The upper and outer hummock surface is destabilised by minor slumps and scree formation forming a

  18. Comparison of PALSAR-2 Interferometric Estimates of Snow Water Equivalent, Airborne Snow Observatory Snow Depths, and Results from a Distributed Energy Balance Snow Model (iSnobal)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deeb, E. J.; Marshall, H. P.; Painter, T. H.; Marks, D. G.; Hedrick, A. R.; Havens, S.; Forster, R. R.; Siqueira, P.

    2016-12-01

    The interferometric approach to estimating snow water equivalent (SWE) leverages the fact that at relatively low frequencies ( 1 GHz, L-Band), differences in snow microstructure and layering do not significantly affect the radar backscatter of dry snow. At these frequencies, the main contribution of the radar backscatter is the snow/ground interface, and the difference in the timing of the radar propagation through the snowpack is controlled by snow depth, density and liquid water content. While engineering limitations prevent direct measurement of absolute radar travel-time, interferometric phase shift between acquisitions can be used to monitor changes in radar travel-time, caused by changes in snow properties. PALSAR-2 is a L-Band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) aboard the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) ALOS-2 satellite. Launched in 2014, PALSAR-2 interferometric pairs geographically and temporally overlap data collected by the NASA/JPL Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) which provides spatial distribution of snow depths across basins (e.g. Tuolumne, CA and Grand Mesa, CO) identified as contributing significantly to NASA's multi-year airborne SnowEx campaign. As part of ASO's operational requirements, a spatially distributed energy balance snow model (iSnobal) is run over these domains estimating density (and other snow properties) and providing SWE products for water resource managers as well as other cryospheric science applications. This effort identifies PALSAR-2 satellite pairs closely coincident with ASO collections, processes interferometric products of coherence and phase change, and compares these results with the spatially distributed snow depths from ASO and modeled snow densities from iSnobal. Moreover, for satellite acquisitions not temporally matching the ASO collections, the modeled snow properties (depths and densities) from iSnobal are used for comparison with interferometric estimates of SWE. The integration of ground measurements

  19. Water losses during technical snow production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünewald, Thomas; Wolfsperger, Fabian

    2017-04-01

    These days, the production of technical snow can be seen as a prerequisite for winter tourism. Huge amounts of water are used for technical snow production by ski resorts, especially in the beginning of the winter season. The aim is to guarantee an appropriate amount of snow to reliably provide optimal ski runs until the date of season opening in early December. Technical snow is generated by pumping pressurized water through the nozzles of a snow machine and dispersing the resulting spray of small water droplets which freeze during their travel to the ground. Cooling and freezing of the droplets can only happen if energy is emitted to the air mass surrounding the droplets. This heat transfer is happening through convective cooling and though evaporation and sublimation of water droplets and ice particles. This means that also mass is lost from the droplets and added in form of vapor to the air. It is important to note that not all water that is pumped through the snow machine is converted to snow distributed on the ground. Significant amounts of water are lost due to wind drift, sublimation and evaporation while droplets are traveling through the air or to draining of water which is not fully frozen when arriving at the ground. Studies addressing this question are sparse and the quantity of the water losses is still unclear. In order to assess this question in more detail, we obtained several systematic field observations at a test site near Davos, Switzerland. About a dozen of snow making tests had been performed during the last winter seasons. We compare the amount of water measured at the intake of the snow machine with the amount of snow accumulating at the ground during a night of snow production. The snow mass was calculated from highly detailed repeated terrestrial laser scanning measurements in combination with manually gathered snow densities. In addition a meteorological station had been set up in the vicinity observing all relevant meteorological

  20. Atmospheric controls on Eurasian snow extent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Martyn P.; Serreze, Mark C.; Robinson, David A.

    1999-01-01

    Composite analyses, based on weekly snow-cover charts, temperature, sea level pressure, cyclone tracks and a rotated PCA of daily filtered 700 hPa geopotential height are used to examine relationships between the dominant modes of low-frequency atmospheric variability and mid-winter snow extent over the Eurasian continent. Two of the circulation modes examined have been identified previously and represent the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Eurasian Type 1 (EU1) pattern. A third, termed the Siberian pattern (SIB), has not been identified previously, and describes variability in 700 hPa height over central Asia and southern Siberia. The most coherent snow-cover signals occur in the transient snow regions over Europe and south-western Asia, where variations in snow extent are largely controlled by temperature. Snow signals in east Asia are difficult to explain, but appear to be primarily determined by the availability of precipitation. For the NAO, snow-cover signals are largely restricted to central Europe. This result is initially surprising, as the NAO is associated with large temperature anomalies over a large part of the Eurasian continent. However, east of the Ural Mountains temperature anomalies in NAO extremes are confined to northern regions where mean temperatures are well below freezing, and air temperatures have little influence on snow extent. In extremes of the EU1 and SIB patterns, significant snow-cover signals are found in south-western Asia, where variability in the amplitude of the Eurasian wave train results in large differences in air temperature and cyclone activity over the transient snow regions. No coherent snow-cover signals are associated with extremes of the Siberian High.

  1. Fiber Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing of Snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huwald, H.; Higgins, C. W.; Diebold, M.; Lehning, M.; Tyler, S. W.; Selker, J. S.; Parlange, M. B.

    2009-12-01

    Physical properties of seasonal and perennial snow covers can vary significantly on the order of a few meters with direct impact on snow dynamics, thermodynamics, temporal evolution, and ultimately on local snow water storage representing a challenge for measurement and modeling efforts. Detailed knowledge on small scale variability in snow internal temperature, density, and resulting subsurface heat fluxes is relatively limited, and pertinent snow cover internal data are also difficult to obtain. Uncertainty in the quantification of the components of the surface and snow internal energy budget is a consequence. From an experimental point of view, acquisition of distributed temperature data in the snow pack is non-trivial since accumulation, ablation, metamorphosis, etc., lead to continuous changes in the snow surface level. To provide better observational evidence of small scale variability and the associated snow physical processes we use fiber optic distributed temperature sensing (DTS), a rapidly emerging technology in environmental sensing, which provides high resolution temperature measurements in space (1 meter) and time (a few minutes) with a resolution better than 0.1C over distances of several kilometers. Innovative experimental designs such as 2D transects and high resolution vertical temperature profiles using fiber optic cables were deployed and tested at high altitude sites in the Swiss Alps. The results of the experiments yield both expertise in the application of the novel measurement systems and new insight in snow pack thermodynamics such as 2D conductive heat fluxes. Also, wind pumping processes were investigated with a complimentary experimental system of synchronized high frequency measurements of atmospheric turbulence and barometric pressure fluctuations in the snow.

  2. Quantifying the impacts of snow on surface energy balance through assimilating snow cover fraction and snow depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Chunlei

    2017-10-01

    Seasonal snow plays an important part in Earth's climate system. Snow cover regulates the land surface energy balance through altering the albedo of the land surface. To utilize the satellite-retrieved snow cover fraction (SCF) and snow depth (SD) data sufficiently and avoid inconsistency, this paper developed a very simple but robust quality control method to assimilate Fengyun satellite-retrieved SCF and SD simultaneously. The results show that the assimilation method which this paper implemented can not only utilize the satellite-retrieved SCF and SD data sufficiently but also avoid the inconsistency of them. Two experiments were designed and performed to quantify the impacts of snow on land surface energy balance using the integrated urban land model. With the increase of the SCF and SD, the net radiation decreased significantly during the day and increased a little at night; the sensible heat flux decreased significantly during the day; the evapotranspiration and ground heat flux decreased during the day too.

  3. A compact gas-filled avalanche counter for DANCE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, C.Y., E-mail: wu24@llnl.gov [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States); Chyzh, A.; Kwan, E.; Henderson, R.A.; Gostic, J.M.; Carter, D. [Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States); Bredeweg, T.A.; Couture, A.; Jandel, M.; Ullmann, J.L. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States)

    2012-12-01

    A compact gas-filled avalanche counter for the detection of fission fragments was developed for a highly segmented 4{pi} {gamma}-ray calorimeter, namely the Detector for Advanced Neutron Capture Experiments located at the Lujan Center of the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. It has been used successfully for experiments with {sup 235}U, {sup 238}Pu, {sup 239}Pu, and {sup 241}Pu isotopes to provide a unique signature to differentiate the fission from the competing neutron-capture reaction channel. It was also used to study the spontaneous fission in {sup 252}Cf. The design and performance of this avalanche counter for targets with extreme {alpha}-decay rate up to {approx}2.4 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8}/s are described.

  4. Avalanche size scaling in sheared three-dimensional amorphous solid

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bailey, Nicholas; Schiøtz, Jakob; Lemaître, A.

    2007-01-01

    We study the statistics of plastic rearrangement events in a simulated amorphous solid at T=0. Events are characterized by the energy release and the "slip volume", the product of plastic strain and system volume. Their distributions for a given system size L appear to be exponential, but a chara......We study the statistics of plastic rearrangement events in a simulated amorphous solid at T=0. Events are characterized by the energy release and the "slip volume", the product of plastic strain and system volume. Their distributions for a given system size L appear to be exponential......, but a characteristic event size cannot be inferred, because the mean values of these quantities increase as L-alpha with alpha similar to 3/2. In contrast with results obtained in 2D models, we do not see simply connected avalanches. The exponent suggests a fractal shape of the avalanches, which is also evidenced...

  5. A micropixel avalanche phototransistor for time of flight measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sadigov, A., E-mail: saazik@yandex.ru [National Nuclear Research Center, Baku (Azerbaijan); Institute of Radiation Problems, Baku (Azerbaijan); Suleymanov, S. [National Nuclear Research Center, Baku (Azerbaijan); Institute of Radiation Problems, Baku (Azerbaijan); Ahmadov, F. [National Nuclear Research Center, Baku (Azerbaijan); Ahmadov, G. [National Nuclear Research Center, Baku (Azerbaijan); Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russian Federation); Abdullayev, K. [National Aviation Academy, Baku (Azerbaijan); Akberov, R. [National Nuclear Research Center, Baku (Azerbaijan); Institute of Radiation Problems, Baku (Azerbaijan); Heydarov, N. [National Nuclear Research Center, Baku (Azerbaijan); Madatov, R. [Institute of Radiation Problems, Baku (Azerbaijan); Mukhtarov, R. [National Aviation Academy, Baku (Azerbaijan); Nazarov, M.; Valiyev, R. [National Nuclear Research Center, Baku (Azerbaijan)

    2017-02-11

    This paper presents results of studies of the silicon based new micropixel avalanche phototransistor (MAPT). MAPT is a modification of well-known silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) and differs since each photosensitive pixel of the MAPT operates in Geiger mode and comprises an individual micro-transistor operating in binary mode. This provides a high amplitude single photoelectron signal with significantly shorter rise time. The obtained results are compared with appropriate parameters of known SiPMs. - Highlights: • A new photo detector – micropixel avalanche phototransistor was developed. • MAPT has a matrix of microtransistors with fast output. • In these modules the duration of the leading edge of the signal from the photodetectors are not worse than 50–100 ps.

  6. Athermal avalanche in bilayer superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verma, V. B., E-mail: verma@nist.gov; Lita, A. E.; Stevens, M. J.; Mirin, R. P.; Nam, S. W. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, 325 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado 80305 (United States)

    2016-03-28

    We demonstrate that two superconducting nanowires separated by a thin insulating barrier can undergo an avalanche process. In this process, Joule heating caused by a photodetection event in one nanowire and the associated production of athermal phonons which are transmitted through the barrier cause the transition of the adjacent nanowire from the superconducting to the normal state. We show that this process can be utilized in the fabrication of superconducting nanowire single photon detectors to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, reduce system jitter, maximize device area, and increase the external efficiency over a very broad range of wavelengths. Furthermore, the avalanche mechanism may provide a path towards a superconducting logic element based on athermal gating.

  7. Stability of the discretization of the electron avalanche phenomenon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Villa, Andrea, E-mail: andrea.villa@rse-web.it [Ricerca Sul Sistema Energetico (RSE), Via Rubattino 50, 20134, Milano (Italy); Barbieri, Luca, E-mail: luca.barbieri@rse-web.it [Ricerca Sul Sistema Energetico (RSE), Via Rubattino 50, 20134, Milano (Italy); Gondola, Marco, E-mail: marco.gondola@rse-web.it [Ricerca Sul Sistema Energetico (RSE), Via Rubattino 50, 20134, Milano (Italy); Leon-Garzon, Andres R., E-mail: andresricardo.leon@polimi.it [CMIC Department “Giulio Natta”, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133, Milano (Italy); Malgesini, Roberto, E-mail: roberto.malgesini@rse-web.it [Ricerca Sul Sistema Energetico (RSE), Via Rubattino 50, 20134, Milano (Italy)

    2015-09-01

    The numerical simulation of the discharge inception is an active field of applied physics with many industrial applications. In this work we focus on the drift-reaction equation that describes the electron avalanche. This phenomenon is one of the basic building blocks of the streamer model. The main difficulty of the electron avalanche equation lies in the fact that the reaction term is positive when a high electric field is applied. It leads to exponentially growing solutions and this has a major impact on the behavior of numerical schemes. We analyze the stability of a reference finite volume scheme applied to this latter problem. The stability of the method may impose a strict mesh spacing, therefore a proper stabilized scheme, which is stable whatever spacing is used, has been developed. The convergence of the scheme is treated as well as some numerical experiments.

