Title Cross-comparison of meteorological and avalanche data for characterizing avalanche cycles; the example of December 2008 in the eastern part of the French Alps
Author Eckert, N.; Coleou, C.; Castebrunet, H.; Deschatres, M.; Giraud, G.; Gaume, J.
Author Affil Eckert, N., Cemagref, Saint Martin d'Heres, France. Other: Centre d'Etudes de la Neige, France
Source Cold Regions Science and Technology, 64(2), p.119-136, ; International snow science workshop 2009, Davos, Switzerland, Sept. 27-Oct. 2, 2009, edited by J. Schweizer. Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0165-232X
Publication Date Nov. 2010
Notes In English. Based on Publisher- supplied data GeoRef Acc. No: 309826
Index Terms precipitation (meteorology); avalanche forecasting; avalanches; mass movements (geology); meteorology; models; snow; statistical analysis; France--French Alps; Alps; atmospheric precipitation; case studies; Europe; France; French Alps; mass movements; periodicity; recurrence interval; Western Europe
Abstract In December 2008, an intense avalanche cycle occurred in the eastern part of the southern French Alps. Southerly atmospheric fluxes that progressively evolved into an easterly return caused important snowfalls with return periods up to 10 years. Cold temperatures and drifting snow had important aggravating effects. The return period for the number of avalanches was above 50 years in two massifs and some of the avalanche had very long runouts that exceeded historical limits recorded in the French avalanche atlas. Using this case study, this paper illustrates and discusses how avalanche reports, snow and weather data and results from numerical modelling of the snow cover can be combined to analyse abnormal temporal clusters of snow avalanches. For instance, it is shown how statistical techniques developed in other fields can be used to test the significance of different explanatory factors, extract spatio-temporal patterns, compare them with previous cycles and quantify the magnitude/frequency relationship at different scales.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.coldregions.2010.08.009
Publication Type conference paper or compendium article
Record ID 65006939