Risk assessment in avalanche-prone areas

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This paper addresses the problem of defining a proper method for for mal risk analysis in avalanche-prone areas. In this study, risk is defined as the annual probability of being killed by an avalanche for someone living or working permanently in a building under a hazardous hillside. A new methodology to estimate the hazard component of avalanche risk based on the use of dynamic models is introduced. This approach seems to have some advantages over the current methods based on statistical analysis of historic avalanche data. The vulnerability component of risk is formulated as a function of avalanche velocity, according to previous formulations. However, given the lack of knowledge on how avalanche impact damages structures and causes fatalities, the effect on the resulting risk mapping of using different vulnerability relations is explored. The potential of the proposed approach for evaluating the residual risk after the implementation of de-fensive structural work is discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756404781815103

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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