  8. Avalanche effect and gain saturation in high harmonic generation

    CERN Document Server

    Serrat, Carles; Budesca, Josep M; Seres, Jozsef; Seres, Enikoe; Aurand, Bastian; Hoffmann, Andreas; Namba, Shinichi; Kuehl, Thomas; Spielmann, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Optical amplifiers in all ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum exhibit two essential characteristics: i) the input signal during the propagation in the medium is multiplied by the avalanche effect of the stimulated emission to produce exponential growth and ii) the amplification saturates at increasing input signal. We demonstrate that the strong-field theory in the frame of high harmonic generation fully supports the appearance of both the avalanche and saturation effects in the amplification of extreme ultraviolet attosecond pulse trains. We confirm that the amplification takes place only if the seed pulses are perfectly synchronized with the driving strong field in the amplifier. We performed an experimental study and subsequent model calculation on He gas driven by intense 30-fs-long laser pulses, which was seeded with an attosecond pulse train at 110 eV generated in a separated Ne gas jet. The comparison of the performed calculations with the measurements clearly demonstrates that the pumped He gas med...

  9. Prevent Snow from Blocking your Tailpipe

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2014-12-11

    If it's snowing, make sure your vehicle’s tailpipe is clear of snow before starting the engine to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.  Created: 12/11/2014 by National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH).   Date Released: 12/11/2014.

  10. Blast noise propagation above a snow cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, D G; Hole, L R

    2001-06-01

    A porous medium model of a snow cover, rather than a viscoelastic treatment, has been used to simulate measured, horizontally traveling acoustic waveform propagation above a dry snow cover 11-20 cm thick. The waveforms were produced by explosions of 1-kg charges at propagation distances of 100 to 1400 m. These waveforms, with a peak frequency around 30 Hz, show pulse broadening effects similar to those previously seen for higher-frequency waves over shorter propagation distances. A rigid-ice-frame porous medium ("rigid-porous") impedance model, which includes the effect of the pores within the snow but ignores any induced motion of the ice particles, is shown to produce much better agreement with the measured waveforms compared with a viscoelastic solid treatment of the snow cover. From the acoustic waveform modeling, the predicted average snow cover depth of 18 cm and effective flow resistivities of 16-31 kPa s m(-2) agree with snow pit observations and with previous acoustic measurements over snow. For propagation in the upwind direction, the pulse broadening caused by the snow cover interaction is lessened, but the overall amplitude decay is greater because of refraction of the blast waves.

  11. Brilliant Colours from a White Snow Cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollmer, Michael; Shaw, Joseph A

    2013-01-01

    Surprisingly colourful views are possible from sparkling white snow. It is well known that similarly colourful features can exist in the sky whenever appropriate ice crystals are around. However, the transition of light reflection and refraction from ice crystals in the air to reflection and refraction from those in snow on the ground is not…

  12. Modelling stable atmospheric boundary layers over snow

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sterk, H.A.M.

    2015-01-01

    Thesis entitled: Modelling Stable Atmospheric Boundary Layers over Snow H.A.M. Sterk Wageningen, 29th of April, 2015 Summary The emphasis of this thesis is on the understanding and forecasting of the Stable Boundary Layer (SBL) over snow-covered surfaces. SBLs typically form at night and in polar

  13. Livestock Husbandry and Snow Leopard Conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mohammad, Ghulam; Mostafawi, Sayed Naqibullah; Dadul, Jigmet; Rosen, Tatjana; Mishra, Charudutt; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Trivedi, Pranav; Timbadia, Radhika; Bijoor, Ajay; Murali, Ranjini; Sonam, Karma; Thinley, Tanzin; Namgail, Tsewang; Prins, Herbert H.T.; Nawaz, Muhammad Ali; Ud Din, Jaffar; Buzdar, Hafeez

    2016-01-01

    Livestock depredation is a key source of snow leopard mortality across much of the species' range. Snow leopards break into livestock corrals, killing many domestic animals and thereby inflicting substantial economic damage. Locals may retaliate by killing the cat and selling its parts.

  14. Comments on Nancy Snow, "Generativity and Flourishing"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamtekar, Rachana

    2015-01-01

    In her rich and wide-ranging paper, Nancy Snow argues that there is a virtue of generativity--an other-regarding desire to invest one's substance in forms of life and work that will outlive the self (p. 10). By "virtue" Snow means not just a desirable or praiseworthy quality of a person, but more precisely, as Aristotle defined it, a…

  15. Assimilating point snow water equivalent data into a distributed snow cover model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnusson, Jan; Gustafsson, David; Hüsler, Fabia; Jonas, Tobias

    2014-05-01

    In Switzerland, snow melt dominates the runoff in many watersheds and the total snow storage contributing to discharge can vary largely from year to year. Accurately quantifying snow storage and subsequent runoff is important for regulating lake levels throughout the country. Additionally, melting snow can contribute to floods imposing large damages on infrastructure. To better quantify the snow storage, we examine whether the performance of a distributed snow model improves when applying different methods for assimilating point snow water equivalent (SWE) data. We update the model results by using either the ensemble Kalman filter or a combination of the ensemble Kalman filter and statistical interpolation. The filter performance was assessed by comparing the simulation results against observed SWE and snow covered fraction. We show that a method which assimilates daily changes in SWE performs better than an approach for updating the model using the SWE data directly. Both assimilation methods showed higher model performance than a control simulation not utilizing data assimilation. Both filter simulations also showed better agreements with the SWE observations than an interpolation method optimized for snow data. The results show that the three-dimensional data assimilation methods were useful for transferring the information in the point snow observations across the domain simulated by the distributed snow model.

  16. Using Remotely Sensed Fractional Snow Covered Area to Predict Snow Depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, D.; Molotch, N. P.

    2016-12-01

    Estimating the distribution of snow is one of the most important problems for water resources managers. Remotely sensed fractional snow covered area (fSCA) provides relatively robust spatial observations of the areal distribution of snow. In this work we mine the NASA JPL Airborne Snow Observatory dataset to investigate how well spatially explicit observations of fSCA predict spatially explicit estimates of snow depth. We find that the relationship between fSCA and snow depth is strongly correlated with the mean and variability of snow depth, thus exposing a circular problem. We use a multi-scale approach to parameterize the relationship and provide spatially explicit estimates of snow depth. Using only fSCA to predict snow depth, mean absolute errors range from 30%-70% with a mean bias of 1%, which is within the range of previous literature values for more complex statistical interpolations of snow depth. This approach differs from past statistical interpolations because it does not use any terrain information. In this regard, we note opposing biases on north- and south-facing slopes suggesting that some of the terrain's influence may be lost within fSCA. Nonetheless, we think this relatively simple relationship has the potential to help map snow depth continuously through the melt season to improve real-time flood and streamflow forecasting.

  17. Large Format Geiger Mode Avalanche Photodiode Arrays and Readout Circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-01

    pixel circuit . The photocharge is sensed by an analog amplifier and digitized at the periphery of the array, a process that adds readout noise .1 2...arrays of custom-fabricated silicon and InP Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode arrays, CMOS readout circuits to digitally count or time stamp single...the readout noise . Airborne flash lidar systems, for example, can achieve high area coverage rates by using large arrays of detectors, each of which

  18. Anterior capsulotomy with a pulsed-electron avalanche knife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palanker, Daniel; Nomoto, Hiroyuki; Huie, Philip; Vankov, Alexander; Chang, David F

    2010-01-01

    To evaluate a new pulsed-electron avalanche knife design for creating a continuous curvilinear capsulotomy (CCC) and compare the CCC with a mechanical capsulorhexis. Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA. In this study, CCCs were created in freshly enucleated bovine eyes and in rabbit eyes in vivo. The cutting velocity was adjusted by controlling the burst repetition rate, voltage amplitude, and burst duration. Tissue samples were fixed and processed for histology and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) immediately after surgery. The study included 50 bovine eyes and 10 rabbit eyes. By adjusting the electrosurgical waveforms, gas-bubble formation was minimized to permit good surgical visualization. The optimum voltage level was determined to be +/-410 V with a burst duration of 20 mus. Burst repetition rate, continuously adjustable from 20 to 200 Hz with footpedal control, allowed the surgeon to vary linear cutting velocity up to 2.0 mm/s. Histology and SEM showed that the pulsed-electron avalanche knife produced sharp-edged capsule cutting without radial nicks or tears. The probe of the pulsed-electron avalanche knife duplicated the surgical feel of a 25-gauge cystotome and created a histologically smooth capsule cut. It may improve precision and reproducibility of creating a CCC, as well as improve its proper sizing and centration, especially in the face of surgical risk factors, such as weak zonules or poor visibility. Drs. Palanker and Vankov hold patents to the pulsed electron avalanche knife technology, which are licensed to PEAK Surgical by Stanford University. Drs. Palanker and Chang are consultants to PEAK Surgical. Dr. Vankov is an employee of PEAK Surgical. Neither of the other authors has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned. Copyright 2010 ASCRS and ESCRS. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Impurity impact ionization avalanche in p-type diamond

    OpenAIRE

    Mortet, Vincent; Soltani, A.

    2012-01-01

    Electrical conductivity of a highly boron doped chemical vapor deposited diamond thin film has been studied at different temperatures under high electric field conditions. Current-voltage characteristics have been measured using pulsed technique to reduce thermal effects. Experimental results evidence deep impurity impact ionization avalanche in p-type diamond up to room temperature. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. Physics; Applied; electrical conduction; low temperatures; germaniu...

  20. Polar View Snow Service- Operational Snow Cover Mapping for Downstream Runoff Modeling and Hydropower Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bach, Heike; Appel, Florian; Rust, Felix; Mauser, Wolfram

    2010-12-01

    Information on snow cover and snow properties are important for hydrology and runoff modelling. Frequent updates of snow cover observation, especially for areas characterized by short-term snow dynamics, can help to improve water balance and discharge calculations. Within the GMES service element Polar View, VISTA offers a snow mapping service for Central Europe since several years [1, 2]. We outline the use of this near-real- time product for hydrological applications in Alpine environment. In particular we discuss the integration of the Polar View product into a physically based hydrological model (PROMET). This allows not only the provision of snow equivalent values, but also enhances river runoff modelling and its use in hydropower energy yield prediction. The GMES snow products of Polar View are thus used in a downstream service for water resources management, providing information services for renewable energy suppliers and energy traders.

  1. Avalanches and power-law behaviour in lung inflation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suki, Béla; Barabási, Albert-László; Hantos, Zoltán; Peták, Ferenc; Stanley, H. Eugene

    1994-04-01

    WHEN lungs are emptied during exhalation, peripheral airways close up1. For people with lung disease, they may not reopen for a significant portion of inhalation, impairing gas exchange2,3. A knowledge of the mechanisms that govern reinflation of collapsed regions of lungs is therefore central to the development of ventilation strategies for combating respiratory problems. Here we report measurements of the terminal airway resistance, Rt , during the opening of isolated dog lungs. When inflated by a constant flow, Rt decreases in discrete jumps. We find that the probability distribution of the sizes of the jumps and of the time intervals between them exhibit power-law behaviour over two decades. We develop a model of the inflation process in which 'avalanches' of airway openings are seen-with power-law distributions of both the size of avalanches and the time intervals between them-which agree quantitatively with those seen experimentally, and are reminiscent of the power-law behaviour observed for self-organized critical systems4. Thus power-law distributions, arising from avalanches associated with threshold phenomena propagating down a branching tree structure, appear to govern the recruitment of terminal airspaces.

  2. Meshfree simulation of avalanches with the Finite Pointset Method (FPM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Isabel; Kuhnert, Jörg; Kolymbas, Dimitrios

    2017-04-01

    Meshfree methods are the numerical method of choice in case of applications which are characterized by strong deformations in conjunction with free surfaces or phase boundaries. In the past the meshfree Finite Pointset Method (FPM) developed by Fraunhofer ITWM (Kaiserslautern, Germany) has been successfully applied to problems in computational fluid dynamics such as water crossing of cars, water turbines, and hydraulic valves. Most recently the simulation of granular flows, e.g. soil interaction with cars (rollover), has also been tackled. This advancement is the basis for the simulation of avalanches. Due to the generalized finite difference formulation in FPM, the implementation of different material models is quite simple. We will demonstrate 3D simulations of avalanches based on the Drucker-Prager yield criterion as well as the nonlinear barodesy model. The barodesy model (Division of Geotechnical and Tunnel Engineering, University of Innsbruck, Austria) describes the mechanical behavior of soil by an evolution equation for the stress tensor. The key feature of successful and realistic simulations of avalanches - apart from the numerical approximation of the occurring differential operators - is the choice of the boundary conditions (slip, no-slip, friction) between the different phases of the flow as well as the geometry. We will discuss their influences for simplified one- and two-phase flow examples. This research is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the FWF Austrian Science Fund.

