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Snow Avalanches

  • C. Ancey
Chapter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 582)

Abstract

Over the last century, mountain ranges in Europe and North America have seen substantial development due to the increase in recreational activities, transportation, construction in high altitude areas, etc. In these mountain ranges, avalanches often threaten man’s activities and life. Typical examples include recent disasters, such as the avalanche at Val d’Isère in 1970 (39 people were killed in a hostel) or the series of catastrophic avalanches throughout the Northern Alps in February 1999 (62 residents killed). The rising demand for higher safety measures has given new impetus to the development of mitigation technology and has given rise to a new scientific area entirely devoted to snow and avalanches. This paper summarises the paramount features of avalanches (formation and motion) and outlines the main approaches used for describing their movement. We do not tackle specific problems related to snow mechanics and avalanche forecasting. For more information on the subject, the reader is referred to the main textbooks published in Alpine countries [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8].

Keywords

Richardson Number Gravity Current Turbidity Current Snow Avalanche Momentum Balance Equation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Ancey
    • 1
  1. 1.Cemagref, unité Erosion Torrentielle, Neige et AvalanchesDomaine UniversitaireSain t-Martin-d’Hères CedexFrance

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