Articles | Volume 19, issue 11
28 Nov 2019
Research article | 28 Nov 2019
Snow gliding and glide-snow avalanches: recent outcomes from two experimental test sites in Aosta Valley (northwestern Italian Alps)
Margherita Maggioni et al.
S. Stanchi, M. Freppaz, E. Ceaglio, M. Maggioni, K. Meusburger, C. Alewell, and E. Zanini
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 1761–1771,
Davide Notti, Martina Cignetti, Danilo Godone, and Daniele Giordan
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Preprint under review for NHESSShort summary
We present a methodology for semi-automatic shallow landslide mapping based on free-cost satellite data. The method is aimed to create a low-cost and user-friendly instrument to detect the areas potentially affected by shallow landslides using the pre- post- event NDVI variation. We also provide Google Earth Engine scripts to evaluate the effects of the shallow landslide on different land uses. Datasets and codes are public and open to be improved by the scientific community.
Diego Guenzi, Danilo Godone, Paolo Allasia, Nunzio Luciano Fazio, Michele Perrotti, and Piernicola Lollino
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 207–212,Short summary
In the Apulia region (southeastern Italy) we are monitoring a soft-rock coastal cliff using webcams and strain sensors. In this urban and touristic area, coastal recession is extremely rapid and rockfalls are very frequent. In our work we are using low-cost and open-source hardware and software, trying to correlate both meteorological information with measures obtained from crack meters and webcams, aiming to recognize potential precursor signals that could be triggered by instability phenomena.
E. A. Podolskiy, M. Barbero, F. Barpi, G. Chambon, M. Borri-Brunetto, O. Pallara, B. Frigo, B. Chiaia, and M. Naaim
The Cryosphere, 8, 1651–1659,
S. Stanchi, M. Freppaz, E. Ceaglio, M. Maggioni, K. Meusburger, C. Alewell, and E. Zanini
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 1761–1771,
R. Balestrini, C. Arese, M. Freppaz, and A. Buffagni
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 989–1001,
Related subject area
Other Hazards (e.g., Glacial and Snow Hazards, Karst, Wildfires Hazards, and Medical Geo-Hazards)Progress and challenges in glacial lake outburst flood research (2017–2021): a research community perspectiveGlobal assessment and mapping of ecological vulnerability to wildfiresThe impact of terrain model source and resolution on snow avalanche modelingTravel and terrain advice statements in public avalanche bulletins: a quantitative analysis of who uses this information, what makes it useful, and how it can be improved for usersData-driven automated predictions of the avalanche danger level for dry-snow conditions in SwitzerlandOn the correlation between a sub-level qualifier refining the danger level with observations and models relating to the contributing factors of avalanche dangerAutomated avalanche hazard indication mapping on a statewide scaleThe 2017 Split wildfire in Croatia: Evolution and the role of meteorological conditionsForecasting the regional fire radiative power for regularly ignited vegetation firesEnvironmental factors affecting wildfire-burned areas in southeastern France, 1970–2019Detrainment and braking of snow avalanches interacting with forestsWhat weather variables are important for wet and slab avalanches under a changing climate in low altitude mountain range in Czechia?Past and future trends in fire weather for the UKMethodological and conceptual challenges in rare and severe event forecast verificationMulti-method monitoring of rockfall activity along the classic route up Mont Blanc (4809 m a.s.l.) to encourage adaptation by mountaineersWildfire–atmosphere interaction index for extreme-fire behaviourHow is avalanche danger described in textual descriptions in avalanche forecasts in Switzerland? Consistency between forecasters and avalanche dangerData-based wildfire risk model for Mediterranean ecosystems – case study of the Concepción metropolitan area in central ChileAutomated snow avalanche release area delineation in data sparse, remote, and forested regionsThe mud volcanoes at Santa Barbara and Aragona (Sicily, Italy): a contribution to risk assessmentImpact of information presentation on interpretability of spatial hazard information: lessons from a study in avalanche safetyABWiSE v1.0: toward an agent-based approach to simulating wildfire spreadMulti-decadal geomorphic changes of a low-angle valley glacier in the East Kunlun Mountains: remote sensing observations and detachment hazard assessmentSpatial and temporal subsidence characteristics in Wuhan (China), during 2015–2019, inferred from Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) interferometryFormation, evolution, and drainage of short-lived glacial lakes in permafrost environments of the northern Teskey Range, Central AsiaTowards a compound-event-oriented climate model evaluation: a decomposition of the underlying biases in multivariate fire and heat stress hazardsAssessing the effect of lithological setting, block characteristics and slope topography on the runout length of rockfalls in the Alps and on the island of La RéunionEvolution of surface deformation related to salt-extraction-caused sinkholes in Solotvyno (Ukraine) revealed by Sentinel-1 radar interferometryAttribution of the Australian bushfire risk to