  3. Avalanches in the Bean critical-state model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barford, W.

    1997-07-01

    A macroscopic equation of motion for the flux density in dirty type-II superconductors is introduced. The flux density is subject to various types of spatially varying pinning force. When there is no stick-slip dynamics, i.e., when the static pinning force equals the dynamic pinning force, it is shown that in both one and two dimensions an increase in the surface magnetic field leads to an overall height change and hence to a change in magnetization equal to the change in the surface magnetic field. More interesting behavior occurs on introducing stick-slip dynamics, i.e., when the static pinning force exceeds the dynamic pinning force. In this limit a distribution of avalanche sizes over four orders of magnitude is found for a 100×100 lattice. Apart from the anomalous behavior at large sizes, this is shown to fit a distribution of the form P(s)~s-ν exp(-s/α), where s is the avalanche size. The anomalous behavior for large sizes corresponds to avalanches which involve most of the lattice and, hence, cause the flux to ``slide over the edge,'' as detected by a change in the edge magnetization.

  4. Automated Characterization of Single-Photon Avalanche Photodiode

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aina Mardhiyah M. Ghazali

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We report an automated characterization of a single-photon detector based on commercial silicon avalanche photodiode (PerkinElmer C30902SH. The photodiode is characterized by I-V curves at different illumination levels (darkness, 10 pW and 10 µW, dark count rate and photon detection efficiency at different bias voltages. The automated characterization routine is implemented in C++ running on a Linux computer. ABSTRAK: Kami melaporkan pencirian pengesan foton tunggal secara automatik berdasarkan kepada diod foto runtuhan silikon (silicon avalanche photodiode (PerkinElmer C30902SH komersial. Pencirian  diod foto adalah berdasarkan kepada plot arus-voltan (I-V pada tahap pencahayaan yang berbeza (kelam - tanpa cahaya, 10pW, dan 10µW, kadar bacaan latar belakang, kecekapan pengesanan foton pada voltan picuan yang berbeza. Pengaturcaraan C++ digunakan di dalam rutin pencirian automatik melalui komputer dengan sistem pengendalian LINUX.KEYWORDS: avalanche photodiode (APD; single photon detector; photon counting; experiment automation

  5. Self-organization without conservation: are neuronal avalanches generically critical?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonachela, Juan A.; de Franciscis, Sebastiano; Torres, Joaquín J.; Muñoz, Miguel A.

    2010-02-01

    Recent experiments on cortical neural networks have revealed the existence of well-defined avalanches of electrical activity. Such avalanches have been claimed to be generically scale invariant—i.e. power law distributed—with many exciting implications in neuroscience. Recently, a self-organized model has been proposed by Levina, Herrmann and Geisel to explain this empirical finding. Given that (i) neural dynamics is dissipative and (ii) there is a loading mechanism progressively 'charging' the background synaptic strength, this model/dynamics is very similar in spirit to forest-fire and earthquake models, archetypical examples of non-conserving self-organization, which have recently been shown to lack true criticality. Here we show that cortical neural networks obeying (i) and (ii) are not generically critical; unless parameters are fine-tuned, their dynamics is either subcritical or supercritical, even if the pseudo-critical region is relatively broad. This conclusion seems to be in agreement with the most recent experimental observations. The main implication of our work is that, if future experimental research on cortical networks were to support the observation that truly critical avalanches are the norm and not the exception, then one should look for more elaborate (adaptive/evolutionary) explanations, beyond simple self-organization, to account for this.

  6. Towards an understanding of flows in avalanche transport phenomena

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Suying; Ramadan, Nikolas; van Compernolle, Bart; Poulos, Matt J.; Morales, George J.

    2017-10-01

    Recent heat transport experiments conducted in the Large Plasma Device (LAPD) at UCLA, studying avalanche phenomena at steep cross-magnetic field pressure gradients, suggest that flows play a critical role in the evolution of transport phenomena, motivating further characterization. A ring shaped electron beam source injects sub-ionization energy electrons along the strong background magnetic field within a larger quiescent plasma, creating a hollow, high pressure filament. Two distinct regimes are observed as the density decays; the first characterized by multiple small avalanches producing sudden relaxations of the pressure profile which then recovers under continued heating, and the second signaled by a permanent collapse of the density profile after a global avalanche event, then dominated by drift-Alfven waves. The source is modified from previous experiments to gain active control of the flows by controlling the bias between the emitting ring and surrounding carbon masks. The results of flow measurements obtained using a Mach probe and Langmuir/emissive probe are here presented and compared. An analytical model for the behavior of the electron beam source is also in development. Sponsored by NSF Grant 1619505 and by DOE/NSF at BaPSF.

  7. Local and global avalanches in a two-dimensional sheared granular medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barés, Jonathan; Wang, Dengming; Wang, Dong; Bertrand, Thibault; O'Hern, Corey S.; Behringer, Robert P.

    2017-11-01

    We present the experimental and numerical studies of a two-dimensional sheared amorphous material composed of bidisperse photoelastic disks. We analyze the statistics of avalanches during shear including the local and global fluctuations in energy and changes in particle positions and orientations. We find scale-free distributions for these global and local avalanches denoted by power laws whose cutoffs vary with interparticle friction and packing fraction. Different exponents are found for these power laws depending on the quantity from which variations are extracted. An asymmetry in time of the avalanche shapes is evidenced along with the fact that avalanches are mainly triggered by the shear bands. A simple relation independent of the intensity is found between the number of local avalanches and the global avalanches they form. We also compare these experimental and numerical results for both local and global fluctuations to predictions from mean-field and depinning theories.

  8. Uncertainty in alpine snow mass balance simulations due to snow model parameterisation and windflow representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musselman, K. N.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Essery, R.; Leroux, N.

    2013-12-01

    Despite advances in alpine snow modelling there remain two fundamental areas of divergent scientific thought in estimating alpine snow mass balances: i) blowing snow sublimation losses, and ii) wind flow representation. Sublimation calculations have poorly understood humidity feedbacks that vary considerably and mathematical representations of alpine windflow vary in complexity - these differences introduce uncertainty. To better estimate and restrain this uncertainty, a variety of physically based, spatially distributed snowmelt models that consider the physics of wind redistribution and sublimation of blowing snow were evaluated for their ability to simulate seasonal snow distribution and melt patterns in a windy alpine environment in the Canadian Rockies. The primary difference in the snow models was their calculation of blowing snow sublimation losses which ranged from large to small estimates. To examine the uncertainty introduced by windflow calculations on the snow model simulations, each model was forced with output from windflow models of varying computational complexity and physical realism from a terrain-based empirical interpolation of station observations to a simple turbulence model to a computational fluid dynamics model that solves for the Navier-Stokes equations. The high-resolution snow simulations were run over a 1 km2 spatial extent centred on a ridgetop meteorological station within the Marmot Creek Research basin, Alberta, Canada. The three windflow simulations all produced reasonable results compared to wind speeds measured on two opposing slopes (bias better than ×0.3 m s-1; RMSE < 1.1 m s-1), however there was great sensitivity in SWE simulated by the snow models to the driving windflow simulation used. Specifically, there were distinct differences in the magnitude and location of snow drifts from all snow models that depended on the windflow scheme. When compared to measurements from airborne LiDAR, snow surveys, and automated snow depth

  9. Past and future of the Austrian snow cover - results from the CC-Snow project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strasser, Ulrich; Marke, Thomas; Hanzer, Florian; Ragg, Hansjörg; Kleindienst, Hannes; Wilcke, Renate; Gobiet, Andreas

    2013-04-01

    This study has the goal to simulate the evolution of the Austrian snow cover from 1971 to 2050 by means of a coupled modelling scheme, and to estimate the effect of climate change on the evolution of the natural snow cover. The model outcomes are interepreted with focus on both the future natural snow conditions, and the effects on winter skiing tourism. Therefore the regional temperature-index snow model SNOWREG is applied, providing snow maps with a spatial resolution of 250 m. The model is trained by means of assimilating local measurements and observed natural snow cover patterns. Meteorological forcing consists of the output of four realizations of the ENSEMBLES project for the A1B emission scenario. The meteorological variables are downscaled and error corrected with a quantile based empirical-statistical method on a daily time basis. The control simulation is 1971-2000, and the scenario simulation 2021-2050. Spatial interpolation is performed on the basis of parameter-elevation relations. We compare the four different global/regional climate model combinations and their effect on the snow modelling, and we explain the patterns of the resulting snow cover by means of regional climatological characteristics. The provinces Tirol and Styria serve as test regions, being typical examples for the two climatic subregions of Austria. To support the interpretation of the simulation results we apply indicators which enable to define meaningful measures for the comparison of the different periods and regions. Results show that the mean duration of the snow cover will decrease by 15 to 30 days per winter season, mostly in elevations between 2000 and 2500 m. Above 3000 m the higher winter precipitation can compensate this effect, and mean snow cover duration may even slightly increase. We also investigate the local scale by application of the physically based mountain snow model AMUNDSEN. This model is capable of producing 50 m resolution output maps for indicators

  10. Plant Succession on the Mount St. Helen's Debris-Avalanche Deposit and the Role of Non-native Species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Denton, Elsie M. [Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research center; Dale, Virginia H. [ORNL

    2017-09-01

    The abstract is published online only. If you did not include a short abstract for the online version when you submitted the manuscript, the first paragraph or the first 10 lines of the chapter will be displayed here. If possible, please provide us with an informative abstract. The debris-avalanche deposit is one of the most disturbed areas created by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, with little survival of a few plant fragments and primary succession mostly being initiated by the seeds dispersed onto the newly emplaced material. Vegetation changes on the debris-avalanche deposit during the first 30 years post eruption are analyzed considering the role of non-native species and potential future vegetation patterns on the deposit. We found that the aerial distribution of largely non-native seeds on a subset of plots at Mount St. Helens in 1980 has had a pronounced and enduring effect on subsequent vegetation communities.

  11. Improvement of a snow albedo parameterization in the Snow-Atmosphere-Soil Transfer model: evaluation of impacts of aerosol on seasonal snow cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Efang; Li, Qian; Sun, Shufen; Chen, Wen; Chen, Shangfeng; Nath, Debashis

    2017-11-01

    The presence of light-absorbing aerosols (LAA) in snow profoundly influence the surface energy balance and water budget. However, most snow-process schemes in land-surface and climate models currently do not take this into consideration. To better represent the snow process and to evaluate the impacts of LAA on snow, this study presents an improved snow albedo parameterization in the Snow-Atmosphere-Soil Transfer (SAST) model, which includes the impacts of LAA on snow. Specifically, the Snow, Ice and Aerosol Radiation (SNICAR) model is incorporated into the SAST model with an LAA mass stratigraphy scheme. The new coupled model is validated against in-situ measurements at the Swamp Angel Study Plot (SASP), Colorado, USA. Results show that the snow albedo and snow depth are better reproduced than those in the original SAST, particularly during the period of snow ablation. Furthermore, the impacts of LAA on snow are estimated in the coupled model through case comparisons of the snowpack, with or without LAA. The LAA particles directly absorb extra solar radiation, which accelerates the growth rate of the snow grain size. Meanwhile, these larger snow particles favor more radiative absorption. The average total radiative forcing of the LAA at the SASP is 47.5 W m-2. This extra radiative absorption enhances the snowmelt rate. As a result, the peak runoff time and "snow all gone" day have shifted 18 and 19.5 days earlier, respectively, which could further impose substantial impacts on the hydrologic cycle and atmospheric processes.

  12. Vapor flux and recrystallization during dry snow metamorphism under a steady temperature gradient as observed by time-lapse micro-tomography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. R. Pinzer

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Dry snow metamorphism under an external temperature gradient is the most common type of recrystallization of snow on the ground. The changes in snow microstructure modify the physical properties of snow, and therefore an understanding of this process is essential for many disciplines, from modeling the effects of snow on climate to assessing avalanche risk. We directly imaged the microstructural changes in snow during temperature gradient metamorphism (TGM under a constant gradient of 50 K m−1, using in situ time-lapse X-ray micro-tomography. This novel and non-destructive technique directly reveals the amount of ice that sublimates and is deposited during metamorphism, in addition to the exact locations of these phase changes. We calculated the average time that an ice volume stayed in place before it sublimated and found a characteristic residence time of 2–3 days. This means that most of the ice changes its phase from solid to vapor and back many times in a seasonal snowpack where similar temperature conditions can be found. Consistent with such a short timescale, we observed a mass turnover of up to 60% of the total ice mass per day. The concept of hand-to-hand transport for the water vapor flux describes the observed changes very well. However, we did not find evidence for a macroscopic vapor diffusion enhancement. The picture of {temperature gradient metamorphism} produced by directly observing the changing microstructure sheds light on the micro-physical processes and could help to improve models that predict the physical properties of snow.

