THE CHRONOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT OF AVALANCHE FORECASTING
An Annotated Bibliography

This bibliography was prepared by E. R. LaChapelle for Avalanche Weather Seminar, Snowbird, Utah, October 25-27, 1985, held under sponsorship of the American Avalanche Institute and The Avalanche Review.

 

Seligman, G., 1936. Snow Structure and Ski Fields, MacMillan & Co.,London, 555 p. (reprint edition in 1962) [The classic introduction to the scientific study of snow and avalanches.]

Paulcke, W., 1938. Praktische Schnee- und Lawinenkunde. Verstandliche Wissenschaft, Bd. 38, Berlin. [Decade of work by Paulcke summarized. Recognition of depth hoar and role of snow types in avalanche formation.]

Bader, H., R. Haefeli, E. Bucher, J. Neher, O. Eckel, C. Thams, 1939. Der Schnee und Seine Metamorphose. Beitr. zur Geologie der Schweiz, Geotechnische Serie-Hydrologie, Lieferung 3. (In English as SIPRE Translation No. 14) [The classic work which set foundations of snow mechanics and understanding of avalanche formation.]

Bucher, E., et al, 1940. Lawinen, die Gefahr fur den Skifahrer. Geotechnische Kommission der Schweiz. Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, 114 p. [The first technical book on avalanche formation addressed to a general audience. Explicit introduction of the Swiss structural approach.]

(Schweizerische Armee), 1942. Wetter un Lawinen. [World War II Swiss Army manual on mountain weather and structural basis of avalanche formation.]

Roch, A., 1949. Report on snow and avalanche conditions in the USA western ski resorts. From the 26th of January to 24th of April 1949. EISLF Int. Ber. Nr. 74. [Earliest recognition of the role of different climate patterns in avalanche formation.]

Atwater, M. M., 1952. The Relationship of Precipitation Intensity to Avalanche Occurrence. Proc. 20th Annual Western Snow Conference, Sacramento, California, p. 11-19. [First inroduction of precipitation intensity, foundation established for American meteorological approach to avalanche forecasting. Storm plots introduced.]

Roch, A., 1955. Le mechanisme du declenchement des avalanches. Les Alpes, fasc. 4. (In English as SIPRE Translation No. 52.) [Analyzes avalanche release mechanisms and establishes basis for stability indices.]

Vrba, M. and B. Urbanek, 1957. Preliminary Results of Research on Snow and Avalanches in Czechoslovakia. J. of Glaciology, Vol. 3 No. 21, p. 72-77. [Structural analysis of snow cover. Forecasting by comparing observed snow stratigraphy with patterns known to cause avalanching.]

de Quervain, M., 1961. Lawinenwarnung und Lawinenprognose. EISLF Int. Ber. Nr. 356. (WMO Hydrometeorology lecture, Wash. D.C.) [Basic concepts of organized avalanche forecasting and warning services.]

LaChapelle, E. R., 1961. Snow Avalanches. USDA Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook No. 194. [Definition of North American meteorological methods and detailing of contributory factor analysis.]

Jaccard, C., 1965. Statistische Analyse der Lawinenereignisse und Lawinenvorhersage. EISLF Int. Ber. Nr. 450. (Also published in English by Japanese Society of Snow and Ice.) [Various statistical methods proposed for avalanche forecasting.]

Jaccard, C., 1966. Stabilite des plaques de niege. Proc. Int. Symposium on Scientific Aspects of Snow and Ice Avalanches, Davos, Switzerland, 1965. IASH Publ. No. 69, p. 170-181. [Stress analysis on slab lubricating layer. Defines two kinds of stability, influences of vertical loads. Extends Roch's concepts.]

LaChapelle, E. R., 1966. Avalanche Forecasting--a Modern Synthesis. Proc. of Davos Symposium (as above). IASH Publ. No. 69, p. 350-356. [Introduces distinction between meteorological and structural forecasts and relation to climate. Introduces distinction between hard and soft slabs, direct and climax avalanches.]

Roch, A., 1966. Les declenchement d'avalanches. Proc. of Davos Syncposium (as above). IASH Publ. No. 69, p. 182-195. [Formal development of stability index as first expressed in 1955.]

