Item: Snow avalanche penetration into mature forest in timber harvested terrain
Title: Snow avalanche penetration into mature forest in timber harvested terrain
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2004 International Snow Science Workshop, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Authors: G. Anderso* and D. McClung, University of British Columbia
Abstract: Clear cut logging in British Columbia, Canada is creating new avalanche start zones that can produce snow avalanches sufficient in size to penetrate and destroy mature forest cover. The presence of these logging cut blocks can augment the destructive potential of previously existing avalanche paths as well as create new avalanche start zones. These forest penetrating avalanches pose a risk to down-slope structures and resources. This study develops and utilises the first database (known of) containing information on avalanche forest penetration distances and lateral spread through forest cover. The study area for this research spans the Southern Coast and Columbia Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Analysis focuses on terrain characteristics related to forest penetration and the resultant destruction of mature standing forest. Physical terrain and vegetation characteristics in the avalanche starting zone, track, and runout zones from 45 forest penetrating avalanches are described, measured, and parameterised. The results provide base tools to assess and evaluate potential avalanche terrain and to develop runout models for avalanches in forested terrain.
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Keywords: snow avalanche, timber harvest, forest damage, clear-cut
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