  13. Spatial and temporal variability in seasonal snow density

    KAUST Repository

    Bormann, Kathryn J.

    2013-03-01

    Snow density is a fundamental physical property of snowpacks used in many aspects of snow research. As an integral component in the remote sensing of snow water equivalent and parameterisation of snow models, snow density may be used to describe many important features of snowpack behaviour. The present study draws on a significant dataset of snow density and climate observations from the United States, Australia and the former Soviet Union and uses regression-based techniques to identify the dominant climatological drivers for snow densification rates, characterise densification rate variability and estimate spring snow densities from more readily available climate data. Total winter precipitation was shown to be the most prominent driver of snow densification rates, with mean air temperature and melt-refreeze events also found to be locally significant. Densification rate variance is very high at Australian sites, very low throughout the former Soviet Union and between these extremes throughout much of the US. Spring snow densities were estimated using a statistical model with climate variable inputs and best results were achieved when snow types were treated differently. Given the importance of snow density information in many snow-related research disciplines, this work has implications for current methods of converting snow depths to snow water equivalent, the representation of snow dynamics in snow models and remote sensing applications globally. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

  14. Snow fall and heart attacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persinger, M A; Ballance, S E; Moland, M

    1993-03-01

    Total numbers of daily hospital admissions for cardiac emergencies were obtained from 3 hospitals within the Sudbury Basin in Canada for November through March for each of 4 consecutive years (1983-1986). Major diagnostic categories were also differentiated. No statistically significant correlations were found between the amount of snowfall during the day of or the days before or after admissions for the major categories of cardiac emergency. Specific analyses, conducted to reveal possible recondite associations between extreme or cumulative snowfalls and the most extreme days of cardiac emergencies, indicated a chance association. We conclude that the occurrence of heart attacks is independent of snowfall but that, when they occur, they are attributed to shoveling if there has been a recent major snow storm.

  15. Application of MODIS snow cover products: wildfire impacts on snow and melt in the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micheletty, P. D.; Kinoshita, A. M.; Hogue, T. S.

    2014-11-01

    The current work evaluates the spatial and temporal variability in snow after a large forest fire in northern California using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow-covered area and grain size (MODSCAG). MODIS MOD10A1 fractional snow-covered area and MODSCAG fractional snow cover products are utilized to detect spatial and temporal changes in snowpack after the 2007 Moonlight Fire and an unburned basin, Grizzly Ridge, for water years (WY) 2002-2012. Estimates of canopy-adjusted and non-adjusted MODSCAG fractional snow-covered area (fSCA) are smoothed and interpolated to provide a continuous time series of average daily snow extent over the two basins. The removal of overstory canopy by wildfire exposes more snow cover; however, elemental pixel comparisons and statistical analysis show that the MOD10A1 product has a tendency to overestimate snow coverage pre-fire, muting the observed effects of wildfire. The MODSCAG algorithm better distinguishes subpixel snow coverage in forested areas and is highly correlated to soil burn severity after the fire. Annual MODSCAG fSCA estimates show statistically significant increased fSCA in the Moonlight Fire study area after the fire (P MODSCAG fSCA post-fire regardless of slope or burn severity. Regional snow cover change has significant implications for both short- and long-term water supply for impacted ecosystems, downstream communities, and resource managers.

  16. Resuscitation of avalanche victims: Evidence-based guidelines of the international commission for mountain emergency medicine (ICAR MEDCOM): intended for physicians and other advanced life support personnel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brugger, Hermann; Durrer, Bruno; Elsensohn, Fidel; Paal, Peter; Strapazzon, Giacomo; Winterberger, Eveline; Zafren, Ken; Boyd, Jeff

    2013-05-01

    In North America and Europe ∼150 persons are killed by avalanches every year. The International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM) systematically developed evidence-based guidelines and an algorithm for the management of avalanche victims using a worksheet of 27 Population Intervention Comparator Outcome questions. Classification of recommendations and level of evidence are ranked using the American Heart Association system. If lethal injuries are excluded and the body is not frozen, the rescue strategy is governed by the duration of snow burial and, if not available, by the victim's core-temperature. If burial time ≤35 min (or core-temperature ≥32 °C) rapid extrication and standard ALS is important. If burial time >35 min and core-temperature patent airway) should be transported to a hospital for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or cardiopulmonary bypass rewarming. Patients in cardiac arrest should receive uninterrupted CPR; with asystole, CPR may be terminated (or withheld) if a patient is lethally injured or completely frozen, the airway is blocked and duration of burial >35 min, serum potassium >12 mmol L(-1), risk to the rescuers is unacceptably high or a valid do-not-resuscitate order exists. Management should include spinal precautions and other trauma care as indicated. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Estimating Snow Water Storage in North America Using CLM4, DART, and Snow Radiance Data Assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Yonghwan; Yang, Zong-Liang; Zhao, Long; Hoar, Timothy J.; Toure, Ally M.; Rodell, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    This paper addresses continental-scale snow estimates in North America using a recently developed snow radiance assimilation (RA) system. A series of RA experiments with the ensemble adjustment Kalman filter are conducted by assimilating the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) brightness temperature T(sub B) at 18.7- and 36.5-GHz vertical polarization channels. The overall RA performance in estimating snow depth for North America is improved by simultaneously updating the Community Land Model, version 4 (CLM4), snow/soil states and radiative transfer model (RTM) parameters involved in predicting T(sub B) based on their correlations with the prior T(sub B) (i.e., rule-based RA), although degradations are also observed. The RA system exhibits a more mixed performance for snow cover fraction estimates. Compared to the open-loop run (0.171m RMSE), the overall snow depth estimates are improved by 1.6% (0.168m RMSE) in the rule-based RA whereas the default RA (without a rule) results in a degradation of 3.6% (0.177mRMSE). Significant improvement of the snow depth estimates in the rule-based RA as observed for tundra snow class (11.5%, p < 0.05) and bare soil land-cover type (13.5%, p < 0.05). However, the overall improvement is not significant (p = 0.135) because snow estimates are degraded or marginally improved for other snow classes and land covers, especially the taiga snow class and forest land cover (7.1% and 7.3% degradations, respectively). The current RA system needs to be further refined to enhance snow estimates for various snow types and forested regions.

  18. Snow Storm Blankets Southeastern U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    A new year's storm brought heavy snow to portions of the southeastern United States, with some regions receiving more than a foot in less than two days. By Friday, January 4, 2002, the skies had cleared, and MODIS captured this false-color image showing the extent of the snowfall. Snow cover is red, and extends all the way from Alabama (lower left), up through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, including the southern reaches of the Delmarva Peninsula (upper right). Beneath some clouds in West Virginia (top center), snow is also visible on the Allegheny Mountains and the Appalachian Plateau, although it did come from the same storm. Though red isn't the color we associate with snow, scientists often find 'false-color' images more useful than 'true-color' images in certain situations. True-color images are images in which the satellite data are made to look like what our eyes would see, using a combination of red, green, and blue. In a true-color image of this scene, cloud and snow would appear almost identical-both would be very bright white-and would be hard to distinguish from each other. However, at near-infrared wavelengths of light, snow cover absorbs sunlight and therefore appears much darker than clouds. So a false-color image in which one visible wavelength of the data is colored red, and different near-infrared wavelengths are colored green and blue helps show the snow cover most clearly.

  19. The Snow Data System at NASA JPL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laidlaw, R.; Painter, T. H.; Mattmann, C. A.; Ramirez, P.; Brodzik, M. J.; Rittger, K.; Bormann, K. J.; Burgess, A. B.; Zimdars, P.; McGibbney, L. J.; Goodale, C. E.; Joyce, M.

    2015-12-01

    The Snow Data System at NASA JPL includes a data processing pipeline built with open source software, Apache 'Object Oriented Data Technology' (OODT). It produces a variety of data products using inputs from satellites such as MODIS, VIIRS and Landsat. Processing is carried out in parallel across a high-powered computing cluster. Algorithms such as 'Snow Covered Area and Grain-size' (SCAG) and 'Dust Radiative Forcing in Snow' (DRFS) are applied to satellite inputs to produce output images that are used by many scientists and institutions around the world. This poster will describe the Snow Data System, its outputs and their uses and applications, along with recent advancements to the system and plans for the future. Advancements for 2015 include automated daily processing of historic MODIS data for SCAG (MODSCAG) and DRFS (MODDRFS), automation of SCAG processing for VIIRS satellite inputs (VIIRSCAG) and an updated version of SCAG for Landsat Thematic Mapper inputs (TMSCAG) that takes advantage of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for faster processing speeds. The pipeline has been upgraded to use the latest version of OODT and its workflows have been streamlined to enable computer operators to process data on demand. Additional products have been added, such as rolling 8-day composites of MODSCAG data, a new version of the MODSCAG 'annual minimum ice and snow extent' (MODICE) product, and recoded MODSCAG data for the 'Satellite Snow Product Intercomparison and Evaluation Experiment' (SnowPEx) project.

  20. After the Earthquake: Impacts of Seismic Snow and Ice Redistribution in Langtang Valley, Nepal, on Glacier Mass Balances and Hydrological Regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shea, J. M.; Ragettli, S.; Immerzeel, W.; Pellicciotti, F.; Miles, E. S.; Steiner, J. F.; Buri, P.; Kraaijenbrink, P. D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The magnitude 7.8 Gorkha Earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 resulted in a catastrophic loss of life and property, and had major impacts in high mountain areas. The earthquake resulted in a number of massive ice avalanches in Langtang Valley that destroyed entire villages and killed over 300 people. We first conduct a remote sensing analysis of the entire catchment, and attempt to quantify the volumes of snow and ice redistributed through high-resolution optical imagery, thermal imagery, and DEM differencing. Where data are available we examine the impact on the surface mass balances of four major glaciers (Lirung, Shalbachaum, Langtang and Langshisha). Finally, we use the physically-based and fully distributed TOPKAPI model to simulate the impacts of the co-seismic snow and ice redistribution on the hydrology of the Langtang River.

  1. Potential for Monitoring Snow Cover in Boreal Forests by Combining MODIS Snow Cover and AMSR-E SWE Maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, George A.; Hall, Dorothy K.; Foster, James L.

    2009-01-01

    Monitoring of snow cover extent and snow water equivalent (SWE) in boreal forests is important for determining the amount of potential runoff and beginning date of snowmelt. The great expanse of the boreal forest necessitates the use of satellite measurements to monitor snow cover. Snow cover in the boreal forest can be mapped with either the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) or the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) microwave instrument. The extent of snow cover is estimated from the MODIS data and SWE is estimated from the AMSR-E. Environmental limitations affect both sensors in different ways to limit their ability to detect snow in some situations. Forest density, snow wetness, and snow depth are factors that limit the effectiveness of both sensors for snow detection. Cloud cover is a significant hindrance to monitoring snow cover extent Using MODIS but is not a hindrance to the use of the AMSR-E. These limitations could be mitigated by combining MODIS and AMSR-E data to allow for improved interpretation of snow cover extent and SWE on a daily basis and provide temporal continuity of snow mapping across the boreal forest regions in Canada. The purpose of this study is to investigate if temporal monitoring of snow cover using a combination of MODIS and AMSR-E data could yield a better interpretation of changing snow cover conditions. The MODIS snow mapping algorithm is based on snow detection using the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to enhance snow detection in dense vegetation. (Other spectral threshold tests are also used to map snow using MODIS.) Snow cover under a forest canopy may have an effect on the NDVI thus we use the NDVI in snow detection. A MODIS snow fraction product is also generated but not used in this study. In this study the NDSI and NDVI components of the snow mapping algorithm were calculated and analyzed to determine how they changed

  2. Implication of an improved field based snow particle size retrieval method for remote sensing of snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingvander, S. M.; Brown, I. A.; Jansson, P.

