Item: New perspective on computer-aided avalanche forecasting: scale and scale issues
Title: New perspective on computer-aided avalanche forecasting: scale and scale issues
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2000 International Snow Science Workshop, October 1-6, Big Sky, Montana
Authors: Pascal Hageli and David M. McClung, Dept. Geography The University of British Columbia, Vancouver B.C., Canada
Abstract: This paper discusses the problems related to scale in avalanche forecasting models. The term 'scale' refers to a characteristic length or time of a process, observation or model. Following the ideas of Bloschl and Sivapalan (1995), it is shown that the scale characteristics of these three entities can be quite different depending on their individual properties. If these scales do not completely agree with each other, the information transfer between them involves inter- or extrapolation. This adjustment process between different scales is referred to as 'scaling' and the problems associated with it are scale issues. Ignoring these issues can have significant effects on the quality of the model prediction. The analysis of currently used avalanche forecasting methods and computer models reveals four main problems in this field: (a) the inability of weather monitoring networks to capture small scale phenomena such as snowdrift or surface hoar formation; (b) the insufficient spatiai resolution of snow profile measurements with regard to their natural variability; (c) the poor resolution of stability measurements; and (d) the contradictions between input and output scales in avalanche forecasting models. Preliminary thoughts for the solution of these scale problems are presented in this paper.
Language of Article:
Keywords: avalanche forecasting, scale, computer models
Digital Abstract Not Available