Shcherbakov, M. P., 1966. Method of Predicting Avalanche Danger from Snowfall Intensity in the Tien-Shan. USDA Forest Service, Alta Avalanche Study Center Translation No. 10, 1969, 23 p. (original paper in Russian.) [Predicts new-snow avalanches by combining Roch stability index with snowfall intensity.]

Bongard, M., 1970. Pattern Recognition. Spartan Books, New York and Washington, 253 p. [An early classic in this field. Bongard was working on avalanche forecasting by pattern recognition at the time of his early death.]

Gardner, N. C., and A. Judson, 1970. Artillery control of avalanches along mountain highways. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Exp. Station Research Paper RM-61, 26 p. [Extension of storm plot concept and development of control curve.]

LaChapelle, E. R., 1970. Principles of Avalanche Forecasting. In: Gold, L. W. and G. P. Williams, eds., Ice Engineering and Avalanche Forecasting and Control. NRC of Canada, Assoc. Comm. On Geotechnical Research, Tech. Memor. No. 98, p. 106-113. [Distinguishes conventional, statistical and combined approaches to forecasting. Defines forecasting time scales.]

Obled, C., 1970. Vers une prevision numerique des risques d'avalanches. Contract Report D.G.R.S.T. 69/09/094, Comite d'Etudes et de Documentation Nivologiques et Glaciares. 45 p. [Introduces index method for meteorological data to identify avalanche days, using precipitation and snow settlement.]

Perla, R.I., 1970. On Contributory Factors in Avalanche Hazard Evaluation. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 7, No. 4, p 414-419. [Hazard probability deduced from scatter diagrams of hazard vs. contributory factors, precip. and wind direction dominating.]

Schleiss, V. G. and W. E. Schleiss, 1970. Avalanche Hazard Evaluation and Forecast, Rogers Pass, Glacier National Park. NRC of Canada Tech. Memor. No. 98 (see LaChapelle, 1970, above), p 115-122. [Explicitly combines meteorological and structural methods with shear tests of new snow stability.]

Bois, P. and C. Obled, 1972. Analyse des donnees nivoclimatologiques en vue de la prevision des avalanches. Joint internal reports, EISLF & Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, 71 p. [Sorts avalanche from nonavalanche days by DFA using 17 sorted snow and weather variables, notes avalanche data limitations.]

Brown, C. B., R. J. Evans and E. R. LaChapelle, 1972. Slab Avalanching and the State of Stress in Fallen Snow. J. Geophys. Res. Vol. 77, p. 4570-4580. [Extends Roch and Jaccard concept of slab stress to account for incremental loading of accreting slab. Demonstrates slabs must be wider than long to fall.]

Judson, A. and B. J. Erickson, 1973. Predicting Avalanche Intensity from Weather Data: A Statistical Analysis. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest & Range Exp. Station Research Paper RM-112, 12 p. [Simple storm index and DFA model predicts avalanche occur rence from weather parameters; precipitation and wind dominate.]

(Shoda, M.) 1973. Avalanche Classification. Hydrological Sciences Bulletin, Vol. 18, No. 4, p. 391-402. [Introduction of Shoda Diagram illustrating interrelation of meteorology, snow structure and terrain.]

Bovis, M. J., 1974. Statistical Analysis. Chapt. 6 in: Inst. of Arctic & Alpine Res., U. of Colorado, Occas. Paper 13, p. 71-94. [Forecasting by DFA. Avalanche occurrence stratified by size, type and mode of release.]

Bois, P., C. Obled and W. Good, 1974. Multivariate Data Analysis as a Tool for Day-by-day Avalanche Forecast. Proc. of Symp. on Snow Mechanics, Grindlewald, Switzerland, IAHS Publ. No. 114, p. 391-403. [Uses DFA with input variables elaborated according to physical relation to avalanche formation. Operational procedures for forecasting defined.]

Grakovich, S. S., 1974. On the utilization of the method of image discrimination for estimating avalanche situations from complex meteorological information. (paper in Russian) In: Tushinsky, G. K. and Y. S. Troshkina, eds. Snow Avalanches--Forecasting and Protection. Moscow University. [Development of pattern recognition techniques for dealing with meteorology of avalanche formation.]