    2011-12-01

    Snow particle size is an important parameter when studying snowpack properties as the size of the snow particles affects the snow density and the snow pack energy balance by changing albedo and backscattering properties. In this study we present an improved method that objectively provides detailed information on the size and size distribution of snow particles. The goal of this study was to first develop an efficient field sampling method that provides a quantitatively accurate snow particle size distribution and secondly to estimate how the various snow particle size distributions affect the reflectivity and backscatter of remotely sensed imagery. Our method is based on a two step approach of (i) the rectification of digital images of snow and (ii) the object oriented segmentation and classification of the photographed snow particles. We have tested the method at different spatial and temporal scales ranging from study sites on the East Antarctic ice sheet, sites with snow on sea ice within the Ross Sea to two field sites in Northern Sweden. In addition, we have compared the method to existing methods in terms of visual analysis of snow. The advantages of our method are that it is observer-independent and that it allows the determination of both the snow particle size and shape distribution from just one snow sample. Application of our method on the East Antarctic ice sheet showed a decreasing snow grain size towards the center of Antarctica and larger grains in the coastal areas. The data demonstrate further a regional snow particle size variability from 0.63 to 0.91 mm between the plateau and the coast. The local variability ranged between 0.23-1.03 mm within 10 by 10 square meter grid at the polar plateau. A comparison of the Antarctic dataset with AMSR-E, MOA, MODIS and MERIS satellite imagery showed a strong correlation with the 89GHz AMSR-E H-pol data at r2 = 0.68-0.73. The results indicate that our method provides a quick but objective field approach to

  3. Antarctic Camps Snow Drift Management Handbook

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Tabler 1991a). Fence Height (m) Diameter at Butt (cm) 1.8 16 2.4 19 3.0 22 3.7 26 4.3 29 If synthetic fencing is used, it needs to be tensioned...can be added to the tailings to accelerate the freeze-back of the trench. Compacting the tailings and freezing the water in layers (or lifts ) will...backfilling the hole with compacted snow. The snow was compacted in 30 cm lifts ; the compacted snow density ranged from 0.48 to 0.55 g/cm3. After

  4. Mac OS X Snow Leopard pocket guide

    CERN Document Server

    Seiblod, Chris

    2009-01-01

    Whether you're new to the Mac or a longtime user, this handy book is the quickest way to get up to speed on Snow Leopard. Packed with concise information in an easy-to-read format, Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide covers what you need to know and is an ideal resource for problem-solving on the fly. This book goes right to the heart of Snow Leopard, with details on system preferences, built-in applications, and utilities. You'll also find configuration tips, keyboard shortcuts, guides for troubleshooting, lots of step-by-step instructions, and more. Learn about new features and changes s

  5. Snow in the city as a spore bank of potentially pathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ejdys, Elżbieta; Biedunkiewicz, Anna; Dynowska, Maria; Sucharzewska, Ewa

    2014-02-01

    This study evaluates the role of snow as a specific ecological niche and a vector in fungal spreading with particular emphasis on potential pathogens in seasonally and daily changing conditions. The experimental material was fungi isolated from the atmospheric air, snow cover, and fragments of ice and soil from underneath the snow cover. The total count of microfungi in the air before snowfall, i.e. in the autumn, reached 1756.1 CFU/m(3) on average. After the first snowfalls, it dropped to 85.2 CFU/m(3). The analyzed samples of snow cover contained from 101.6 to 8500.0 CFU/m(3) of fungi. Furthermore, 26 species of yeast and yeast-like fungi were isolated from the experimental material. Amongst the analyzed species, 13 were potential anthropopathogens. Though another three species were isolated from organ ontocenoses, i.e. Candida intermedia, Saccharomyces bayanus and Zygosaccharomyces rouxii, their pathogenic potential has not yet been explicitly confirmed. The results of the presented study may be applied in predicting concentrations of fungal spores responsible for mycoses. The first snowfalls significantly reduced the number of colony-forming units of fungi in the air. Under conditions of temperate climate, snow becomes a temporary bank of yeast-like fungi spores and while it melts cells of deposited microfungi migrate to the atmosphere. Hence, individuals with impaired immunity or in the course of immunosuppression or recovery should avoid long walks during periods of snow melting. The count of fungi in urban bioaerosol during the melt may be reduced through systematic removal of snow cover, which is a significant reservoir of potential pathogens. In addition, it should be noted that even a typical psychrophilic strain, capable of surviving at a temperature of 37°C, may bear a significant pathogenic potential. © 2013.

  6. Towards Better Predictions of Snow Melt Runoffs: Measuring Snow Depth and Density Using Ground Penetrating Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granlund, N.; Lundberg, A.; Gustafsson, D.; Ahlberg, J.; Wetterhall, F.

    2009-04-01

    Snow melt runoff predictions by hydrological models are essential for efficient hydropower production in the Scandinavian countries, similar to many areas with a substantial amount of snow precipitation. Operational models in Sweden are currently based on precipitation and temperature as the main input variables and calibrated with runoff data, but there is an interest to make better use of new measurement systems for distributed snow data, especially the total amount of snow in the catchment area of interest. The main objective of our project is to investigate the potential improvements in runoff predictions in relation to the choice of model structure and measurement systems, as well as measurement accuracy. This involves comparing different methods for estimating the total amount of snow in a catchment area as well as improving their accuracy. Here we present the result of such comparison based on data from case studies conducted in Sweden. Our approach involves automated single point measurements over a long period in combination with high resolution distributed measurements over a large area during critical periods. Stationary measurements are performed at a snow measurement station, with snow density and wetness estimated with a low-frequency impedance sensor band, snow depth measured using an ultrasonic depth gauge, and temperature measured at several (fixed) snow depths and at the snow surface. The station, located at Lake Korsvattnet in Swedish mountains, operates continuously during the whole winter season. Measurements of snow depth and density over large lateral distances are performed using multi-offset ground penetrating radar (GPR) operated from a snow mobile. These measurements are conducted once a year, in late winter, when the amount of snow is expected to reach its maximum before snow melt begins. Since 2007 and during the duration of the project, yearly measurements have been and will be taken in two Swedish mountain basins important for

  7. Snow loads on roofs in areas of heavy snowfall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert D. Doty; Glenn H. Deitschman

    1966-01-01

    This study tested the feasibility of estimating snow loads on roofs from measurements of depth and water content of snow on nearby ground. The water content, and therefore the weight, of snow on the ground proved comparable to that of snow on roofs.

  8. Simulating snow maps for Norway: description and statistical evaluation of the seNorge snow model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. M. Saloranta

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Daily maps of snow conditions have been produced in Norway with the seNorge snow model since 2004. The seNorge snow model operates with 1 × 1 km resolution, uses gridded observations of daily temperature and precipitation as its input forcing, and simulates, among others, snow water equivalent (SWE, snow depth (SD, and the snow bulk density (ρ. In this paper the set of equations contained in the seNorge model code is described and a thorough spatiotemporal statistical evaluation of the model performance from 1957–2011 is made using the two major sets of extensive in situ snow measurements that exist for Norway. The evaluation results show that the seNorge model generally overestimates both SWE and ρ, and that the overestimation of SWE increases with elevation throughout the snow season. However, the R2-values for model fit are 0.60 for (log-transformed SWE and 0.45 for ρ, indicating that after removal of the detected systematic model biases (e.g. by recalibrating the model or expressing snow conditions in relative units the model performs rather well. The seNorge model provides a relatively simple, not very data-demanding, yet nonetheless process-based method to construct snow maps of high spatiotemporal resolution. It is an especially well suited alternative for operational snow mapping in regions with rugged topography and large spatiotemporal variability in snow conditions, as is the case in the mountainous Norway.

  9. Research on the seasonal snow of the Arctic Slope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benson, C.S.

    1991-01-01

    This project deals with the seasonal snow on Alaska's Arctic Slope. Although it is concentrated on snow of the R{sub 4}D project area, it is important to relate the snow cover of this area with the rest of the Arctic Slope. The goals include determination of the amount of precipitation which comes as snow, the wind transport of this snow and its depositional pattern as influenced by drifting, the physical properties of the snow, the physical processes which operate in it, the proportions of it which go into evaporation, infiltration and runoff, and the biological role of the snow cover.

  10. Research on the seasonal snow of the Arctic Slope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benson, C.S.

    1989-01-01

    This project deals with the seasonal snow on Alaska's Arctic Slope. Although it is concentrated on snow of the R40 project area, it is important to relate the snow cover of this area with the rest of the Arctic Slope. The goals include determination Of the amount of precipitation which comes as snow, the wind transport of this snow and its depositional pattern as influenced by drifting, the physical properties of the snow, the physical processes which operate in it, the proportions of it which go into evaporation, infiltration and runoff, and the biological role of the snow cover.

  11. Research on the seasonal snow of the Arctic Slope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benson, C.S.

    1986-01-01

    This project deals with the seasonal snow on Alaska's Arctic Slope. It is concentrated on snow of the R{sub 4}D project area. However, an important aspect of this study is to relate the snow cover of this area with the rest of the Arctic Slope. The goals include determination of the amount of precipitation which comes as snow, the wind transport of this snow and its depositional pattern as influenced by drifting, the physical properties of the snow, the physical processes which operate in it, the proportions of it which go into evaporation, infiltration and runoff, and the biological role of the snow cover.

  12. Research on the seasonal snow of the Arctic Slope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benson, C.S.

    1987-01-01

    This project deals with the seasonal snow on Alaska's Arctic Slope. Although it is concentrated on snow of the R{sub 4}D project area, it is important to relate the snow cover of this area with the rest of the Arctic Slope. The goals include determination of the amount of precipitation which comes as snow, the wind transport of this snow and its depositional pattern as influenced by drifting, the physical properties of the snow, the physical processes which operate in it, the proportions of it which go into evaporation, infiltration and runoff, and the biological role of the snow cover.

  13. Measured Black Carbon Deposition on the Sierra Nevada Snow Pack and Implication for Snow Pack Retreat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hadley, O.L.; Corrigan, C.E.; Kirchstetter, T.W.; Cliff, S.S.; Ramanathan, V.

    2010-01-12

    Modeling studies show that the darkening of snow and ice by black carbon deposition is a major factor for the rapid disappearance of arctic sea ice, mountain glaciers and snow packs. This study provides one of the first direct measurements for the efficient removal of black carbon from the atmosphere by snow and its subsequent deposition to the snow packs of California. The early melting of the snow packs in the Sierras is one of the contributing factors to the severe water problems in California. BC concentrations in falling snow were measured at two mountain locations and in rain at a coastal site. All three stations reveal large BC concentrations in precipitation, ranging from 1.7 ng/g to 12.9 ng/g. The BC concentrations in the air after the snow fall were negligible suggesting an extremely efficient removal of BC by snow. The data suggest that below cloud scavenging, rather than ice nuclei, was the dominant source of BC in the snow. A five-year comparison of BC, dust, and total fine aerosol mass concentrations at multiple sites reveals that the measurements made at the sampling sites were representative of large scale deposition in the Sierra Nevada. The relative concentration of iron and calcium in the mountain aerosol indicates that one-quarter to one-third of the BC may have been transported from Asia.

  14. Measured black carbon deposition on the Sierra Nevada snow pack and implication for snow pack retreat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. L. Hadley

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Modeling studies show that the darkening of snow and ice by black carbon deposition is a major factor for the rapid disappearance of arctic sea ice, mountain glaciers and snow packs. This study provides one of the first direct measurements for the efficient removal of black carbon from the atmosphere by snow and its subsequent deposition to the snow packs of California. The early melting of the snow packs in the Sierras is one of the contributing factors to the severe water problems in California. BC concentrations in falling snow were measured at two mountain locations and in rain at a coastal site. All three stations reveal large BC concentrations in precipitation, ranging from 1.7 ng/g to 12.9 ng/g. The BC concentrations in the air after the snow fall were negligible suggesting an extremely efficient removal of BC by snow. The data suggest that below cloud scavenging, rather than ice nuclei, was the dominant source of BC in the snow. A five-year comparison of BC, dust, and total fine aerosol mass concentrations at multiple sites reveals that the measurements made at the sampling sites were representative of large scale deposition in the Sierra Nevada. The relative concentration of iron and calcium in the mountain aerosol indicates that one-quarter to one-third of the BC may have been transported from Asia.

  15. The significance of vertical moisture diffusion on drifting snow sublimation near snow surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ning; Shi, Guanglei

    2017-12-01

    Sublimation of blowing snow is an important parameter not only for the study of polar ice sheets and glaciers, but also for maintaining the ecology of arid and semi-arid lands. However, sublimation of near-surface blowing snow has often been ignored in previous studies. To study sublimation of near-surface blowing snow, we established a sublimation of blowing snow model containing both a vertical moisture diffusion equation and a heat balance equation. The results showed that although sublimation of near-surface blowing snow was strongly reduced by a negative feedback effect, due to vertical moisture diffusion, the relative humidity near the surface does not reach 100 %. Therefore, the sublimation of near-surface blowing snow does not stop. In addition, the sublimation rate near the surface is 3-4 orders of magnitude higher than that at 10 m above the surface and the mass of snow sublimation near the surface accounts for more than half of the total snow sublimation when the friction wind velocity is less than about 0.55 m s-1. Therefore, the sublimation of near-surface blowing snow should not be neglected.

  16. Central Asian Snow Cover from Hydrometeorological Surveys

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Central Asian Snow Cover from Hydrometeorological Surveys data are based on observations made by personnel for three river basins: Amu Darya, Sir Darya, and...

