Item: Avalanche forecasting with gis
Title: Avalanche forecasting with gis
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1996 International Snow Science Workshop, Banff, Canada
Authors: R. Bolognesi, M. Denuelle, L. Dexter, Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, Davos, Switzerland, Department of Geography, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona
Abstract: Avalanches depend on snowpack stability as well as terrain conditions. Thus, these two kinds of information are required to perform punctual predictions. However, if the site is very large, including many gullies and slopes, it may be difficult to define the starting zone. Therefore, a detailed topographic analysis of the site is useful. This analysis can be done by a Geographic Information System (GIS). This paper presents an idea: using a GIS to determine and describe the starting zone(s) of a large avalanche site in order to provide computed inputs to a local avalanche forecasting model. This model is the NxLog system, which was designed at the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (Bolognesi, 1994). NxLog is an expert system running symbolic calculations as well as nearest neighbor procedure. The aim of this system is to provide every day the probability of avalanche occurrence for each starting zone of a defined area (a ski resort for example). Is it possible and profitable to make the GIS and NxLog work together? This is the question we want to answer.
Keywords: local avalanche forecasting, geographic information systems (gis)
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