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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Snow avalanche risk and decision support using GIS for avalanches penetrating forest cutblocks Weisinger, Peter Franz

Abstract

In this thesis I explore the phenomenon of natural avalanches which run out into cutblocks. 200 avalanche paths were examined in the coast and interior ranges of British Columbia. Terrain characteristics of these avalanche paths were recorded using a combination of GIS and field techniques. The nature of the terrain parameters was examined, and the relationship of terrain variables to avalanche frequency and magnitude was explored. An attempt was made, using the results of this study to present a method for assessing risk to proposed and existing cutblocks using a decision analytical approach, in which preliminary risk mapping is accomplished using GIS mapping methods. A more detailed assessment of risk is carried out using information collected in the field. Some mitigation methods for reducing avalanche risk are presented.

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