Photogrammetric avalanche volume measurements at Vallée de la Sionne, Switzerland
Abstract:During winter 1999 three large avalanche events were triggered by explosives at SLF's avalanche test site, Vallée de la Sionne, canton Valais, Switzerland. One important goal of these large-scale field experiments was to measure the release and deposition volumes of avalanches by photogrammetric methods. In this paper, the photogrammetric measurements of all three avalanches are summarized. For one avalanche event it was possible to realize the whole measuring procedure as planned, and to obtain volume measurements before and after the avalanche triggering. In the other two avalanche events, the photographs before the triggering of the avalanche failed. Nevertheless the photographs taken after the avalanches provide valuable information on the fracture depth at the fracture line. The mean fracture depth of the largest avalanche was about 2.10 m, varying between 1 and 3.5 m over a width of > 1000 m. The total volume of the deposition of all three avalanche events was about 1300 000 m3. The deposits are distributed over a length of > 1000 m with depths up to 30 m. The difference between the released and deposited volumes proved that avalanches entrain a large amount of snow along the avalanche track. Furthermore, the snow distribution in the deposition zone provides important information about the behaviour of a dense flowing avalanche in the runout zone.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2001
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