Item: Scent movement in avalanche debris: a dog handler’s perspective
Title: Scent movement in avalanche debris: a dog handler’s perspective
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2004 International Snow Science Workshop, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Authors: Paul A. Brusseau, Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs
Abstract: Avalanche search dogs are trained to locate human scent rising from avalanche debris. Handlers must understand how atmospheric conditions affect scent availability to the search dog and how search tactics might be adjusted to improve chances of success based on observations of these atmospheric conditions. Dog handlers must understand that human scent moves through the debris as vapor (probably along with water vapor). Usually this movement is from warmer areas, towards cooler areas. The movement is not always from the bottom toward the top. As the snow may be warmed or cooled during a search effort, scent may rise, hold in place or even be driven deeper into the debris.
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Keywords: heat energy, rescue dogs, victims, scent
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