  17. CLPX-Ground: ISA Snow Depth Transects

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set is part of the NASA Cold Land Processes Field Experiment (CLPX). Parameters include snow depth, surface wetness, surface roughness, canopy, and soil...

  18. Rand Corporation Mean Monthly Global Snow Depth

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — All available monthly snow depth climatologies were integrated by the Rand Corporation, in the early 1980s, into one global (excluding Africa and South America)...

  19. SNOW CLEARING SERVICE WINTER 2001-2002

    CERN Multimedia

    ST-HM Group; Tel. 72202

    2001-01-01

    As usual at this time of the year, the snowing clearing service, which comes under the control of the Transport Group (ST-HM), is preparing for the start of snow-clearing operations (timetable, stand-by service, personnel responsible for driving vehicles and machines, preparation of useful and necessary equipment, work instructions, etc.) in collaboration with the Cleaning Service (ST-TFM) and the Fire Brigade (TIS-FB). The main difficulty for the snow-clearing service is the car parks, which cannot be properly cleared because of the presence of CERN and private vehicles parked there overnight in different parts of the parking areas. The ST-HM Transport Group would therefore like to invite you to park vehicles together in order to facilitate the access of the snow ploughs, thus allowing the car parks to be cleared more efficiently before the personnel arrives for work in the mornings.

  20. CLPX-Ground: ISA Snow Pit Measurements

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set consists of snow pit data from nine study areas, within three larger-scale areas in northern Colorado (Fraser, North Park, and Rabbit Ears Meso-cell...

  1. Normalized-Difference Snow Index (NDSI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Riggs, George A.

    2010-01-01

    The Normalized-Difference Snow Index (NDSI) has a long history. 'The use of ratioing visible (VIS) and near-infrared (NIR) or short-wave infrared (SWIR) channels to separate snow and clouds was documented in the literature beginning in the mid-1970s. A considerable amount of work on this subject was conducted at, and published by, the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory (AFGL). The objective of the AFGL work was to discriminate snow cover from cloud cover using an automated algorithm to improve global cloud analyses. Later, automated methods that relied on the VIS/NIR ratio were refined substantially using satellite data In this section we provide a brief history of the use of the NDSI for mapping snow cover.

  2. GEM operation in pure noble gases and the avalanche confinement

    CERN Document Server

    Buzulutskov, A F; Bressan, A; Mauro, A D; Ropelewski, Leszek; Sauli, Fabio; Biagi, S F

    1999-01-01

    We study the operation of the Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM) in pure Ar and almost pure Xe. Rather high gas gains obtained in pure Ar, of the order of 1000, are explained by the effect of the avalanche confinement to a GEM micro-hole. Applications to the development of non-ageing sealed photon detector filled with pure noble gases are discussed. In particular, it is shown that the photoelectron collection efficiency deteriorated in pure Ar due to electron backscattering, can be recovered by operation at a higher electric field.

  3. Energy pumping in electrical circuits under avalanche noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanazawa, Kiyoshi; Sagawa, Takahiro; Hayakawa, Hisao

    2014-07-01

    We theoretically study energy pumping processes in an electrical circuit with avalanche diodes, where non-Gaussian athermal noise plays a crucial role. We show that a positive amount of energy (work) can be extracted by an external manipulation of the circuit in a cyclic way, even when the system is spatially symmetric. We discuss the properties of the energy pumping process for both quasistatic and finite-time cases, and analytically obtain formulas for the amounts of the work and the power. Our results demonstrate the significance of the non-Gaussianity in energetics of electrical circuits.

  4. Simulation of displacement damage for silicon avalanche photo-diodes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K Latin-Small-Letter-Dotless-I l Latin-Small-Letter-Dotless-I c, Adnan, E-mail: adnank@uludag.edu.tr [Uludag University, Department of Physics, 16059 Bursa (Turkey); Pilicer, Ercan; Tapan, Ilhan; Oezmutlu, Emin N. [Uludag University, Department of Physics, 16059 Bursa (Turkey)

    2011-12-01

    The silicon avalanche photo-diodes (APDs) in the CMS barrel electromagnetic calorimeter will be exposed to an integrated neutron fluence of about 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 13}n/cm{sup 2} over 10 years of operation. High neutron fluences change the electrical properties of silicon detectors. The changes are proportional to the non-ionising energy loss in the APDs. Using the Geant4 toolkit, we have calculated the non-ionising energy loss as well as the rate of generation of primary defects in the APDs, for the expected neutron fluence.

  5. Double Screening Tests of the CMS ECAL Avalanche Photodiodes

    CERN Document Server

    Deiters, Konrad; Renker, Dieter; Sakhelashvili, Tariel; Britvitch, Ilia; Kuznetsov, Andrey; Musienko, Yuri; Singovsky, Alexander

    2005-01-01

    Specially developed avalanche photo-diodes (APDs) will be used to measure the light from the 61,200 lead tungstate crystals in the barrel part of the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter. To ensure the reliability over the lifetime of the detector, every APD is screened by irradiation and burn-in before it is accepted for CMS. As part of the establishment of the screening procedure and to determine its effectiveness, a large number of APDs were screened twice. The results of these tests suggest that the required reliability will be achieved.

  6. The Vaigat Rock Avalanche Laboratory, west-central Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunning, S.; Rosser, N. J.; Szczucinski, W.; Norman, E. C.; Benjamin, J.; Strzelecki, M.; Long, A. J.; Drewniak, M.

    2013-12-01

    Rock avalanches have unusually high mobility and pose both an immediate hazard, but also produce far-field impacts associated with dam breach, glacier collapse and where they run-out into water, tsunami. Such secondary hazards can often pose higher risks than the original landslide. The prediction of future threats posed by potential rock avalanches is heavily reliant upon understanding of the physics derived from an interpretation of deposits left by previous events, yet drawing comparisons between multiple events is normally challenging as interactions with complex mountainous terrain makes deposits from each event unique. As such numerical models and the interpretation of the underlying physics which govern landslide mobility is commonly case-specific and poorly suited to extrapolation beyond the single events the model is tuned to. Here we present a high-resolution LiDAR and hyperspectral dataset captured across a unique cluster of large rock avalanche source areas and deposits in the Vaigat straight, west central Greenland. Vaigat offers the unprecedented opportunity to model a sample of > 15 rock avalanches of various age sourced from an 80 km coastal escarpment. At Vaigat many of the key variables (topography, geology, post-glacial history) are held constant across all landslides providing the chance to investigate the variations in dynamics and emplacement style related to variable landslide volume, drop-heights, and thinning/spreading over relatively simple, unrestricted run-out zones both onto land and into water. Our data suggest that this region represents excellent preservation of landslide deposits, and hence is well suited to calibrate numerical models of run out dynamics. We use this data to aid the interpretation of deposit morphology, structure lithology and run-out characteristics in more complex settings. Uniquely, we are also able to calibrate our models using a far-field dataset of well-preserved tsunami run-up deposits, resulting from the 21

  7. Investigation of the infrasound produced by geophysical events such as volcanoes, thunder, and avalanches: the case for local infrasound monitoring (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. B.; Marcillo, O. E.; Arechiga, R. O.; Johnson, R.; Edens, H. E.; Marshall, H.; Havens, S.; Waite, G. P.

    2010-12-01

    Volcanoes, lightning, and mass wasting events generate substantial infrasonic energy that propagates for long distances through the atmosphere with generally low intrinsic attenuation. Although such sources are often studied with regional infrasound arrays that provide important records of their occurrence, position, and relative magnitudes these signals recorded at tens to hundreds of kilometers are often significantly affected by propagation effects. Complex atmospheric structure, due to heterogeneous winds and temperatures, and intervening topography can be responsible for multi-pathing, signal attenuation, and focusing or, alternatively, information loss (i.e., a shadow zone). At far offsets, geometric spreading diminishes signal amplitude requiring low noise recording sites and high fidelity microphones. In contrast recorded excess pressures at local distances are much higher in amplitude and waveforms are more representative of source phenomena. We report on recent studies of volcanoes, thunder, and avalanches made with networks and arrays of infrasound sensors deployed local (within a few km) to the source. At Kilauea Volcano (Hawaii) we deployed a network of ~50 infrasound sensitive sensors (flat from 50 s to 50 Hz) to track the coherence of persistent infrasonic tremor signals in the near-field (out to a few tens of kilometers). During periods of high winds (> 5-10 m/s) we found significant atmospheric influence for signals recorded at stations only a few kilometers from the source. Such observations have encouraged us to conduct a range of volcano, thunder, and snow avalanche studies with networks of small infrasound arrays (~30 m aperture) deployed close to the source region. We present results from local microphone deployments (12 sensors) at Santiaguito Volcano (Guatemala) where we are able to precisely (~10 m resolution) locate acoustic sources from explosions and rock falls. We also present results from our thunder mapping acoustic arrays (15 sensors

  8. Snow management practices in French ski resorts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spandre, Pierre; Francois, Hugues; George-Marcelpoil, Emmanuelle; Morin, Samuel

    2016-04-01

    Winter tourism plays a fundamental role in the economy of French mountain regions but also in other countries such as Austria, USA or Canada. Ski operators originally developed grooming methods to provide comfortable and safe skiing conditions. The interannual variability of snow conditions and the competition with international destinations and alternative tourism activities encouraged ski resorts to mitigate their dependency to weather conditions through snowmaking facilities. However some regions may not be able to produce machine made snow due to inadequate conditions and low altitude resorts are still negatively impacted by low snow seasons. In the meantime, even though the operations of high altitude resorts do not show any dependency to the snow conditions they invest in snowmaking facilities. Such developments of snowmaking facilities may be related to a confused and contradictory perception of climate change resulting in individualistic evolutions of snowmaking facilities, also depending on ski resorts main features such as their altitude and size. Concurrently with the expansion of snowmaking facilities, a large range of indicators have been used to discuss the vulnerability of ski resorts such as the so-called "100 days rule" which was widely used with specific thresholds (i.e. minimum snow depth, dates) and constraints (i.e. snowmaking capacity). The present study aims to provide a detailed description of snow management practices and major priorities in French ski resorts with respect to their characteristics. We set up a survey in autumn 2014, collecting data from 56 French ski operators. We identify the priorities of ski operators and describe their snowmaking and grooming practices and facilities. The operators also provided their perception of the ski resort vulnerability to snow and economic challenges which we could compare with the actual snow conditions and ski lift tickets sales during the period from 2001 to 2012.

  9. Low power wide spectrum optical transmitter using avalanche mode LEDs in SOI CMOS technology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Agarwal, Vishal Vishal; Dutta, Satadal; Annema, Anne J.; Hueting, Raymond Josephus Engelbart; Steeneken, P.G.; Nauta, Bram

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a low power monolithically integrated optical transmitter with avalanche mode light emitting diodes in a 140 nm silicon-on-insulator CMOS technology. Avalanche mode LEDs in silicon exhibit wide-spectrum electroluminescence (400 nm < λ < 850 nm), which has a significant overlap

  10. Hole-Initiated-Avalanche, Linear-Mode, Single-Photon-Sensitive Avalanche Photodetector with Reduced Excess Noise and Low Dark Count Rate Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A radiation hard, single photon sensitive InGaAs avalanche photodiode (APD) receiver technology will be demonstrated useful for long range space based optical...

  11. Developments in the Stratigraphy of Snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pielmeier, Christine; Schneebeli, Martin

    2003-11-01

    Snow on the ground can be regarded as aeolian sediment with rapidly changing properties. We explore the Swiss (Alpine) history of stratigraphy of snow to show the trends and developments. The observation of snow stratigraphy starts in the 18th and 19th century with a geologic focus, descriptions are superficial and only verbal. In the early 20th century, the scientific interest in snow stratigraphy increases. Detailed descriptions and drawings become available. Slope scale geomorphologic features and surface processes were observed and documented. Starting from the 1940s, a shift of interest to the physical and mechanical properties in ``homogeneous'' layers takes place, from a slope-centred approach to a sample-centred approach. Stratigraphic description becomes one-dimensional, and the concept of well-defined layers gets accepted and still predominates today. However, all physical and mechanical processes are strongly related to the spatial variability of the snow mechanical properties. New instrumental developments show that the perceived strict layering may be a too simple model. The requirements for modern snow stratigraphy, integrating different scales and modern technology, is discussed from an international viewpoint.

