Articles | Volume 16, issue 5
Research article
27 May 2016
Research article |  | 27 May 2016

A new web-based system to improve the monitoring of snow avalanche hazard in France

Ekaterina Bourova, Eric Maldonado, Jean-Baptiste Leroy, Rachid Alouani, Nicolas Eckert, Mylene Bonnefoy-Demongeot, and Michael Deschatres

Abstract. Snow avalanche data in the French Alps and Pyrenees have been recorded for more than 100 years in several databases. The increasing amount of observed data required a more integrative and automated service. Here we report the comprehensive web-based Snow Avalanche Information System newly developed to this end for three important data sets: an avalanche chronicle (Enquête Permanente sur les Avalanches, EPA), an avalanche map (Carte de Localisation des Phénomènes d'Avalanche, CLPA) and a compilation of hazard and vulnerability data recorded on selected paths endangering human settlements (Sites Habités Sensibles aux Avalanches, SSA). These data sets are now integrated into a common database, enabling full interoperability between all different types of snow avalanche records: digitized geographic data, avalanche descriptive parameters, eyewitness reports, photographs, hazard and risk levels, etc. The new information system is implemented through modular components using Java-based web technologies with Spring and Hibernate frameworks. It automates the manual data entry and improves the process of information collection and sharing, enhancing user experience and data quality, and offering new outlooks to explore and exploit the huge amount of snow avalanche data available for fundamental research and more applied risk assessment.

Short summary
Snow avalanche data in the French Alps and Pyrenees have been recorded for more than 100 years in several databases. In this manuscript, we present a newly developed web-based system that stores the observed data in a global avalanche database and assists the observers in their daily monitoring activity by providing coherent workflows for a wide range of users with different roles. The new system improves the quality of data and is widely used for fundamental research and operational purposes.
Final-revised paper