anthropogenic climate changeSynoptic atmospheric circulation patterns associated with deep persistent slab avalanches in the western United StatesA regional spatiotemporal analysis of large magnitude snow avalanches using tree ringsExamining the operational use of avalanche problems with decision trees and model-generated weather and snowpack variablesA classification scheme to determine wildfires from the satellite record in the cool grasslands of southern Canada: considerations for fire occurrence modelling and warning criteriaAssessments of land subsidence along the Rizhao–Lankao high-speed railway at Heze, China, between 2015 and 2019 with Sentinel-1 dataTailings-flow runout analysis: examining the applicability of a semi-physical area–volume relationship using a novel databaseExperimental assessment of the relationship between rainfall intensity and sinkholes caused by damaged sewer pipesNon-stationary extreme value analysis of ground snow loads in the French Alps: a comparison with building standardsSensitivity of modeled snow stability data to meteorological input uncertaintyFire Weather Index: the skill provided by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts ensemble prediction systemThe 1958 Lituya Bay tsunami – pre-event bathymetry reconstruction and 3D numerical modelling utilising the computational fluid dynamics software Flow-3DOn snow stability interpretation of extended column test resultsSnow avalanche detection and mapping in multitemporal and multiorbital radar images from TerraSAR-X and Sentinel-1Evolution of a pyrocumulonimbus event associated with an extreme wildfire in Tasmania, AustraliaEvaluation of Global Fire Weather Database reanalysis and short-term forecast productsSatellite hydrology observations as operational indicators of forecasted fire danger across the contiguous United StatesQuantifying seasonal cornice dynamics using a terrestrial laser scanner in Svalbard, NorwayWildfire ignition probability in BelgiumThe first version of the Pan-European Indoor Radon MapStability charts based on the finite element method for underground cavities in soft carbonate rocks: validation through case-study applicationsExploring the relationship between avalanche hazard and run list terrain choices at a helicopter skiing operation
Adam Emmer, Simon K. Allen, Mark Carey, Holger Frey, Christian Huggel, Oliver Korup, Martin Mergili, Ashim Sattar, Georg Veh, Thomas Y. Chen, Simon J. Cook, Mariana Correas-Gonzalez, Soumik Das, Alejandro Diaz Moreno, Fabian Drenkhan, Melanie Fischer, Walter W. Immerzeel, Eñaut Izagirre, Ramesh Chandra Joshi, Ioannis Kougkoulos, Riamsara Kuyakanon Knapp, Dongfeng Li, Ulfat Majeed, Stephanie Matti, Holly Moulton, Faezeh Nick, Valentine Piroton, Irfan Rashid, Masoom Reza, Anderson Ribeiro de Figueiredo, Christian Riveros, Finu Shrestha, Milan Shrestha, Jakob Steiner, Noah Walker-Crawford, Joanne L. Wood, and Jacob C. Yde
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 3041–3061,Short summary
Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) have attracted increased research attention recently. In this work, we review GLOF research papers published between 2017 and 2021 and complement the analysis with research community insights gained from the 2021 GLOF conference we organized. The transdisciplinary character of the conference together with broad geographical coverage allowed us to identify progress, trends and challenges in GLOF research and outline future research needs and directions.
Fátima Arrogante-Funes, Inmaculada Aguado, and Emilio Chuvieco
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 2981–3003,Short summary
We show that ecological value might be reduced by 50 % due to fire perturbation in ecosystems that have not developed in the presence of fire and/or that present changes in the fire regime. The biomes most affected are tropical and subtropical forests, tundra, and mangroves. Integration of biotic and abiotic fire regime and regeneration factors resulted in a powerful way to map ecological vulnerability to fire and develop assessments to generate adaptation plans of management in forest masses.
Aubrey Miller, Pascal Sirguey, Simon Morris, Perry Bartelt, Nicolas Cullen, Todd Redpath, Kevin Thompson, and Yves Bühler
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 2673–2701,Short summary
Natural hazard modelers simulate mass movements to better anticipate the risk to people and infrastructure. These simulations require accurate digital elevation models. We test the sensitivity of a well-established snow avalanche model (RAMMS) to the source and spatial resolution of the elevation model. We find key differences in the digital representation of terrain greatly affect the simulated avalanche results, with implications for hazard planning.
Kathryn C. Fisher, Pascal Haegeli, and Patrick Mair
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1973–2000,Short summary
Avalanche bulletins include travel and terrain statements to provide recreationists with tangible guidance about how to apply the hazard information. We examined which bulletin users pay attention to these statements, what determines their usefulness, and how they could be improved. Our study shows that reducing jargon and adding simple explanations can significantly improve the usefulness of the statements for users with lower levels of avalanche awareness education who depend on this advice.
