Application of statistical simulation for avalanche-risk evaluation
Abstract:Avalanche risk is considered as the probability of an avalanche event that could cause certain losses. A unified approach for avalanche-risk evaluation by statistical simulation is suggested. A chain of models, describing snow deposition, transformation, stability, avalanche dynamics and interaction with an obstacle, is used within such an approach. Each of the models evaluates a given situation in a deterministic manner, yielding a unique result value. Output data of each model can be the input for the next model in the chain. Uncertainty of input data is described in a probabilistic manner. Using the chain of the deterministic models and simulating the input data according to appropriate probability distributions with the Monte Carlo method, risk evaluations are obtained as the ratio of a number of certain types of outcome to the total number of tests. All kinds of information on weather, snow and avalanches can be used within this scheme. The simulation process can be started at any stage of the modelling. In this study it was started from the snow-cover stability simulation. Application of the statistical simulation in such a way gives an opportunity to reflect uncertainty of the initial data in the results obtained. The suggested scheme was used for producing a computer-assisted workplace for avalanche forecasting, "LAVINA", which has been exploited at the Centre of Avalanche Safety of "Apatit", Kirovsk, Russia, since the early 1990s. It is an integrated system that permits spatial and temporal estimations of snow stability and avalanche dynamics to be made. Assessments of the validity of the risk estimation made with LAVINA are presented.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2001-01-01
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