Articles | Volume 6, issue 6
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 6, 911–926, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-6-911-2006
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 6, 911–926, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-6-911-2006

  26 Oct 2006

26 Oct 2006

Spatially explicit avalanche risk assessment linking Bayesian networks to a GIS

A. Grêt-Regamey2,1 and D. Straub3 A. Grêt-Regamey and D. Straub
  • 1WSL Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, Research Unit Ecosystem Boudaries, 7260 Davos, Switzerland
  • 2Eidgenössiche Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETHZ), ETH Hönggerberg, LEP, IRL: HIL H32.1, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
  • 3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1710, USA

Abstract. Avalanche disasters are associated with significant monetary losses. It is thus crucial that avalanche risk assessments are based on a consistent and proper assessment of the uncertainties involved in the modelling of the avalanche run-out zones and the estimations of the damage potential. We link a Bayesian network (BN) to a Geographic Information System (GIS) for avalanche risk assessment in order to facilitate the explicit modelling of all relevant parameters, their causal relations and the involved uncertainties in a spatially explicit manner. The suggested procedure is illustrated for a case study area (Davos, Switzerland) located in the Swiss Alps. We discuss the potential of such a model by comparing the risks estimated using the probabilistic framework to those obtained by a traditional risk assessment procedure. The presented model may serve as a basis for developing a consistent and unified risk assessment approach.

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