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Application of physical snowpack models in support of operational avalanche hazard forecasting: A status report on current implementations and prospects for the future


Morin, Samuel; Horton, Simon; Techel, Frank; Bavay, Mathias; Coléou, Cécile; Fierz, Charles; Gobiet, Andreas; Hagenmuller, Pascal; Lafaysse, Matthieu; Ližar, Matjaž; Mitterer, Christoph; Monti, Fabiano; Müller, Karsten; Olefs, Marc; Snook, John S; van Herwijnen, Alec; Vionnet, Vincent (2019). Application of physical snowpack models in support of operational avalanche hazard forecasting: A status report on current implementations and prospects for the future. Cold Regions Science and Technology, 170:102910.

Abstract

The application of numerical modelling of the snowpack in support of avalanche hazard prediction is increasing. Modelling, in complement to direct observations and weather forecasting, provides information otherwise unavailable on the present and future state of the snowpack and its mechanical stability. However, there is often a perceived mismatch between the capabilities of modelling tools developed by research organizations and implemented by some operational services, and the actual operational use of those by avalanche forecasters. This causes frustration on both sides. By summarizing currently implemented modelling tools specifically designed for avalanche forecasting, we intend to diminish and contribute to bridging this gap. We highlight specific features and potential added value, as well as challenges preventing a more widespread use of these modelling tools. Lessons learned from currently used methods are explored and provided, as well as prospects for the future, including a list of the most critical issues to be addressed.

Abstract

The application of numerical modelling of the snowpack in support of avalanche hazard prediction is increasing. Modelling, in complement to direct observations and weather forecasting, provides information otherwise unavailable on the present and future state of the snowpack and its mechanical stability. However, there is often a perceived mismatch between the capabilities of modelling tools developed by research organizations and implemented by some operational services, and the actual operational use of those by avalanche forecasters. This causes frustration on both sides. By summarizing currently implemented modelling tools specifically designed for avalanche forecasting, we intend to diminish and contribute to bridging this gap. We highlight specific features and potential added value, as well as challenges preventing a more widespread use of these modelling tools. Lessons learned from currently used methods are explored and provided, as well as prospects for the future, including a list of the most critical issues to be addressed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
Physical Sciences > General Earth and Planetary Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology, General Earth and Planetary Sciences
Language:English
Date:1 October 2019
Deposited On:06 Jan 2020 13:56
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 12:06
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0165-232X
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2019.102910

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