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Michael Neuhauser, Rene Neurauter, Marc Adams, Anselm Köhler, Robert Winkler, Falko Dressler, Wolfgang Fellin, Johannes Gerstmayr and Jan-Thomas Fischer, "Multi-sensor investigation of particle movement in snow avalanches," Proceedings of IUGG General Assembly, Berlin, Germany, July 2023, pp. IUGG23–3488.


Knowledge of particle motion in snow avalanches is crucial to understand the driving processes, determining transport phenomena or to quantify the avalanche’s destructiveness and mobility. To better understand inner avalanche dynamics regarding acceleration, rotation and velocity on a particle level, the in-flow sensor system AvaNode was developed. These synthetic particles with different shapes, densities and sizes, are transported with the avalanche flow and are equipped with state-of-the-art, low-cost sensors, like an inertial measurement unit (IMU), a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) and radio ranging (RR). Experiments inside small to medium sized avalanches in the winter seasons 2021/22 and 2022/23, were combined with supplementary radar measurements, examining the particle trajectory in relation to the avalanche flow. By merging the multi sensor datasets, we were able to relate the magnitude of measured accelerations and rotation rates to different flow phases that were identified via GNSS tracking. The three identified particle flow phases are: (I) an initial, rapid acceleration, (II) a shorter steady state flow accompanied by the highest velocities and (III) a longer deceleration phase characterized by the largest measured rotations. The performed experiments and acquired datasets, show that the multi sensor analysis leads to a more versatile data interpretation and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each sensor technology. A detailed analysis of the data allowed to reveal several interesting flow features on the particle level and highlights the potential of the extendable in flow measurement system AvaNode towards experimentally investigating and computationally simulating further snow and particle properties.

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Michael Neuhauser
Rene Neurauter
Marc Adams
Anselm Köhler
Robert Winkler
Falko Dressler
Wolfgang Fellin
Johannes Gerstmayr
Jan-Thomas Fischer

BibTeX reference

    author = {Neuhauser, Michael and Neurauter, Rene and Adams, Marc and K{\"{o}}hler, Anselm and Winkler, Robert and Dressler, Falko and Fellin, Wolfgang and Gerstmayr, Johannes and Fischer, Jan-Thomas},
    title = {{Multi-sensor investigation of particle movement in snow avalanches}},
    pages = {IUGG23--3488},
    address = {Berlin, Germany},
    booktitle = {IUGG General Assembly},
    month = {7},
    year = {2023},

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