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Michael Neuhauser, Anselm Köhler, Rene Neurauter, Marc S. Adams and Jan-Thomas Fischer, "Particle trajectories, velocities, accelerations and rotation rates in snow avalanches," Annals of Glaciology, pp. 1–18, October 2023.


Understanding the dynamics of snow avalanches is crucial for predicting their destructive potential and mobility. To gain insight into avalanche dynamics at a particle level, the AvaNode in-flow sensor system was developed. These synthetic particles, equipped with advanced and affordable sensors such as an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and global navigation satellite system (GNSS), travel with the avalanche flow. This study focuses on assessing the feasibility of the in-flow measurement systems. The experiments were conducted during the winter seasons of 2021–2023, both in static snow cover and dynamic avalanche conditions of medium-sized events. Radar measurements were used in conjunction with the particle trajectories and velocities to understand the behaviour of the entire avalanche flow. The dynamic avalanche experiments allowed to identify three distinct particle flow states: (I) initial rapid acceleration, (II) a steady state flow with the highest velocities (9–17 ms−1), and (III) a longer deceleration state accompanied by the largest measured rotation rates. The particles tend to travel towards the tail of the avalanche and reach lower velocities compared to the frontal approach velocities deduced from radar measurements (ranging between 23–28 ms−1). The presented data give a first insight in avalanche particle measurements.

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Michael Neuhauser
Anselm Köhler
Rene Neurauter
Marc S. Adams
Jan-Thomas Fischer

BibTeX reference

    author = {Neuhauser, Michael and K{\"{o}}hler, Anselm and Neurauter, Rene and Adams, Marc S. and Fischer, Jan-Thomas},
    doi = {10.1017/aog.2023.69},
    title = {{Particle trajectories, velocities, accelerations and rotation rates in snow avalanches}},
    pages = {1--18},
    journal = {Annals of Glaciology},
    issn = {0260-3055},
    publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
    month = {10},
    year = {2023},

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