Cristina Pérez-Guillén, Frank Techel, Martin Hendrick, Michele Volpi, Alec van Herwijnen, Tasko Olevski, Guillaume Obozinski, Fernando Pérez-Cruz, and Jürg Schweizer
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 2031–2056,Short summary
A fully data-driven approach to predicting the danger level for dry-snow avalanche conditions in Switzerland was developed. Two classifiers were trained using a large database of meteorological data, snow cover simulations, and danger levels. The models performed well throughout the Swiss Alps, reaching a performance similar to the current experience-based avalanche forecasts. This approach shows the potential to be a valuable supplementary decision support tool for assessing avalanche hazard.
Frank Techel, Stephanie Mayer, Cristina Pérez-Guillén, Günter Schmudlach, and Kurt Winkler
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1911–1930,Short summary
Can the resolution of forecasts of avalanche danger be increased by using a combination of absolute and comparative judgments? Using 5 years of Swiss avalanche forecasts, we show that, on average, sub-levels assigned to a danger level reflect the expected increase in the number of locations with poor snow stability and in the number and size of avalanches with increasing forecast sub-level.
Yves Bühler, Peter Bebi, Marc Christen, Stefan Margreth, Lukas Stoffel, Andreas Stoffel, Christoph Marty, Gregor Schmucki, Andrin Caviezel, Roderick Kühne, Stephan Wohlwend, and Perry Bartelt
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1825–1843,Short summary
To calculate and visualize the potential avalanche hazard, we develop a method that automatically and efficiently pinpoints avalanche starting zones and simulate their runout for the entire canton of Grisons. The maps produced in this way highlight areas that could be endangered by avalanches and are extremely useful in multiple applications for the cantonal authorities, including the planning of new infrastructure, making alpine regions more safe.
Ivana Čavlina Tomašević, Kevin K. W. Cheung, Višnjica Vučetić, Paul Fox-Hughes, Kristian Horvath, Maja Telišman Prtenjak, Paul J. Beggs, Barbara Malečić, and Velimir Milić
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for NHESSShort summary
One of the most severe and impactful urban wildfire events in Croatia history has been reconstructed and analysed. The study identified some important meteorological influences related to the event: the synoptic conditions of the Azores anticyclone, cold front and upper-level shortwave trough all led to the highest fire weather index in 2017. Low-level jet, locally known as bura wind that can be explained by hydraulic jump theory, was the dynamic trigger of the event.
Tero M. Partanen and Mikhail Sofiev
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1335–1346,Short summary
The presented method aims to forecast regional wildfire-emitted radiative power in a time-dependent manner several days in advance. The temporal fire radiative power can be converted to an emission production rate, which can be implemented in air quality forecasting simulations. It is shown that in areas with a high incidence of wildfires, the fire radiative power is quite predictable, but otherwise it is not.
Christos Bountzouklis, Dennis M. Fox, and Elena Di Bernardino
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1181–1200,Short summary
The study addresses the evolution of burned areas in southeastern France from 1970 to 2019 through the scope of a firefighting policy shift in 1994 that resulted in a significant decrease in the burned area. Regions with large fires were particularly impacted, whereas, in other areas, the fires remained frequent and occurred closer to built-up zones. Environmental characteristics such as south-facing slopes and low vegetation (bushes) are increasingly associated with burned areas.
Louis Védrine, Xingyue Li, and Johan Gaume
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1015–1028,Short summary
This study investigates how forests affect the behaviour of snow avalanches through the evaluation of the amount of snow stopped by the trees and the analysis of energy dissipation mechanisms. Different avalanche features and tree configurations have been examined, leading to the proposal of a unified law for the detrained snow mass. Outcomes from this study can be directly implemented in operational models for avalanche risk assessment and contribute to improved forest management strategy.
Markéta Součková, Roman Juras, Kryštof Dytrt, Vojtěch Moravec, Johanna Ruth Blöcher, and Martin Hanel
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for NHESSShort summary
Avalanches are natural hazards threatening people and infrastructure. With climate change, avalanche activity is changing. We analyzed the change in frequency and size of avalanches in the Krkonoše Mountains, Czechia, and detected important variables with machine-learning tools from 1979–2020. Wet avalanches in February and March have increased, and slab avalanches have decreased, and become smaller. The identified variables and their thresholds levels may help in avalanche decision-making.
Matthew C. Perry, Emilie Vanvyve, Richard A. Betts, and Erika J. Palin
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 559–575,Short summary
In the past, wildfires in the UK have occurred mainly in spring, with occasional events during hot, dry summers. Climate models predict a large future increase in hazardous fire weather conditions in summer. Wildfire can be considered an
emergent riskfor the UK, as past events have not had widespread major impacts, but this could change. The large increase in risk between the 2 °C and 4 °C levels of global warming highlights the importance of global efforts to keep warming below 2 °C.
