Avalanch Essay Research Paper Each year in

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Avalanch Essay, Research Paper Each year in the U.S. alone thousands of avalanches occur. The avalanches happen at many ski resorts, and sometimes killing and injuring people who went out of bounds or did not listen to the instructors. The avalanches also happen on other mountains that people are hiking and climbing on the mountains. In the Cascades every year lots of avalanches occur with out causing any damage to anything. This year alone in North America 32 people have died due to avalanches. Avalanches don’t have to happen on a mountain. They can happen were ever there is snow lying on ground of sufficient angle. In recent years there have been accidents with avalanches on the English Lakes, the Cheviots and the Pennines and Wales (Marchant 52-53, About Avalanches) The

rising amount of backcountry skiing and snowboarding is not good. That it because where they ski, the snow is not safe and is easily caused to slide. On Mount Baker in Washington a skier was 15 feet out of bounds and was covered by a 15-foot wave of snow. (Martinet 52-53) Many things can and will cause avalanches. Many factors cause avalanches. Weather is the most important factor in determining whether avalanches are likely, and the evaluation of the snowpack is entirely dependent on this. The snowpack depends on the weather. One day it could be warm out, warming the snow to 0 degrees. Then the next day could 10 below. That would make the snow icy on top and kind of sugary underneath. That would be a likely problem for a hiker. They could cause some snow to slide and it would go

fast. It would go fast because the sugary snow acts as ball bearings making the crusty layer slide in big sheets destroying things. An other weather factor is a storm. It is said that 90% of all avalanches occur during snowstorms. Other weather factors also affect avalanche activity but not as much as storms and temperature. Terrain also has an affect on how avalanches are caused. If the ground is rocky underneath the snow it is not a likely that an avalanche will start because the rocks will hold the snow between themselves and kind of packs the snow tighter. When the rocks are covered surface avalanche activity is unhindered. The terrain also consists of the Slope. When there is a slope between 25 and 45 degrees, you are more likely to have a large slab avalanche. The snowpack

is a very important factor in determining whether an avalanche may occur. When checking the snow layers there is no need to dig to the ground level, only the first reasonably thick layer of neve (refrozen old snow). Smoothing the back wall of the pit and probing with a finger all the way down may then identify the snow layer. Look for these features. Adjacent layers of different hardness, very soft layers, water drops squeezed out of a snowball made of any layer, layers of ice, layers of graupel (rounded heavily rimmed pellets), airspace, and layers of loose uncohesive grains. The people on the mountains cause the avalanches too. They cause the avalanches by disrupting the snow by making loud noises, by skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling also. All the carving in the snow by

the people and their toys causes breaks in the snow and that creates a very likely factor for a slab avalanche. People all do other things that might not thing will cause an avalanche. (About Avalanches) The physical characteristics of an avalanche can be broken down to the types of avalanches and what they do. One avalanche is the slab avalanche. This kind of avalanche is large slabs of hard snow sliding on the surface of the graupel. The graupel works a ball barring for the slab to slide on. Allowing the snow to reach speeds of two hundred mile per hour. The slab of snow is often hard and destroys everything in its way. The slab avalanche has a fracture of fault line where it breaks away from the other snow and starts to slide. The fault can be caused by almost anything, like a