Item: Characterization of a deep slab instability
Title: Characterization of a deep slab instability
Proceedings: 2002 International Snow Science Workshop, Penticton, British Columbia
Authors: Ethan Greene, Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Greg Johnson Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center, Logan, Utah
Abstract: In early January 2002, a warm and moist storm formed an ice crust on the snow surface throughout the Wasatch Mountains of northern Utah. Faceted snow layers that later formed above and below this ice crust were responsible for several periods of significant avalanche activity in the mountains near Salt Lake City. This lingering avalanche cycle was unique because the weak layer became very sensitive at several different times during the winter. During these periods natural, explosive released, and human triggered avalanches occurred. The focus of this paper is to discuss weather and snowpack parameters leading to the formation of the facet-crust combination and to describe the subsequent avalanche cycles and associated forecasting problems.
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Keywords: snow, avalanche, avalanche accidents, avalanche release, snow stability, forecasting, skier triggering
Digital Abstract Not Available