Item: Periodic patterns in snow stability
Title: Periodic patterns in snow stability
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1980 International Snow Science Workshop, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Authors: Peter Lev, Mountain Guide, Aspen, CO. and Cliff Mohwinkel, mho Engineering, Aspen, CO.
Abstract: The art and science of snow avalanche prediction is built around saving lives. This study is based upon 181 avalanches which occurred during a 23-year period in which 157 people died and brings out the fact that most of these fatalities occurred at periodic and predictable times. Therefore, the assumption can be made that future avalanches are likely to occur at periodic and predictable times. This is borne out in recent avalanche accidents. With the tables described, and risk periods given, similar efficacy in avalanche forecasting can be obtained. No claim is made as to the cause of the correlation of the data given. Many interesting and plausible ideas have come from people who are familiar with this data. It is the belief of the authors that these concepts will remain unproven for many years to come. However, the fact that the exact causality of these events is unknown does not refute their existence. This paper describes what happens, not why. We have put these remarks in because the unknown nature of the causality of events has been very disturbing to many readers, especially those in the scientific community.
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Keywords: fatalities, avalanche accidents, snow stability, risk
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