Articles | Volume 11, issue 8
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2355–2370, 2011
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 2355–2370, 2011

Research article 26 Aug 2011

Research article | 26 Aug 2011

On the complementariness of infrasound and seismic sensors for monitoring snow avalanches

A. Kogelnig1, E. Suriñach2, I. Vilajosana3, J. Hübl1, B. Sovilla4, M. Hiller4, and F. Dufour4 A. Kogelnig et al.
  • 1Institute of Mountain Risk Engineering, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • 2Grup d'Allaus (RISKNAT), Dept. Geodinàmica i Geofísica, Fac. de Geologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • 3Worldsensing, Clos de Sant Francesc 21, 08034, Barcelona, Spain
  • 4WSL, Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos Dorf, Switzerland

Abstract. The paper analyses and compares infrasonic and seismic data from snow avalanches monitored at the Vallée de la Sionne test site in Switzerland from 2009 to 2010. Using a combination of seismic and infrasound sensors, it is possible not only to detect a snow avalanche but also to distinguish between the different flow regimes and to analyse duration, average speed (for sections of the avalanche path) and avalanche size. Different sensitiveness of the seismic and infrasound sensors to the avalanche regimes is shown. Furthermore, the high amplitudes observed in the infrasound signal for one avalanche were modelled assuming that the suspension layer of the avalanche acts as a moving turbulent sound source. Our results show reproducibility for similar avalanches on the same avalanche path.