Item: Sensitive avalanche paths: using a new method for inventory and classification of risk
Title: Sensitive avalanche paths: using a new method for inventory and classification of risk
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2006 International Snow Science Workshop, Telluride, Colorado
Authors: François RAPIN, Laurent BELANGER, Antoine HURAND, Jean-Marc BERNARD
Abstract: The dangerousness of all avalanche paths which threat winter living buildings is upon inventory and classification in France. It seeks to reveal the avalanche sites which deserve particular precautions and a deepened avalanche study. Under the order of the French Department of Environment, the Cemagref Institute established methods and tools in 2003 and 2004, and the National Forest Service filled the data. The method is simple and original. Its main characteristics are to be as objectives as possible, and short to fill (around one hour for a well known site). The different main criteria are vulnerability (major one), morphology, history and snow- climatology. The dangerousness of a site is classified in 3 groups: strong sensitivity, with around 10% of the number, doubtful, with around 20%, and low. The inventory has been realised by the National Forest Service in 2003: 1276 avalanche paths with buildings were detected all over France, and 1915 with roads only. The classification is filled for 227 avalanche paths in March 2005 and for around 390 new in May 2006. It represents ~41% of the total. The paper shows the results for these sites. The classification for another group of 286 avalanche sites (~23%) is in course in 2006. Local public authorities are informed of the results of this program, and a web site, www.avalanches.fr, provides data of all sites. Avalanche hazard maps and avalanche permanent survey will be committed for the strong sensitive sites which don’t have them yet.
Keywords: avalanche risk, inventory, classification, data base
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