Ice Avalanches: Some Empirical Information about their Formation and Reach

Jürg Alean
1985 Journal of Glaciology  
A study intended to be mainly of practical use in the prediction of ice-avalanche hazards was carried out. About 100 ice avalanches, mostly from the Alps, were documented. Starting zones of these ice avalanches could be classified by using simple terrain characteristics. Ice avalanches from some starting zones at relatively low altitudes and with large, homogeneously inclined bedrock planes occur predominantly in summer and autumn. No such seasonal variation in frequency was found in connection
more » ... found in connection with other types of starting zones occurring either at higher altitudes or involving abrupt changes of the bedrock's gradient. One- and two-parameter models for the estimation of run-out distances of landslides and snow avalanches were tested for their use with ice avalanches. Introduction of the second (v 2 proportional) frictional parameter leads only to moderately improved accuracy in the prediction of run-out distances. For relatively short run-out distances (several hundred meters), an alternative method of estimation, based on terrain characteristics, is proposed.
doi:10.1017/s0022143000006663 fatcat:f5nupuzqsvanfngb3yt3tivohe