Item: An overview of snow and avalanche research in indian himalaya
Title: An overview of snow and avalanche research in indian himalaya
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2000 International Snow Science Workshop, October 1-6, Big Sky, Montana
Authors: IS. S. Sharma, Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Manali (H.P.) India
Abstract: Snow and avalanche research in India took its roots during early sixties. Though Indian Himalaya have a very large area which experiences seasonal snow cover and permanent snow-bed, SASE has oriented its research to study problems related to specific areas of relevance. Indian Himalaya, experience such a wide diversity in climatic and precipitation patterns that the snow properties and related avalanche activity assume a wide variation. This has necessitated orientation of its research programme, which is in slight variance with what is being followed in Europe and North America. In the field of Snow Physics and Mechanics, we are engaged in studying properties of snow in the range of -10°C to -3°C and relating such studies to microstructure. In the field of avalanche forecasting, we are engaged in developing a Nearest-Neighbour model and an expert system for some specific areas while using a process oriented approach for the general area. In the field of avalanche dynamics we are concentrating on development of dynamic models for wet and semi-wet snow avalanches taking cohesion as an important friction parameter. In the field of avalanche control structures, we are engaged in developing design criteria for retaining barriers encountering highdensity semi-wet snow with large depths and rapid settlement. For assessment of snow cover properties of a large area through satellite imageries, we are engaged in developing suitable algorithms for change detection, pattern recognition and snow characteristic classification. The paper describes the snow and avalanche problem with respect to Western Himalaya and discusses some specific areas where snow and avalanche related research is being done at SASE.
Keywords: avalanche climate, himalayan snow, indian avalanche, indian himalaya
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