Avalanche Danger and Mitigation

Pages: 39 (3257 words) Published: February 17, 2014
AVALANCHE DANGER AND AVALANCHE MITIGATION
STRATEGIES: LINKAGES TO CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL
CHANGE IN SERFAUS, AUSTRIA
by
Larissa Nora van der Laan
CAPSTONE THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
Leiden University College The Hague

Supervisor: Dr. Paul Hudson

2013

Abstract
Snow avalanches are a constant hazard in the Alps, threatening tourists and inhabitants. The objective of this thesis is to research the linkages between avalanche danger, avalanche mitigation strategies and climate and environmental change in Serfaus, Austria. For this purpose, it presents a literature review and the application of a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) modeled avalanche hazard map. It is found that climate change will cause lower temperatures and fluctuations in temperature and precipitation in the Alps. Environmental change will occur because of the increase in winter tourism and cause deforestation and erosion. These effects of climate and environmental change will cause an increase in avalanche danger, which calls for development in avalanche mitigation strategies. The results demonstrate that GIS hazard mapping is an essential component in the first level of avalanche mitigation strategies: research and prediction.

Keywords: Avalanche Danger, Mitigation Strategies, Climate Change, Environmental Change, GIS, Hazard Mapping
Larissa van der Laan
The Hague, May 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Table of Contents

 

 

 
Abstract
 ...............................................................................................................................  i
 
Table of Contents
 ..........................................................................................................  ii
 
List of Figures
 ................................................................................................................  iv
 
List of Tables
 ...................................................................................................................  v
 
List of Appendices
 .......................................................................................................  vi
 
Acknowledgements
 ...................................................................................................  vii
 

 

 
1 Introduction
 .................................................................................................................  1
 
1.1 Motivation
 ...................................................................................................................................  1
 
1.2 Project Scope
 
..............................................................................................................................  2
 
1.3 Rationale
 
......................................................................................................................................  4
 
2 Literature Review
 .....................................................................................................  6
 
2.1 Definitions and Theory
 .......................................................................................................  6
 
2.1.1 Snow Avalanches
 .......................................................................................................  6
 
2.1.2 Climate Change
 ........................................................................................................  10
 
2.1.3 Environmental Change
 
........................................................................................  11
 
2.1.4 Winter Tourism Sector
 .........................................................................................  12
 
2.1.5. Avalanche...
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