  12. Snow model design for operational purposes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolberg, Sjur

    2017-04-01

    A parsimonious distributed energy balance snow model intended for operational use is evaluated using discharge, snow covered area and grain size; the latter two as observed from the MODIS sensor. The snow model is an improvement of the existing GamSnow model, which is a part of the Enki modelling framework. Core requirements for the new version have been: 1. Reduction of calibration freedom, motivated by previous experience of non-identifiable parameters in the existing version 2. Improvement of process representation based on recent advances in physically based snow modelling 3. Limiting the sensitivity to forcing data which are poorly known over the spatial domain of interest (often in mountainous areas) 4. Preference for observable states, and the ability to improve from updates. The albedo calculation is completely revised, now based on grain size through an emulation of the SNICAR model (Flanner and Zender, 2006; Gardener and Sharp, 2010). The number of calibration parameters in the albedo model is reduced from 6 to 2. The wind function governing turbulent energy fluxes has been reduced from 2 to 1 parameter. Following Raleigh et al (2011), snow surface radiant temperature is split from the top layer thermodynamic temperature, using bias-corrected wet-bulb temperature to model the former. Analyses are ongoing, and the poster will bring evaluation results from 16 years of MODIS observations and more than 25 catchments in southern Norway.

  13. Monitoring and projecting snow on Hawaii Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chunxi; Hamilton, Kevin; Wang, Yuqing

    2017-05-01

    The highest mountain peaks on Hawaii Island are snow covered for part of almost every year. This snow has aesthetic and recreational value as well as cultural significance for residents and visitors. Thus far there have been almost no systematic observations of snowfall, snow cover, or snow depth in Hawaii. Here we use satellite observations to construct a daily index of Hawaii Island snow cover starting from 2000. The seasonal mean of our index displays large interannual variations that are correlated with the seasonal mean freezing level and frequency of trade wind inversions as determined from nearby balloon soundings. Our snow cover index provides a diagnostic for monitoring climate variability and trends within the extensive area of the globe dominated by the North Pacific trade wind meteorological regime. We have also conducted simulations of the Hawaii climate with a regional atmospheric model. Retrospective simulations for 1990-2015 were run with boundary conditions prescribed from gridded observational analyses. Simulations for the end of 21st century employed boundary conditions based on global climate model projections that included standard scenarios for anticipated anthropogenic climate forcing. The future projections indicate that snowfall will nearly disappear by the end of the current century.

  14. Monitoring and modeling ice-rock avalanches from ice-capped volcanoes: A case study of frequent large avalanches on Iliamna Volcano, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huggel, C.; Caplan-Auerbach, J.; Waythomas, C.F.; Wessels, R.L.

    2007-01-01

    Iliamna is an andesitic stratovolcano of the Aleutian arc with regular gas and steam emissions and mantled by several large glaciers. Iliamna Volcano exhibits an unusual combination of frequent and large ice-rock avalanches in the order of 1 ?? 106??m3 to 3 ?? 107??m3 with recent return periods of 2-4??years. We have reconstructed an avalanche event record for the past 45??years that indicates Iliamna avalanches occur at higher frequency at a given magnitude than other mass failures in volcanic and alpine environments. Iliamna Volcano is thus an ideal site to study such mass failures and its relation to volcanic activity. In this study, we present different methods that fit into a concept of (1) long-term monitoring, (2) early warning, and (3) event documentation and analysis of ice-rock avalanches on ice-capped active volcanoes. Long-term monitoring methods include seismic signal analysis, and space-and airborne observations. Landsat and ASTER satellite data was used to study the extent of hydrothermally altered rocks and surface thermal anomalies at the summit region of Iliamna. Subpixel heat source calculation for the summit regions where avalanches initiate yielded temperatures of 307 to 613??K assuming heat source areas of 1000 to 25??m2, respectively, indicating strong convective heat flux processes. Such heat flow causes ice melting conditions and is thus likely to reduce the strength at the base of the glacier. We furthermore demonstrate typical seismic records of Iliamna avalanches with rarely observed precursory signals up to two hours prior to failure, and show how such signals could be used for a multi-stage avalanche warning system in the future. For event analysis and documentation, space- and airborne observations and seismic records in combination with SRTM and ASTER derived terrain data allowed us to reconstruct avalanche dynamics and to identify remarkably similar failure and propagation mechanisms of Iliamna avalanches for the past 45??years

  15. Spreading free-riding snow sports represent a novel serious threat for wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arlettaz, Raphaël; Patthey, Patrick; Baltic, Marjana; Leu, Thomas; Schaub, Michael; Palme, Rupert; Jenni-Eiermann, Susanne

    2007-05-07

    Stress generated by humans on wildlife by continuous development of outdoor recreational activities is of increasing concern for biodiversity conservation. Human disturbance often adds to other negative impact factors affecting the dynamics of vulnerable populations. It is not known to which extent the rapidly spreading free-riding snow sports actually elicit detrimental stress (allostatic overload) upon wildlife, nor what the potential associated fitness and survival costs are. Using a non-invasive technique, we evaluated the physiological stress response induced by free-riding snow sports on a declining bird species of Alpine ecosystems. The results of a field experiment in which radiomonitored black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) were actively flushed from their snow burrows once a day during four consecutive days showed an increase in the concentration of faecal stress hormone (corticosterone) metabolites after disturbance. A large-scale comparative analysis across the southwestern Swiss Alps indicated that birds had higher levels of these metabolites in human-disturbed versus undisturbed habitats. Disturbance by snow sport free-riders appears to elevate stress, which potentially represents a new serious threat for wildlife. The fitness and survival costs of allostatic adjustments have yet to be estimated.

  16. [Was Snow White a transsexual?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, A; Mormont, C

    2002-01-01

    modalities in the transsexual dynamics. Nevertheless, one can ask oneself about the possibility of a request based on a desire rather than on a defense, or even on the existence of a defensive process diametrically opposed to the counter-phobic attitude and which, instead of actively provoking the dreaded reality, would privilege its avoidance and the search of passivity. This latter hypothesis has the advantage of being rather easy to explore with the Rorschach because, according to Exner, the predominance of passive compared to active human movement responses (which he terms the Snow White Syndrome) indicates the propensity to escape into passive fantasies and the tendency to avoid the initiative for behaviour or decision-making, if other people can do it in the subject's place (12). Our results largely confirmed the hypothesis of the existence of an opposite mechanism, as a third of subjects (n = 26) presented Snow White Syndrome. According to Exner, these transsexuals are typically characterized by hiding into a world of make believe, avoiding all responsibility, as well as any decision-making. This passivity in our Snow White Syndrome group was all the more remarkable in that, on the whole, it infiltrated into all the movement responses and seemed to define a rigid style of thinking and mental elaboration, in addition to a suggestive content of passivity. However, this condition cannot be associated with a general lack of dynamism or energy. In fact, the treatment of information, which provides data concerning the motivation to treat a stimulus field of the stimulus--whether this concerns the capture (L) of the stimulus or the elaboration (DQ+) of the response--displayed a sufficient amount of motivation. Furthermore, internal resources (EA) were considerable and were brought into play whenever it was necessary to adopt a behaviour or make a decision. Furthermore, based on these Rorschach findings, we note that in transsexuals with Snow White Syndrome, there is a

  17. Testing a blowing snow model against distributed snow measurements at Upper Sheep Creek, Idaho, United States of America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajiv Prasad; David G. Tarboton; Glen E. Liston; Charles H. Luce; Mark S. Seyfried

    2001-01-01

    In this paper a physically based snow transport model (SnowTran-3D) was used to simulate snow drifting over a 30 m grid and was compared to detailed snow water equivalence (SWE) surveys on three dates within a small 0.25 km2 subwatershed, Upper Sheep Creek. Two precipitation scenarios and two vegetation scenarios were used to carry out four snow transport model runs in...

  18. Surface exposure dating with cosmogenic 10Be of Late Holocene rock avalanches onto glaciers in the Mont Blanc massif, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deline, Philip; Akçar, Naki; Ivy-Ochs, Susan; Kubik, Peter W.

    2013-04-01

    Rock avalanching represents a potential high risk for growing infrastructure and people living in high mountain areas. This hazardous process is due to steep slopes, high relief, intensive rock fracturing, seismicity, paraglacial control, periglacial climatic conditions and the presence and interaction of snow, glaciers, and permafrost. The timing of rock avalanche recurrence intervals and the recognition of their spatial extension are essential. Very steep and elevated slopes on the Italian flank of the Mont Blanc massif are prone to rock avalanches (RAs) which travel onto glaciers. Whereas small RAs occurred in the Glacier du Miage basin during the 20th Century (the latest in July 2012), large RAs (volume > 1 M m3) travelled repeatedly onto Glaciers de Triolet, Frébouge, and la Brenva during the late Holocene The nature of the granitic deposit which largely overlaps the bottom of the upper Val Ferret over 2 km has been discussed since the 19th century. This extensive deposit was attributed to either glacial, or a September 12th 1717 AD rock avalanche, or a complex mixture of glacial, earlier RA and 1717 RA origin. Surface exposure dating of 16 boulders of the deposit shows that the 1717 RA, covering the whole upper Ferret valley floor, was one of the largest late Holocene RAs of the Alps, with a rock volume of 10-15 M m3 and a likely similar volume of glacier ice travelling more than 7 km downvalley. Two main RA deposits are lying downstream of the Glacier de Frébouge: a sheet of granite boulders with an open-work structure covers the south side of the Val Ferret, which ran > 100 m up the opposite metasedimentary side of the valley; a smaller RA deposit is located at the south and east margins of the large Frébouge polygenic fan. Surface exposure dating of 7 granite boulders of these deposits could in particular confirm whether the larger RA occurred sometime between 991 and 1154 AD, as suggested by a radiocarbon-dated piece of wood. Large RAs (volume > 2 M m3

  19. Avalanche photo-detection for high data rate applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coldenstrodt-Ronge, H. B.; Silberhorn, C.

    2007-10-01

    Avalanche photo-detection is commonly used in applications which require single-photon sensitivity. We examine the limits of using avalanche photo-diodes (APD) for characterizing photon statistics at high data rates. To identify the regime of linear APD operation, we employ a ps-pulsed diode laser with variable repetition rates between 0.5 MHz and 80 MHz. We modify the mean optical power of the coherent pulses by applying different levels of well-calibrated attenuation. The linearity at high repetition rates is limited by the APD dead time and a nonlinear response arises at higher photon-numbers due to multiphoton events. Assuming Poissonian input-light statistics we ascertain the effective mean photon-number of the incident light with high accuracy. Time multiplexed detectors (TMD) allow us to accomplish photon-number resolution by 'photon chopping'. This detection setup extends the linear response function to higher photon-numbers and statistical methods may be used to compensate for nonlinearity. We investigate this effect, compare it to the single APD case and show the validity of the convolution treatment in the TMD data analysis.

  20. First-principles derivation of static avalanche-size distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Doussal, Pierre; Wiese, Kay Jörg

    2012-06-01

    We study the energy minimization problem for an elastic interface in a random potential plus a quadratic well. As the position of the well is varied, the ground state undergoes jumps, called shocks or static avalanches. We introduce an efficient and systematic method to compute the statistics of avalanche sizes and manifold displacements. The tree-level calculation, i.e., mean-field limit, is obtained by solving a saddle-point equation. Graphically, it can be interpreted as the sum of all tree graphs. The 1-loop corrections are computed using results from the functional renormalization group. At the upper critical dimension the shock statistics is described by the Brownian force model (BFM), the static version of the so-called Alessandro-Beatrice-Bertotti-Montorsi (ABBM) model in the nonequilibrium context of depinning. This model can itself be treated exactly in any dimension and its shock statistics is that of a Lévy process. Contact is made with classical results in probability theory on the Burgers equation with Brownian initial conditions. In particular we obtain a functional extension of an evolution equation introduced by Carraro and Duchon, which recursively constructs the tree diagrams in the field theory.

  1. From an electron avalanche to the lightning discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalikhanov, B. Zh.

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this work is to describe qualitatively the physics of processes which begin with an electron avalanche and finish in a lightning discharge. A streamer model is considered that is based on studies of the recently discovered processes occurring in the prestreamer region. The investigation and analysis of these processes enabled making the conclusion that they are, in essence, the attendant processes, which ensure the electron avalanche-to-streamer transition, and may be interpreted as a manifestation of properties of a double charge layer exposed to the external electric field. The pressing problems of physical processes which form a lightning discharge are considered from the standpoint of new ideas about the mechanism of the streamer formation and growth. Causes of the emergence of coherent super-high-frequency radiation of a leader and the neutron production in a lightning discharge are revealed that have not been explained so far in the theory of gas discharge. Based also on new ideas about the lightning discharge, a simple ball-lightning model, providing answers to almost allquestions formulated from numerous observations on the behavior of ball lightning, is offered, and the need of a new design of lightning protection instead of the traditional rod is discussed.

