Avalanche frequency and magnitude: using power-law exponents to investigate snow avalanche size proportions through time and space

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Geography
Author Naisbitt, Adam
Title Avalanche frequency and magnitude: using power-law exponents to investigate snow avalanche size proportions through time and space
Date 2008-05-31
Description Power-laws provide a means for investigating snow avalanche frequency/magnitude relationships and their contributing factors. This research uses power-laws to explore variations in avalanche size proportions through space and time, as well as investigating factors which may contribute to these variations. Data utilized for this work include the Westwide Avalanche Network data from the western United States for regional analyses, with path-specific analyses focused on data from Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon. Results show power-law exponents vary through space both at the regional level and between individual avalanche paths. Avalanche size proportions, with respect to space, are the product of terrain-based variables at both the mountain range and the path levels, with the average start zone to the runout slope significantly correlated to the proportion of small to large avalanches. This research also indicates that variation in exponents through time is indicative of changes in seasonal weather and snowpack characteristics, with mean snow height also significantly correlated to the proportion of small to large avalanches. Knowledge of power-law exponents for particular avalanche paths, and their relationship to seasonal snowpack depth, may be helpful for managing avalanches along highway corridors, in ski areas, or in backcountry forecasting operations.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Avalanche forecasting; Avalanche models
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name MS
Language eng
Relation is Version of Digital reproduction of "Avalanche frequency and magnitude: using power-law exponents to investigate snow avalanche size proportions through time and space" J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections TA7.5 2008 .N34
Rights Management © Adam Naisbitt
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 50,048 bytes
Identifier us-etd2,114459
Source Original: University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections
Conversion Specifications Original scanned on Epson GT-30000 as 400 dpi to pdf using ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Professional Edition.
ARK ark:/87278/s6w671b6
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-23
Date Modified 2012-05-17
ID 193060
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6w671b6
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