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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 15, issue 11 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 2545-2555, 2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 30 Nov 2015

Research article | 30 Nov 2015

Infrasound array criteria for automatic detection and front velocity estimation of snow avalanches: towards a real-time early-warning system

E. Marchetti1, M. Ripepe1, G. Ulivieri2, and A. Kogelnig3 E. Marchetti et al.
  • 1Depart. of Earth Sciences, University of Firenze, via G. La Pira 4, 50121, Firenze, Italy
  • 2Item s.r.l., via B. Gozzoli 32, 50124, Firenze, Italy
  • 3Wyssen Avalanche Control AG, Feld 1, 3713 Reichenbach, Switzerland

Abstract. Avalanche risk management is strongly related to the ability to identify and timely report the occurrence of snow avalanches. Infrasound has been applied to avalanche research and monitoring for the last 20 years but it never turned into an operational tool to identify clear signals related to avalanches. We present here a method based on the analysis of infrasound signals recorded by a small aperture array in Ischgl (Austria), which provides a significant improvement to overcome this limit. The method is based on array-derived wave parameters, such as back azimuth and apparent velocity. The method defines threshold criteria for automatic avalanche identification by considering avalanches as a moving source of infrasound. We validate the efficiency of the automatic infrasound detection with continuous observations with Doppler radar and we show how the velocity of a snow avalanche in any given path around the array can be efficiently derived. Our results indicate that a proper infrasound array analysis allows a robust, real-time, remote detection of snow avalanches that is able to provide the number and the time of occurrence of snow avalanches occurring all around the array, which represent key information for a proper validation of avalanche forecast models and risk management in a given area.

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Short summary
This data set contains infrasonic detection bulletin for data recorded between 1 December 2012 and 31 March 2013 by the infrasound array deployed in Ischgl, Austria, and described in the paper. This data set contains all infrasound detections that are used to derive most of the results presented in the manuscript.
This data set contains infrasonic detection bulletin for data recorded between 1 December 2012...