Characteristics and hazards of different snow avalanche types in a continental snow climate region in the Central Tianshan Mountains
Snow avalanches are a common natural hazard in many countries with seasonally snow-covered mountains. The avalanche hazard varies with snow avalanche type in different snow climate regions and at different times. The ability to understand the characteristics of avalanche activity and hazards of different snow avalanche types is a prerequisite for improving avalanche disaster management in the mid-altitude region of the Central Tianshan Mountains. In this study, we collected data related to avalanche, snowpack, and meteorology during four snow seasons (from 2015 to 2019), and analysed the characteristics and hazards of different types of avalanches. The snow climate of the mid-altitude region of the Central Tianshan Mountains was examined using a snow climate classification scheme, and the results showed that the mountain range has a continental snow climate. To quantify the hazards of different types of avalanches and describe their situation over time in the continental snow climate region, this study used the avalanche hazard degree to assess the hazards of four types of avalanches, i.e., full-depth dry snow avalanches, full-depth wet snow avalanches, surface-layer dry snow avalanches, and surface-layer wet snow avalanches. The results indicated that surface-layer dry snow avalanches were characterized by large sizes and high release frequencies, which made them having the highest avalanche hazard degree in the Central Tianshan Mountains with a continental snow climate. The overall avalanche hazard showed a single peak pattern over time during the snow season, and the greatest hazard occurred in the second half of February when the snowpack was deep and the temperature increased. This study can help the disaster and emergency management departments rationally arrange avalanche relief resources and develop avalanche prevention strategies.
continental snow climate; avalanche hazard; full-depth snow avalanche; surface-layer snow avalanche; hazard assessment; disaster management
HAO, Jiansheng; MIND'JE, Richard; LIU, Yang; HUANG, Farong; ZHOU, Hao; and LI, Lanhai
"Characteristics and hazards of different snow avalanche types in a continental snow climate region in the Central Tianshan Mountains,"
Journal of Arid Land: Vol. 13
, Article 1.
Available at: https://egijournals.researchcommons.org/journal-of-arid-land/vol13/iss4/1