Philip A. Ebert and Peter Milne
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 539–557,Short summary
There is no consensus about how to assess the quality of binary (yes or no) rare and severe event forecasts, i.e. forecasts involving natural hazards like tornadoes or avalanches. We offer a comprehensive overview of the challenges we face when making such an assessment and provide a critical review of existing solutions. We argue against all but one existing solution to assess the quality of such forecasts and present practical consequences to improve forecasting services.
Jacques Mourey, Pascal Lacroix, Pierre-Allain Duvillard, Guilhem Marsy, Marco Marcer, Emmanuel Malet, and Ludovic Ravanel
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 445–460,Short summary
More frequent rockfalls in high alpine environments due to climate change are a growing threat to mountaineers. This hazard is particularly important on the classic route up Mont Blanc. Our results show that rockfalls are most frequent during snowmelt periods and the warmest hours of the day, and that mountaineers do not adapt to the local rockfall hazard when planning their ascent. Disseminating the knowledge acquired from our study caused management measures to be implemented for the route.
Tomàs Artés, Marc Castellnou, Tracy Houston Durrant, and Jesús San-Miguel
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 509–522,Short summary
During the last 20 years extreme wildfires have challenged firefighting capabilities. Several fire danger indices are routinely used by firefighting services but are not suited to forecast convective extreme wildfire behaviour at the global scale. This article proposes a new fire danger index for deep moist convection, the extreme-fire behaviour index (EFBI), based on the analysis of the vertical profiles of the atmosphere above wildfires to use along with traditional fire danger indices.
Veronika Hutter, Frank Techel, and Ross S. Purves
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3879–3897,Short summary
How is avalanche danger described in public avalanche forecasts? We analyzed 6000 textual descriptions of avalanche danger in Switzerland, taking the perspective of the forecaster. Avalanche danger was described rather consistently, although the results highlight the difficulty of communicating conditions that are neither rare nor frequent, neither small nor large. The study may help to refine the ways in which avalanche danger could be communicated to the public.
Edilia Jaque Castillo, Alfonso Fernández, Rodrigo Fuentes Robles, and Carolina G. Ojeda
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3663–3678,Short summary
Wildfires pose risks to lives and livelihoods in many regions of the world. Particularly in Chile's central-south region, climate change, widespread land use change, and urban growth tend to increase the likelihood of fire occurrence. Our work focused on the Concepción metropolitan area, where we developed a model using machine learning in order to map wildfire risks. We found that the interface between urban areas and forestry plantations presents the highest risks.
John Sykes, Pascal Haegeli, and Yves Bühler
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for NHESSShort summary
Automated snow avalanche terrain mapping provides an efficient method for large scale assessment of avalanche hazards, which inform risk management decisions for transportation and recreation. This research reduces the costs of developing avalanche terrain maps by using satellite imagery and open source software as well as improving performance in forested terrain. The research relies on local knowledge to evaluate accuracy, so the methods are broadly applicable in mountainous regions worldwide.
Alessandro Gattuso, Francesco Italiano, Giorgio Capasso, Antonino D'Alessandro, Fausto Grassa, Antonino Fabio Pisciotta, and Davide Romano
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3407–3419,Short summary
Santa Barbara and Aragona are affected by mud volcanism with episodic hazardous paroxysm events. Two potentially hazardous paroxysm exposed surfaces of 0.12 and 0.20 km2 were elaborated with DSMs and with historical information on the paroxysms that occurred in the past. This paper, in the end, could be a useful tool for civil protection authorities in order to take appropriate risk mitigation measurements for exposed people and for monitoring activities.
Kathryn C. Fisher, Pascal Haegeli, and Patrick Mair
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3219–3242,Short summary
Avalanche warning services publish condition reports to help backcountry recreationists make informed decisions about when and where to travel in avalanche terrain. We tested how different graphic representations of terrain information can affect users’ ability to interpret and apply the provided information. Our study shows that a combined presentation of aspect and elevation information is the most effective. These results can be used to improve avalanche risk communication products.
Jeffrey Katan and Liliana Perez
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3141–3160,Short summary
Wildfires are an integral part of ecosystems worldwide, but they also pose a serious risk to human life and property. To further our understanding of wildfires and allow experimentation without recourse to live fires, this study presents an agent-based modelling approach to combine the complexity possible with physical models with the ease of computation of empirical models. Model calibration and validation show bottom-up simulation tracks the core elements of complexity of fire across scales.
Xiaowen Wang, Lin Liu, Yan Hu, Tonghua Wu, Lin Zhao, Qiao Liu, Rui Zhang, Bo Zhang, and Guoxiang Liu
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2791–2810,Short summary
We characterized the multi-decadal geomorphic changes of a low-angle valley glacier in the East Kunlun Mountains and assessed the detachment hazard influence. The observations reveal a slow surge-like dynamic pattern of the glacier tongue. The maximum runout distances of two endmember avalanche scenarios were presented. This study provides a reference to evaluate the runout hazards of low-angle mountain glaciers prone to detachment.
