Risk assessment in the North Caucasus ski resorts
- Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography, Research Laboratory of Snow Avalanches and Debris Flows, Moscow, Russian Federation
Abstract. Avalanches pose a significant problem in most mountain regions of Russia. The constant growth of economic activity, and therefore the increased avalanche hazard, in the North Caucasus region lead to demand for the development of large-scale avalanche risk assessment methods. Such methods are needed for the determination of appropriate avalanche protection measures as well as for economic assessments.
The requirement of natural hazard risk assessments is determined by the Federal Law of the Russian Federation (Federal Law 21.12.1994 N 68-FZ, 2016). However, Russian guidelines (SNIP 11-02-96, 2013; SNIP 22-02-2003, 2012) are not clearly presented concerning avalanche risk assessment calculations. Thus, we discuss these problems by presenting a new avalanche risk assessment approach, with the example of developing but poorly researched ski resort areas. The suggested method includes the formulas to calculate collective and individual avalanche risk. The results of risk analysis are shown in quantitative data that can be used to determine levels of avalanche risk (appropriate, acceptable and inappropriate) and to suggest methods to decrease the individual risk to an acceptable level or better. The analysis makes it possible to compare risk quantitative data obtained from different regions, analyze them and evaluate the economic feasibility of protection measures.