chapter  7
22 Pages

Snow Avalanches

FIGURE 7.2 LARGE AVALANCHE A large avalanche moves down a slope

Avalanches, like landslides, are driven by gravity. The two differ, however, in many important respects-for example, in the failure and transport mechanisms and in the

and grow as they move downslope. The sliding snow causes failures in the adjacent snowpack, producing a distinctive, downslope-widening trough, like an inverted V ( Figure 7.3 ). Point-release avalanches commonly happen after heavy

physical properties of the failed material. Our discussion of avalanches begins with a consideration of snow climatology, proceeds to avalanche initiation, and then to a discussion of avalanche motion.