Xuguo Shi, Shaocheng Zhang, Mi Jiang, Yuanyuan Pei, Tengteng Qu, Jinhu Xu, and Chen Yang
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2285–2297,Short summary
We mapped the subsidence of Wuhan using Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images acquired during 2015–2019. Overall subsidence coincides with the distribution of engineered geological regions with soft soils, while the subsidence centers shifted with urban construction activities. Correlation between karst subsidence and concentrated rainfall was identified in Qingling–Jiangdi. Results indicate that interferometric SAR can be employed to routinely monitor and identify geohazards.
Mirlan Daiyrov and Chiyuki Narama
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2245–2256,Short summary
In the Teskey Range of the Tien Shan (Kyrgyz Republic), four outburst flood disasters from short-lived glacial lakes in 2006, 2008, 2013, and 2014 caused severe damages in the downstream part. Short-lived glacial lakes grow rapidly and drain within a few months, due to closure and opening of an outlet ice tunnel in an ice-cored moraine complex at the glacier front. We investigated how short-lived glacial lakes store and drain water over short periods based on field survey and satellite data.
Roberto Villalobos-Herrera, Emanuele Bevacqua, Andreia F. S. Ribeiro, Graeme Auld, Laura Crocetti, Bilyana Mircheva, Minh Ha, Jakob Zscheischler, and Carlo De Michele
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1867–1885,Short summary
Climate hazards may be caused by events which have multiple drivers. Here we present a method to break down climate model biases in hazard indicators down to the bias caused by each driving variable. Using simplified fire and heat stress indicators driven by temperature and relative humidity as examples, we show how multivariate indicators may have complex biases and that the relationship between driving variables is a source of bias that must be considered in climate model bias corrections.
Kerstin Wegner, Florian Haas, Tobias Heckmann, Anne Mangeney, Virginie Durand, Nicolas Villeneuve, Philippe Kowalski, Aline Peltier, and Michael Becht
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1159–1177,Short summary
In mountainous regions rockfall is a common geomorphic process. We selected four study sites that feature different rock types. High-resolution terrestrial laser scanning data were acquired to measure the block size and block shape (axial ratio) of rockfall particles on the scree deposits. Laser scanning data were also used to characterize the morphology of these landforms. Our results show that hill slope and rock particle properties govern rock particle runout in a complex manner.
Eszter Szűcs, Sándor Gönczy, István Bozsó, László Bányai, Alexandru Szakacs, Csilla Szárnya, and Viktor Wesztergom
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 977–993,Short summary
Sinkhole formation and post-collapse deformation in the Solotvyno salt mining area was studied where the salt dissolution due to water intrusion poses a significant risk. Based on a Sentinel-1 data set, remarkable surface deformation with a maximum rate of 5 cm/yr was revealed, and it was demonstrated that the deformation process has a linear characteristic although the mining activity was ended more than 10 years ago.
Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, Folmer Krikken, Sophie Lewis, Nicholas J. Leach, Flavio Lehner, Kate R. Saunders, Michiel van Weele, Karsten Haustein, Sihan Li, David Wallom, Sarah Sparrow, Julie Arrighi, Roop K. Singh, Maarten K. van Aalst, Sjoukje Y. Philip, Robert Vautard, and Friederike E. L. Otto
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 941–960,Short summary
Southeastern Australia suffered from disastrous bushfires during the 2019/20 fire season, raising the question whether these have become more likely due to climate change. We found no attributable trend in extreme annual or monthly low precipitation but a clear shift towards more extreme heat. However, this shift is underestimated by the models. Analysing fire weather directly, we found that the chance has increased by at least 30 %, but due to the underestimation it could well be higher.
Andrew R. Schauer, Jordy Hendrikx, Karl W. Birkeland, and Cary J. Mock
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 757–774,Short summary
Our research links upper atmospheric circulation patterns to a destructive and difficult-to-predict type of snow avalanche in the western United States. At each of our study sites, we find unique circulation patterns that tend to occur at the beginning of the winter season during years with major avalanche activity. We also find specific patterns that occur frequently in the days leading to major avalanche events. This work will enable practitioners to better anticipate these challenging events.
Erich Peitzsch, Jordy Hendrikx, Daniel Stahle, Gregory Pederson, Karl Birkeland, and Daniel Fagre
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 533–557,Short summary
We sampled 647 trees from 12 avalanche paths to investigate large snow avalanches over the past 400 years in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Sizable avalanches occur approximately every 3 years across the region. Our results emphasize the importance of sample size, scale, and spatial extent when reconstructing avalanche occurrence across a region. This work can be used for infrastructure planning and avalanche forecasting operations.
