Item: The "lavanchers" avalanche of february 23rd 1999, aosta valley, italy
Title: The "lavanchers" avalanche of february 23rd 1999, aosta valley, italy
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2000 International Snow Science Workshop, October 1-6, Big Sky, Montana
Authors: Massimiliano Barbolini, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, Enrico Ceriani, Avalanche Consultant, Aosta, Italy, Giorgio Del Monte and Valerio Segor, Aosta Valley Autonomous Region, Aosta, Italy, Fabrizio Savi, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Rome, I
Abstract: The purpose of the present contribution is to present and analyse in detail an avalanche event which occurred on February 23rd 1999 in the Western Italian Alps, at Morgex, Aosta Valley. The powder component of a huge mixed-type avalanche released from the Lavanchers basin affected the Dailley hamlet, causing great damage to the buildings and one fatality. The avalanche event is firstly framed within a brief presentation of the snowfall conditions and avalanche activity over the Italian Alps during the critical month, February 1999. Then, its observed characteristics are exposed, in order to address the main unknowns of the problem, such as the evaluation of the release scenario and the interpretation of the type of flow and dynamic behaviour of the avalanche. The destructive effects of the snow flow on the threatened area are also presented and discussed, as well as the subsequent countermeasures undertaken. The analysis of this real world case study gives valuable hints for concluding remarks on key aspects of avalanche risk management, such as prevention and planning of structural defence works.
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Keywords: catastrophic avalanches, winter 1999, italian alps, lavanchers avalanche, protective measures
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