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  • Created by: niamhla
  • Created on: 30-03-16 20:24

Avalanches occur frequently in areas where snowfall is very prevalent. These two main types of avalanches- Slab Avalanches and Loose Snow Avalanches.

Slab Avalanches
This type of avalanche tends to be the more deadly type. They involve an entire slab of ice and snow shearing away from the hillside and moving downhill rapidly, carrying rocks and trees as it goes, and therefore cause the most amount of damage.

Loose Snow Avalanches
This type of avalanche usually forms with powdery snow and start at one point. Loose Snow Avalanches don't cause as much destruction as Slab Avalanches.

The Causes of Avalanches

  • Heavy Snowfall:  The extra snowfall adds weight to uneven snowfalls and some layers becomes heavier due to accumulation or melting and there is a sudden slip, which causes the avalanche. These avalanches mostly occur within 24 hours of heavy snowfall.
  • Steep Slopes: Avalanches are more likely occur of slopes more than 30 degrees.
  • Rising Temperature: Sudden rises in temperature create fast melting which lubricates the slope and causes an avalanche. 
  • Human Activity: Off-piste skiing is one of the main…


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