Simon Horton, Moses Towell, and Pascal Haegeli
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3551–3576,Short summary
We investigate patterns in how avalanche forecasters characterize snow avalanche hazard with avalanche problem types. Decision tree analysis was used to investigate both physical influences based on weather and on snowpack variables and operational practices. The results highlight challenges with developing decision aids based on previous hazard assessments.
Dan K. Thompson and Kimberly Morrison
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3439–3454,Short summary
We describe critically low relative humidity and high wind speeds above which only documented wildfires were seen to occur and where no agricultural fires were documented in southern Canada. We then applied these thresholds to the much larger satellite record from 2002–2018 to quantify regional differences in both the rate of observed burning and the number of days with critical weather conditions to sustain a wildfire in this grassland and agricultural region.
Chuanguang Zhu, Wenhao Wu, Mahdi Motagh, Liya Zhang, Zongli Jiang, and Sichun Long
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3399–3411,Short summary
We investigate the contemporary ground deformation along the RLHR-HZ using Sentinel-1 data and find that the RLHR-HZ runs through two main subsidence areas. A total length of 35 km of the RLSR-HZ is affected by the two subsidence basins. Considering the previous investigation coupled with information on human activities, we conclude that the subsidence is mainly caused by extraction of groundwater and underground mining.
Negar Ghahramani, Andrew Mitchell, Nahyan M. Rana, Scott McDougall, Stephen G. Evans, and W. Andy Take
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3425–3438,Short summary
Tailings flows result from the breach of tailings dams. These flows contain waste products of the mineral processing operations and can travel substantial distances, causing significant loss of life, environmental damage, and economic costs. This paper establishes a new tailings-flow runout classification system, describes a new database of events that have been mapped in detail using the new system, and examines the applicability of a semi-physical area–volume relationship using the new data.
Tae-Young Kwak, Sang-Inn Woo, Choong-Ki Chung, and Joonyoung Kim
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3343–3359,Short summary
In this study, model tests were used to analyze the effects of rainfall intensity on the formation of the eroded zone and the occurrence of sinkholes due to groundwater infiltration through pipe defects. The model tests were conducted to simulate the actual site conditions considering the soil used around sewer pipe networks and the sewer pipe landfill standards. The groundwater level was applied to the model tests by setting three hydraulic heads based on heavy-rainfall characteristics.
Erwan Le Roux, Guillaume Evin, Nicolas Eckert, Juliette Blanchet, and Samuel Morin
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2961–2977,Short summary
To minimize the risk of structure collapse due to extreme snow loads, structure standards rely on 50-year return levels of ground snow load (GSL), i.e. levels exceeded once every 50 years on average, that do not account for climate change. We study GSL data in the French Alps massifs from 1959 and 2019 and find that these 50-year return levels are decreasing with time between 900 and 4800 m of altitude, but they still exceed return levels of structure standards for half of the massifs at 1800 m.
Bettina Richter, Alec van Herwijnen, Mathias W. Rotach, and Jürg Schweizer
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2873–2888,Short summary
We investigated the sensitivity of modeled snow instability to uncertainties in meteorological input, typically found in complex terrain. The formation of the weak layer was very robust due to the long dry period, indicated by a widespread avalanche problem. Once a weak layer has formed, precipitation mostly determined slab and weak layer properties and hence snow instability. When spatially assessing snow instability for avalanche forecasting, accurate precipitation patterns have to be known.
Francesca Di Giuseppe, Claudia Vitolo, Blazej Krzeminski, Christopher Barnard, Pedro Maciel, and Jesús San-Miguel
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2365–2378,Short summary
Forecasting of daily fire weather indices driven by the ECMWF ensemble prediction system is shown to have a good skill up to 10 d ahead in predicting flammable conditions in most regions of the world. The availability of these forecasts through the Copernicus Emergency Management Service can extend early warnings by up to 1–2 weeks, allowing for greater proactive coordination of resource-sharing and mobilization within and across countries.
Andrea Franco, Jasper Moernaut, Barbara Schneider-Muntau, Michael Strasser, and Bernhard Gems
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2255–2279,Short summary
This study highlights the use of the software Flow-3D in reproducing landslide-generated impulse waves. Due to the available data and the possibility of comparing the results with other previous works, a numerical modelling investigation on the 1958 Lituya Bay tsunami event is proposed. It is noted that the rockslide impact into the waterbody has a key role in the wave initiation and thus its propagation. The concept used in this work can be applied to prevent such phenomena in future.
