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Article

Estimation of Avalanche Development and Frontal Velocities Based on the Spectrogram of the Seismic Signals Generated at the Vallée de la Sionne Test Site

1
RISKNAT Avalanches Research Group—Institut Geomodels, Earth Sciences Faculty, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), 28008 Barcelona, Spain
2
Laboratori d’Estudis Geofísics Eduard Fontserè (LEGEF-IEC), 08001 Barcelona, Spain
3
Instituto de Geofísica, UNAM, Circuito Instituto S/N, Coyoacán 04510, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(3), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030113
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 10 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 21 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snow Avalanche Dynamics)
The changes in the seismic signals generated by avalanches recorded at three sites along a path at the Vallée de la Sionne (VdlS) experimental site are presented. We discuss and correlate the differences in the duration, signal amplitudes, and frequency content of the sections (Signal ONset (ON), Signal Body (SBO), and Signal TAil and Signal ENd STA-SEN) of the spectrograms with the evolution of the powder, transitional and wet snow avalanches along a path. The development of the avalanche front was quantified using the exponential function in time F (t) = K’ exp (β t) fitted to the shape of the signal ONset (SON section of the spectrogram. The speed of the avalanche front is contained in β. To this end, a new method was developed. The three seismic components were converted into one seismic component (FS), when expressing the vector in polar coordinates. We linked the theoretical function of the shape of the FS-SON section of the spectrogram to the numerical coefficients of its shape after considering the spectrogram as an image. This allowed us to obtain the coefficients K’ and β. For this purpose, the Hough Transform (HT) was applied to the image. The values of the resulting coefficients K’ and β are included in different ranges in accordance with the three types of avalanche. Curves created with these coefficients enable us to estimate the development of the different avalanche types along the path. Our results show the feasibility of classifying the type of avalanche through these coefficients. Average speeds of the avalanches approaching the recording sites were estimated. The speed values of wet and transitional avalanches are consistent with those derived from GEODAR (GEOphysical Doppler radAR) measurements, when available. The absence of agreement in the speed values obtained from seismic signals and GEODAR measurements for powder snow avalanches indicates, for this type of avalanche, a different source of the measured signal. Hence, the use of the two measuring systems proves to be complementary. View Full-Text
Keywords: snow avalanches; seismic signals; spectrograms; Hough transform; avalanche evolution; experimental site; analyses of snow avalanche measurements snow avalanches; seismic signals; spectrograms; Hough transform; avalanche evolution; experimental site; analyses of snow avalanche measurements
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MDPI and ACS Style

Suriñach, E.; Flores-Márquez, E.L.; Roig-Lafon, P.; Furdada, G.; Tapia, M. Estimation of Avalanche Development and Frontal Velocities Based on the Spectrogram of the Seismic Signals Generated at the Vallée de la Sionne Test Site. Geosciences 2020, 10, 113. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030113

AMA Style

Suriñach E, Flores-Márquez EL, Roig-Lafon P, Furdada G, Tapia M. Estimation of Avalanche Development and Frontal Velocities Based on the Spectrogram of the Seismic Signals Generated at the Vallée de la Sionne Test Site. Geosciences. 2020; 10(3):113. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030113

Chicago/Turabian Style

Suriñach, Emma, Elsa L. Flores-Márquez, Pere Roig-Lafon, Glòria Furdada, and Mar Tapia. 2020. "Estimation of Avalanche Development and Frontal Velocities Based on the Spectrogram of the Seismic Signals Generated at the Vallée de la Sionne Test Site" Geosciences 10, no. 3: 113. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030113

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