Item: Avalanche Hazard Mapping and Risk Assessment in Iceland
Title: Avalanche Hazard Mapping and Risk Assessment in Iceland
Proceedings: Proceedings Whistler 2008 International Snow Science Workshop September 21-27, 2008
- Harpa Grímsdóttir [ Icelandic Meteorological Office, Avalanche Research Center, IS-400 Ísafjörður, ICELAND ]
Abstract: A number of avalanche accidents have occurred in Icelandic towns since urbanization started in the late 19th century. In the year 1995, 34 people were killed in avalanche accidents in two villages in the northwestern part of Iceland. Most of the victims were inside houses that were located outside of hazard zones according to the hazard maps at that time. These accidents led to a complete review of the hazard mapping methods in Iceland, as well as the way to think about acceptable level of avalanche risk in settled areas. New laws and regulations were conducted where the acceptable level of risk was defined as 0.2 of 10,000 when looking at the annual probability of death for individuals in houses. A new methodology was developed for hazard mapping, based on a combination of physical models and statistical methods. Today, new hazard maps displaying isorisk lines have been made for most urban areas with considerable level of avalanche risk, and avalanche hazard is being evaluated for rural areas and ski operations. The latest development of the methodology focuses on the systematic usage of 2D avalanche models in hazard mapping.
Language of Article: English
Presenters: Harpa Grímsdóttir
Keywords: avalanche risk, hazard mapping, individual risk, iceland, risk assessment, acceptable risk