Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-3
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
16 Jan 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
Determining the drivers for snow gliding
Reinhard Fromm1, Sonja Baumgärtner2, Georg Leitinger2, Erich Tasser3, and Peter Höller1 1Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape – BFW, Department of Natural Hazards, Innsbruck, 6020, Austria
2Institute of Ecology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, 6020, Austria
3Institute for Alpine Environment, Eurac research, Bozen, 39100, Italy
Abstract. Snow gliding is a key factor for snow glide avalanche formation and soil erosion. This study considers atmospheric and snow variables, vegetation characteristics, and soil properties, and determines their relevance for snow gliding at a test site (Wildkogel, Upper Pinzgau, Austria) during winter 2014/15. The time-dependent data were collected at a high temporal resolution. In addition to conventional sensors a snow melt analyzer was used.

The analysis shows that the soil moisture at the soil surface had the largest influence on snow gliding during the first part of the winter (October to January). The soil moisture 1.5 cm below the soil surface was the second important variable in the first part of the winter, and the most important variable in the second part of the winter (February to May). A negative influence on snow gliding had the phytomass of mosses in autumn and spring caused by lower canopy heights at these sites. Furthermore, a higher portion of dwarf shrub phytomass reduces snow gliding, because its rigid structure can transfer forces to the soil. Further investigations may be focused on the freezing and melting processes in the uppermost soil layers, and at the soil surface.


Citation: Fromm, R., Baumgärtner, S., Leitinger, G., Tasser, E., and Höller, P.: Determining the drivers for snow gliding, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-3, in review, 2018.
Reinhard Fromm et al.
Reinhard Fromm et al.
Reinhard Fromm et al.

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Short summary
Snow gliding is a key factor for snow glide avalanche formation and soil erosion. This study considers atmospheric and snow variables, vegetation characteristics, and soil properties, and determines their relevance for snow gliding. First results show that the soil moisture at the soil surface has the largest influence on snow gliding. However, further investigations may be focused on the freezing and melting processes in the uppermost soil layers, and at the soil surface.
Snow gliding is a key factor for snow glide avalanche formation and soil erosion. This study...
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