Item: A relational database for snow avalanches
Title: A relational database for snow avalanches
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1994 International Snow Science Workshop, Snowbird, Utah, USA
Authors: Magnus Mar Magnusson and Halla Burg Baldursdotti
Abstract: In order to be able to have a better overview of the avalanche history and to try and analyze the prevailing meteorological conditions at the time of an avalanche, the Snow Avalanche Division of the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) set about designing an electronic database. The setup of the tables is such as to minimize entries via the keyboard and thus minimizing typing errors. The integrity of the database system allows us to set up rules such that e.g. it is not possible to enter an avalanche unless information on the track has been entered previously. And it is not possible to enter an avalanche track unless one has entered the county in which the track is located. In the future, the idea is to link the avalanche database with the IMO meteorological database, such as to include information on the prevailing meteorological conditions for individual avalanche occurrences or cycles. Conversely it would be possible to look up certain meteorological conditions (e.g. similar to the ones that are dominant at the present) and see what has happened in the past during those occasions. The Avalanche database will also be directly linked to a Geographical Information System (GIS) such that spatial analysis can be done on the meteorological conditions leading up to an avalanche or avalanche cycle. Snowpit information will also be linked to both the GIS and the database so that spatial analyses will include snow stratigraphy. It is hoped that in the future all this information will greatly aid in the avalanche forecasting, hazard analyses, zoning etc.
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Keywords: forecasting, hazard analyses, zoning
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