  2. Characterization of midwave infrared InSb avalanche photodiode

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abautret, J., E-mail: johan.abautret@ies.univ-montp2.fr; Evirgen, A. [Université Montpellier, IES, UMR 5214, F-34095 Montpellier (France); CNRS, IES, UMR 5214, F-34095 Montpellier (France); SOFRADIR, BP 21, 38113 Veurey-Voroize (France); Perez, J. P.; Christol, P. [Université Montpellier, IES, UMR 5214, F-34095 Montpellier (France); CNRS, IES, UMR 5214, F-34095 Montpellier (France); Rothman, J. [CEA-LETI, 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9 (France); Cordat, A. [SOFRADIR, BP 21, 38113 Veurey-Voroize (France)

    2015-06-28

    This paper focuses on the InSb material potential for the elaboration of Avalanche Photodiodes (APD) for high performance infrared imaging applications, both in passive or active mode. The first InSb electron-APD structure was grown by molecular beam epitaxy, processed and electrically characterized. The device performances are at the state of the art for the InSb epi-diode technology, with a dark current density J(−50 mV) = 32 nA/cm{sup 2} at 77 K. Then, a pure electron injection was performed, and an avalanche gain, increasing exponentially, was observed with a gain value near 3 at −4 V at 77 K. The Okuto–Crowell model was used to determine the electron ionization coefficient α(E) in InSb, and the InSb gain behavior is compared with the one of InAs and MCT APDs.

  3. Supershort avalanche electron beam in SF_{6} and krypton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Zhang (章程

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Runaway electrons play an important role in the avalanche formation in nanosecond- and subnanosecond- pulse discharges. In this paper, characteristics of a supershort avalanche electron beam (SAEB generated at the subnanosecond and nanosecond breakdown in sulfur hexafluoride (SF_{6} in an inhomogeneous electric field were studied. One pulser operated at negative polarity with voltage pulse amplitude of ∼130  kV and rise time of 0.3 ns. The other pulser operated at negative polarity with voltage pulse amplitude of 70 kV and rise time of ∼1.6  ns. SAEB parameters in SF_{6} are compared with those obtained in krypton (Kr, nitrogen (N_{2}, air, and mixtures of SF_{6} with krypton or nitrogen. Experimental results showed that SAEB currents appeared during the rise-time of the voltage pulse for both pulsers. Moreover, amplitudes of the SAEB current in SF_{6} and Kr approximately ranged from several to tens of milliamps at atmospheric pressure, which were smaller than those in N_{2} and air (ranging from hundreds of milliamps to several amperes. Furthermore, the concentration of SF_{6} additive could significantly reduce the SAEB current in N_{2}-SF_{6} mixture, but it slightly affected the SAEB current in Kr-SF_{6} mixture because of the atomic/molecular ionization cross section of the gas had a much greater impact on the SAEB current rather than the electronegativity.

  4. Sixteen-year follow-up of childhood avalanche survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thordardottir, Edda Bjork; Valdimarsdottir, Unnur Anna; Hansdottir, Ingunn; Hauksdóttir, Arna; Dyregrov, Atle; Shipherd, Jillian C; Elklit, Ask; Resnick, Heidi; Gudmundsdottir, Berglind

    2016-01-01

    Every year a substantial number of children are affected by natural disasters worldwide. However, data are scarce on long-term psychological impact of natural disasters on children's health. Identifying risk factors and outcomes associated with the long-term sequelae of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can provide a gateway to recovery as well as enhancement of preventive measures. Among childhood avalanche survivors, we aimed to investigate risk factors for PTSD symptoms and the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and PTSD symptoms in adulthood. Childhood survivors (aged 2-19 at the time of exposure) of two avalanches were identified through nationwide registers 16 years later. The Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale was used to assess current PTSD symptoms. One-way ANOVA was used to explore PTSD symptoms by background and trauma-specific factors, as well as associations with current SES. Predictors of PTSD symptoms were examined by multivariable regression analysis. Response rate was 66% (108/163). Results from univariate ANOVA analysis revealed that female sex was associated with PTSD symptoms (F=5.96, pexposure to a disaster may negatively influence socioeconomic development in adulthood. Strengthening children's support systems post-disaster may prevent the long-term sequelae of symptoms.

  5. Supershort avalanche electron beam in SF6 and krypton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Cheng; Tarasenko, Victor F.; Gu, Jianwei; Baksht, Evgeni Kh.; Beloplotov, Dmitry V.; Burachenko, Alexander G.; Yan, Ping; Lomaev, Mikhail I.; Shao, Tao

    2016-03-01

    Runaway electrons play an important role in the avalanche formation in nanosecond- and subnanosecond- pulse discharges. In this paper, characteristics of a supershort avalanche electron beam (SAEB) generated at the subnanosecond and nanosecond breakdown in sulfur hexafluoride (SF6 ) in an inhomogeneous electric field were studied. One pulser operated at negative polarity with voltage pulse amplitude of ˜130 kV and rise time of 0.3 ns. The other pulser operated at negative polarity with voltage pulse amplitude of 70 kV and rise time of ˜1.6 ns . SAEB parameters in SF6 are compared with those obtained in krypton (Kr), nitrogen (N2 ), air, and mixtures of SF6 with krypton or nitrogen. Experimental results showed that SAEB currents appeared during the rise-time of the voltage pulse for both pulsers. Moreover, amplitudes of the SAEB current in SF6 and Kr approximately ranged from several to tens of milliamps at atmospheric pressure, which were smaller than those in N2 and air (ranging from hundreds of milliamps to several amperes). Furthermore, the concentration of SF6 additive could significantly reduce the SAEB current in N2-SF6 mixture, but it slightly affected the SAEB current in Kr -SF6 mixture because of the atomic/molecular ionization cross section of the gas had a much greater impact on the SAEB current rather than the electronegativity.

  6. Natural hazards in the Alps triggered by ski slope engineering and artificial snow production

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, C.

    2012-04-01

    , vegetation-poor scree slopes in summertime. Secondly, the production of artificial snow requires increasingly large quantities of water during low flow periods and causes an exponential increase in the construction of water reservoirs and pipelines. Such reservoirs are often constructed in depressions occupied by wetlands but also on slopes, hilltops and in proglacial locations at high altitudes up to 3000m. Reservoir construction removes vegetation, soil and regolith over surface areas of up to 150 000 m2 and depths of more than 20 m. During their construction, the temporary or permanent storage of large quantities of sediment on steep slopes has lead in several cases to the production of debris flows. Each reservoir requires road construction and vehicle parking areas for heavy weight vehicle access. These are frequently subject to erosion, gullying, and small landslides. Some reservoirs are vulnerable to catastrophic drainage triggered by earthquakes, avalanches and other natural hazards typical for mountain environments since they are only sealed with plastic membranes. Thirdly, the melt of artificial snow introduced by water transfers from other catchments can cause a relatively large local surplus of water which in turn increases spring and summer flood peaks as well as sediment transport. Most steep ski runs have introduced artificial drainage canals across the ski runs to avoid concentration of surface flow and to prevent erosion. Slopes are also covered with organic soils and re-vegetated where possible. However, given the present trends of intensification of use and precipitation extremes, it is unlikely that erosion and mass movements can be prevented in the next few decades for the duration of the amortization of investments.

  7. Snow measurement system for airborne snow surveys (GPR system from helicopter) in high mountian areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorteberg, Hilleborg K.

    2010-05-01

    In the hydropower industry, it is important to have precise information about snow deposits at all times, to allow for effective planning and optimal use of the water. In Norway, it is common to measure snow density using a manual method, i.e. the depth and weight of the snow is measured. In recent years, radar measurements have been taken from snowmobiles; however, few energy supply companies use this method operatively - it has mostly been used in connection with research projects. Agder Energi is the first Norwegian power producer in using radar tecnology from helicopter in monitoring mountain snow levels. Measurement accuracy is crucial when obtaining input data for snow reservoir estimates. Radar screening by helicopter makes remote areas more easily accessible and provides larger quantities of data than traditional ground level measurement methods. In order to draw up a snow survey system, it is assumed as a basis that the snow distribution is influenced by vegetation, climate and topography. In order to take these factors into consideration, a snow survey system for fields in high mountain areas has been designed in which the data collection is carried out by following the lines of a grid system. The lines of this grid system is placed in order to effectively capture the distribution of elevation, x-coordinates, y-coordinates, aspect, slope and curvature in the field. Variation in climatic conditions are also captured better when using a grid, and dominant weather patterns will largely be captured in this measurement system.

  8. A snow cover climatology for the Pyrenees from MODIS snow products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoin, S.; Hagolle, O.; Huc, M.; Jarlan, L.; Dejoux, J.-F.; Szczypta, C.; Marti, R.; Sanchez, R.

    2015-05-01

    The seasonal snow in the Pyrenees is critical for hydropower production, crop irrigation and tourism in France, Spain and Andorra. Complementary to in situ observations, satellite remote sensing is useful to monitor the effect of climate on the snow dynamics. The MODIS daily snow products (Terra/MOD10A1 and Aqua/MYD10A1) are widely used to generate snow cover climatologies, yet it is preferable to assess their accuracies prior to their use. Here, we use both in situ snow observations and remote sensing data to evaluate the MODIS snow products in the Pyrenees. First, we compare the MODIS products to in situ snow depth (SD) and snow water equivalent (SWE) measurements. We estimate the values of the SWE and SD best detection thresholds to 40 mm water equivalent (w.e.) and 150 mm, respectively, for both MOD10A1 and MYD10A1. κ coefficients are within 0.74 and 0.92 depending on the product and the variable for these thresholds. However, we also find a seasonal trend in the optimal SWE and SD thresholds, reflecting the hysteresis in the relationship between the depth of the snowpack (or SWE) and its extent within a MODIS pixel. Then, a set of Landsat images is used to validate MOD10A1 and MYD10A1 for 157 dates between 2002 and 2010. The resulting accuracies are 97% (κ = 0.85) for MOD10A1 and 96% (κ = 0.81) for MYD10A1, which indicates a good agreement between both data sets. The effect of vegetation on the results is analyzed by filtering the forested areas using a land cover map. As expected, the accuracies decrease over the forests but the agreement remains acceptable (MOD10A1: 96%, κ = 0.77; MYD10A1: 95%, κ = 0.67). We conclude that MODIS snow products have a sufficient accuracy for hydroclimate studies at the scale of the Pyrenees range. Using a gap-filling algorithm we generate a consistent snow cover climatology, which allows us to compute the mean monthly snow cover duration per elevation band and aspect classes. There is snow on the ground at least 50% of the

  9. Iron snow in the Martian core?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Christopher J.; Pommier, Anne

    2018-01-01

    The decline of Mars' global magnetic field some 3.8-4.1 billion years ago is thought to reflect the demise of the dynamo that operated in its liquid core. The dynamo was probably powered by planetary cooling and so its termination is intimately tied to the thermochemical evolution and present-day physical state of the Martian core. Bottom-up growth of a solid inner core, the crystallization regime for Earth's core, has been found to produce a long-lived dynamo leading to the suggestion that the Martian core remains entirely liquid to this day. Motivated by the experimentally-determined increase in the Fe-S liquidus temperature with decreasing pressure at Martian core conditions, we investigate whether Mars' core could crystallize from the top down. We focus on the "iron snow" regime, where newly-formed solid consists of pure Fe and is therefore heavier than the liquid. We derive global energy and entropy equations that describe the long-timescale thermal and magnetic history of the core from a general theory for two-phase, two-component liquid mixtures, assuming that the snow zone is in phase equilibrium and that all solid falls out of the layer and remelts at each timestep. Formation of snow zones occurs for a wide range of interior and thermal properties and depends critically on the initial sulfur concentration, ξ0. Release of gravitational energy and latent heat during growth of the snow zone do not generate sufficient entropy to restart the dynamo unless the snow zone occupies at least 400 km of the core. Snow zones can be 1.5-2 Gyrs old, though thermal stratification of the uppermost core, not included in our model, likely delays onset. Models that match the available magnetic and geodetic constraints have ξ0 ≈ 10% and snow zones that occupy approximately the top 100 km of the present-day Martian core.

  10. Himalayan Ice Core Analyses With Snow Algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimura, Y.; Kohshima, S.; Takeuchi, N.; Seko, K.; Fujita, K.

    2004-12-01

    Snow algae in a shallow ice core (7 m in length) from the Yala Glacier, Langtang region of Nepal, were examined for potential use in ice core analyses. Ice core samples taken at 5350 m a.s.l. in 1994, contained more than 7 species of snow algae. In a vertical profile of the algal biomass, 11 distinct algal layers were observed. Seasonal observation in 1996 at the coring site indicated most algal growth to occur from late spring to late summer. Pit observation in 1991, 1992 and 1994 indicated algal layer formation to take place annually. Delta 18O, chemical ions (Na+, Cl-, SO42-, and NO3-) and microparticles failed to show any clear seasonal variation, particularly so at depths exceeding 2 m, possibly due to heavy melt-water percolation. Snow algae in the ice core would thus be accurate boundary markers of annual layers in the ice cores of this region. Algal biomass in each annual layer was noted to be quite closely correlated with the following two environmental indices calculated from air temperature and precipitation at Kyan