LaChapelle, E. R., 1974. Avalanche Forecasting. Chapt. 4 in: Inst. of Arctic & Alpine Res., U. of Colorado, Occas. Report 13, p. 41-55. [Describes combined conventional methods and psychological factors.]

Perla, R. I. amd M. Martinelli, Jr., 1976. Avalanche Handbook. USDA Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook No. 489, 238 p. [Updated successor to Handbook No. 194. Elaboration of meteorological and structural factors influencing avalanche formation.]

Reanier, F. W., 1976. Central Avalanche Hazard Forecasting. Paper read at Joint Scientific Meeting on Mountain Meteorology and Biometeorology, Interlaken, Switzerland, June 10-14, 1976. [Introduces quantitative precipitation forecasting and lays basis for true avalanche forecasting instead of evaluation.]

Salway, A. A., 1976. Statistical Estimation and Prediction of Avalanche Activity from Meteorological Data for the Rogers Pass Area of British Columbia. PhD. thesis, Faculty of Forestry, U. of British Columbia, 118 p. [Introduces time series statistics and improves avalanche data quanitification by using run-out distance.]

Bovis, M. J., 1977. Statistical Forecasting of Snow Avalanches, San Juan Mountains, Southern Colorado, USA. J. of Glaciology, Vol. 18, No. 78., p. 87-99. [Stratification of data including avalanche days using DFA.]

Fohn, P., W. Good, P. Bois and C. Obled, 1977. Evaluation and Comparison of Conventional and Statistical Methods of Forecasting Avalanche Hazard. J. of Glaciology, Vol. 19, No. 81, p. 375-387. [Overview of different forecasting methods and comparison of statistical methods by scoring performances with actual data.]

Wilson, N., 1977. Everything You Wanted to Know about Snow. Mariah, winter issue 1977, p. 26-28, 82-84, 104-106. [Introduces practical use of inductive logic in hazard evaluation.]

LaChapelle, E. R., S. A. Ferguson, R. T. Marriott, M. B. Moore, F. W. Reanier, E. M. Sackett, and P. L. Taylor, 1978. Central Avalanche Hazard Forecasting--Summary of Scientific Investigations. Washington State Transportation Department Res. Report 23.4, Olympia, 203 p. [Structural, meteorological and statistical methods reviewed, decision algorithm introduced, fundamentals of central forecasting definedl

LaChapelle, E. R., 1980. The Fundamental Processes in Conventional Avalanche Forecasting. J. of Glaciology, Vol. 26, No. 94, p. 75-84. [Basic theory of non-statistical methods established in terms of information theory, pattern recognition and inductive logic. ]

Obled, C. amd W. Good, 1980. Recent Development of Avalanche Forecasting by Discriminant Analysis Techniques: A Methodological Review and some Applications to the Parsenn Area (Davos, Switzerland). J. of Glaciology, Vol. 25, No. 92., p. 315-345. [DFA methods reviewed and nearest neighbor concept introduced.]

Rink, C. E., 1982. Praxisnahe M6dell zur Optimierung der Lawinenvorhersage am Beispiel des Arlberggebietes. PhD dissertation, Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, U. of Cologne, 102 p. [Pattern recognition of snow profiles combined with practical computer use for real-time forecasting.]

Buser, O., 1983. Avalanche Forecast with the Method of Nearest Neighbors: an Interactive Approach. Cold Regions Science and Technology, Vol. 8, p. 155-163. [Statistical methods improved by reference to like weather and avalanche patterns in database.]

Buser, O. and W. Good, 1984. Avalanche Forecast: Experience Using Nearest Neighbors. Proc. Int. Snow Science Workshop, Aspen, Colorado. [Nearest neighbor method tested against three years of operation and critical levels established.]

Ferguson, S. A., 1984. The Role of Snowpack Structure in Avalanching. PhD. dissertation, Geophysics Program, U. of Washington, Seattle, 150 p. [Classification of snow structure by cluster analysis to sort stable from unstable snow.]

 

Abbreviations used:

EISLF = Eidg. Institut fur Schnee- und Lawinenforschung (Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research)

DFA = Discriminant function analysis.


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