Potential Hazard Map for Snow Disaster Prevention Using GIS-Based Weighted Linear Combination Analysis and Remote Sensing Techniques: A Case Study in Northern Xinjiang, China
Advances in Remote Sensing
Snow disaster is one of the top ten natural disasters worldwide. Almost every year, there will be snow disasters in north Xinjiang, northwestern China. Since the accumulated heavy snow in winter season will seriously threaten people's lives, the main object of this study is to produce a potential hazard map for snow avalanche prevention. Taking three snow seasons from November to March of year 2008 to 2010, potential hazard areas were estimated, based on snow volume products and terrain
... and terrain features. Remote sensing (RS) techniques and geographical information system (GIS) based weighted linear combination (WLC) approach were applied, taking into consideration multiple criteria. Snow avalanche risks were analyzed using physical exposure and vulnerability indexes. The analysis indicates that: the areas at high-risk of avalanches are located in the north and south part of the counties of Altay, Bortala and Ili prefectures; the areas at medium-risk of avalanches are found in the certain part of Altay prefecture and Urumqi, Changji, Tacheng prefectures; the avalanche risk is generally low throughout the large area to the certain part of the study area and the region on the border of the eastern north Xinjiang. Overall, the risks of snow avalanche in Altay and Ili prefectures are higher than that other regions; those areas should be allocated correspondingly more salvage materials.