Frank Techel, Kurt Winkler, Matthias Walcher, Alec van Herwijnen, and Jürg Schweizer
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1941–1953,Short summary
Snow instability tests, like the extended column test (ECT), provide valuable information regarding point snow instability. A large data set of ECT – together with information on slope instability – was explored. The findings clearly show that combining information regarding propagation propensity and fracture initiation provided the best correlation with slope instability. A new four-class stability interpretation scheme is proposed for ECT results.
Silvan Leinss, Raphael Wicki, Sämi Holenstein, Simone Baffelli, and Yves Bühler
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1783–1803,Short summary
To assess snow avalanche mapping with radar satellites in Switzerland, we compare 2 m resolution TerraSAR-X images, 10 m resolution Sentinel-1 images, and optical 1.5 m resolution SPOT-6 images. We found that radar satellites provide a valuable option to map at least larger avalanches, though avalanches are mapped only partially. By combining multiple orbits and polarizations from S1, we achieved mapping results of quality almost comparable to single high-resolution TerraSAR-X images.
Mercy N. Ndalila, Grant J. Williamson, Paul Fox-Hughes, Jason Sharples, and David M. J. S. Bowman
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1497–1511,Short summary
We analyse the evolution of a pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb), or fire-induced thunderstorm, during the Forcett–Dunalley fire on 4 January 2013 and relate it to the prevailing fire weather and fire severity patterns. We show that the pyroCb reached an altitude of 15 km, was associated with elevated fire weather, and formed over a severely burned area. Additionally, we show that eastern Tasmania is prone to elevated fire weather which has implications for fire weather forecasting and fire management.
Robert D. Field
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1123–1147,Short summary
This paper compares fire weather indices calculated from the NASA MERRA-2 reanlaysis to those calculated from a global network of weather stations, finding that, globally, biases in reanalysis fire weather are influenced firstly by temperature and relative humidity and, in certain regions, by precipitation biases. Fire weather forecasts using short-term NASA GEOS-5 weather forecasts are skillful 2 d ahead of time. This skill decreases more quickly with longer lead times at high latitudes.
Alireza Farahmand, E. Natasha Stavros, John T. Reager, Ali Behrangi, James T. Randerson, and Brad Quayle
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 1097–1106,Short summary
Wildfires result in billions of dollars of losses each year. Most wildfire predictions have a 10 d lead-time. This study introduces a framework for a 1-month lead-time prediction of wildfires based on vapor pressure deficit and surface soil moisture in the US. The results show that the model can successfully predict burned area with relatively small margins of error. This is especially important for operational wildfire management such as national resource allocation.
Holt Hancock, Markus Eckerstorfer, Alexander Prokop, and Jordy Hendrikx
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 603–623,Short summary
This work uses terrestrial laser scanning techniques to monitor and quantify changes to snow cornices near Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, with sub-decimeter accuracy. Our findings illustrate how complex interactions between topography and meteorological conditions govern the growth, failure, and associated avalanche activity of the cornices in this location. These findings can help improve forecasting of snow-cornice-related hazards in this and other locations exposed to snow cornice hazards.
Arthur Depicker, Bernard De Baets, and Jan Marcel Baetens
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 363–376,Short summary
In recent years, several valuable nature reserves in Belgium have been severely damaged by wildfires. In order to optimize risk management and prepare for a possibly increasing number of such events, the first wildfire ignition probability map is developed for Belgium, based on data that were obtained from the government and newspaper articles. We find that most ignitions occur in the provinces of Limburg and Antwerp and that most causes are of anthropogenic nature (such as military exercises).
Javier Elío, Giorgia Cinelli, Peter Bossew, José Luis Gutiérrez-Villanueva, Tore Tollefsen, Marc De Cort, Alessio Nogarotto, and Roberto Braga
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2451–2464,Short summary
The first version of the Pan-European Indoor Radon Map is presented in this article. The map has been developed using summary statistics estimated from 1.2 million samples. It represents an average radon concentration per 10 km x 10 km grid cell under the assumption that there are dwellings in the grid cell. It is a major contribution to the understanding of the exposure to ionizing radiation of Europeans and a first step towards a European radon exposure and, in the future, radon dose map.
Michele Perrotti, Piernicola Lollino, Nunzio Luciano Fazio, and Mario Parise
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2079–2095,Short summary
Based on stability charts proposed by Perrotti et al. (2018), preliminary assessment of stability/instability of underground quarries in soft carbonate rocks is discussed with reference to six case studies of underground artificial cavities, including three affected by sinkhole failures in the past and three in stable conditions at present. When underground quarries are suitably surveyed and mapped, a quantitative assessment of the stability conditions is possible.
Reto Sterchi, Pascal Haegeli, and Patrick Mair
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2011–2026,Short summary
Mechanized skiing operations use an established process to select skiing terrain with a low risk level. However, the relationship between appropriate skiing terrain and avalanche conditions has only received limited research attention. Our study examines this relationship numerically for the first time and shows the effects of avalanche hazard, previous skiing, and previous acceptability on different types of skiing terrain and offers the foundation to develop evidence-based decision tools.
