Item: Analyzing the environmental effects on the danger of avalanches using geoinformation technology
Title: Analyzing the environmental effects on the danger of avalanches using geoinformation technology
Proceedings: International Snow Science Workshop, Davos 2009, Proceedings
Authors: G. Gruber1, A. Hecke1,* and A. Wieser1 1 Carinthian University of Applied Science, Department of Geoinformation, Villach, Austria
Abstract: Actual and high quality spatial data and information are the foundation in the daily workflow in a common avalanche warning center. One essential activity is the analysis of spatial data every day. Geoinformation (GI) Technologies offer great capabilities to improve workflows of acquiring, storing, analyzing and visualizing this spatial data. This paper will outline the potentials of GIS Technologies in detail using the example of the Carinthian Avalanche Warning Center (Austria). The focus of the presentation will detail how a GIS based raster model is used for evaluating spatial information of automated generated weather station data. Based on reclassifying the meteorological factors precipitation, temperature and wind regarding their influence on avalanche formation we propose a weighted overlay analysis. Furthermore this basic evaluation of weather data is correlated to the terrain parameters slope, aspect, curvature and altitude. The terrain data is derived from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in a resolution of 10m. Finally we visualize the results and provide a basic assessment of potential hazard zones. The model was tested for the regions Hohe Tauern, Carnic Alps and Karawanken in Carinthia using weather station data of February 2006 and our results were compared to the evaluation of the danger zones reported by an avalanche expert in those days. Future developments are partitioning the observation area in disjoint regions and calibrating the GIS model for each region based on its specific weather and terrain characteristics. Using standard Web-GIS techniques we will provide optimized maps as well as more sophisticated analysis possibilities.
Keywords: geographic information systems (gis), meteorological analysis, weather stations, raster model, avalanche bulletins
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