Snow avalanches are a significant geophysical hazard on numerous transportation routes in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand. Avalanches injure and kill motorists and maintenance personnel, cause traffic delays, and are a significant economic factor in the operation of some mountain highways. The hazard on various highways or portions of highways can be quantified by considering avalanche frequency, width, destructive consequences to vehicles or facilities, and traffic volume. Avalanche mitigation or ("control") procedures can be grouped into operational or structural categories. Operational procedures (closure, explosive release methods) all depend upon utilizing an accurate snowpack stability evaluation that depends on analyzing reliable, real-time snowpack and weather data. Structural methods (bomb trams, gas exploders, earthen arresters and deflectors, supporting structures, and avalanche sheds) are all expensive, thus require justification that the hazard is particularly high in a given area and cannot be reliably controlled by other methods. When structural methods are justified, the design snowpack and avalanche parameters must be calculated and utilized in the design of the facilities. (A) For the covering abstract see IRRD 873033.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 487-94

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00712403
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 90-5410-343-4
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Oct 24 1995 12:00AM