Ancey, C. and Bain, V.: Dynamics of glide avalanches and snow gliding, Rev. Geophys., 53, 745–784, https://doi.org/10.1002/2015RG000491, 2015.
ARPA Piemonte (Sistemi Previsionali): Rapporto tecnico mensile Novembre 2014, 2015.
Castebrunet, H., Eckert, N., Giraud, G., Durand, Y., and Morin, S.: Projected changes of snow conditions and avalanche activity in a warming climate: the French Alps over the 2020–2050 and 2070–2100 periods, The Cryosphere, 8, 1673–1697, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-8-1673-2014, 2014.
Ceaglio, E., Mitterer, C., Maggioni, M., Ferraris, S., Segor, V., and Freppaz, M.: The role of soil volumetric liquid water content during snow gliding processes, Cold Reg. Sci. Technol., 136, 17–29, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2017.01.007, 2017.
Clarke, J. A. and McClung, D. M.: Full-depth avalanche occurrences caused by snow gliding. Coquihalla, B.C., Canada, J. Glaciol., 45, 539–546, https://doi.org/10.3189/S0022143000001404, 1999.
Dreier, L., Harvey, S., van Herwijnen, A., and Mitterer, C.: Relating meteorological parameters to glide-snow avalanche activity, Cold Reg. Sci. Technol., 128, 57–68, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2016.05.003, 2016.
Feistl, T., Bebi, P., Dreier, L., Hanewinkel, M., and Bartelt, P.: Quantification of basal friction for technical and silvicultural glide-snow avalanche mitigation measures, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 2921–2931, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-14-2921-2014, 2014.
Fierz, C., Armstrong, R. L., Durand, Y., Etchevers, P., Greene, E., McClung, D. M., Nishimura, K., Satyawali, P. K., and Sokratov, S. A.: The international classification for seasonal snow on the ground. IHP-VII Technical Documents in Hydrology No. 83, IACS Contribution No. 1, UNESCO-IHP, Paris, 2009.
Fromm, R., Baumgärtner, S., Leitinger, G., Tasser, E., and Höller, P.: Determining the drivers for snow gliding, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 1891–1903, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-1891-2018, 2018.
Godio, A., Frigo, B., Chiaia, B., Maggioni, M., Freppaz, M., Ceaglio, E., and Dellavedova, P.: Integration of upward GPR and water content reflectometry to monitor snow properties, Near Surf. Geophys., 16, 1–10, https://doi.org/10.3997/1873-0604.2017060, 2018.
Hartmann, D. L., Klein Tank, A. M. G., Rusticucci, M., Alexander, L. V., Brönnimann, S., Charabi, Y., Dentener, F. J., Dlugokencky, E. J., Easterling, D. R., Kaplan, A., Soden, B. J., Thorne, P. W., Wild, M., and Zhai, P. M.: Observations: Atmosphere and Surface. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by: Stocker, T. F., Qin, D., Plattner, G.-K., Tignor, M., Allen, S. K., Boschung, J., Nauels, A., Xia, Y., Bex, V., and Midgley, P. M., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, U”Sant'Anna”, 2013.
Höller, P.: Snow gliding and glide avalanches: a review, Nat. Hazards, 71, 1259–1288, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-013-0963-9, 2014.
In der Gand, H. and Zupancic, M.: Snow gliding and avalanches, IAHS Publ., 69, 230–242, 1966.
Lal, R. and Shukla, M. K.: Principles of Soil Physics. Marcel Dekker Inc., NewYork-U”Sant'Anna”, Basel, CH, 2004.
Leitinger, G., Hoeller, P., Tasser, E., Walde, J. and Tappeiner, U.: Development and validation of a spatial snow-glide model, Ecol. Model., 211, 363–374, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2007.09.015, 2008.
Maggioni, M., Godone, D., Höller, P., Oppi, L., Stanchi, S., Frigo, B. and Freppaz, M.: Snow gliding susceptibility: the Monterosa Ski resort, NW Italian Alps, J. Maps, 12, 115–121, https://doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2016.1167785, 2016.
Margueritat, D.: Retour d'observations sur les plaques de reptation, Neige & Avalanches, 152, 18–22, 2016.
Morán-Tejeda, E., López-Moreno, J. I., Stoffel, M., and Beniston, M.: Rain-on-snow events in Switzerland: Recent observations and projections for the 21st century, Clim. Res., 71, 111–125, https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01435, 2016.
Stanchi, S., Freppaz, M., and Zanini, E.: The influence of Alpine soil properties on shallow movement hazards, investigated through factor analysis, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 1845–1854, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-12-1845-2012, 2012.