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Reconstructing the Snow Avalanche of Coll de Pal 2018 (SE Pyrenees)

Flumen Institute, International Centre of Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8370450, Chile
GeoNeuRisk, 08024 Barcelona, Spain
RISKNAT Research Group, Geomodels Institute, Department of Earth and Ocean Dynamics, Universitat de Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Flumen Institute, Departament d’Enginyeria Civil i Ambiental (DECA), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: José Luís Zêzere
GeoHazards 2021, 2(3), 196-211;
Received: 17 May 2021 / Revised: 7 July 2021 / Accepted: 16 July 2021 / Published: 22 July 2021
Developments in mountain areas prone to natural hazards produce undesired impacts and damages. Thus, disaster assessment is mandatory to understand the physics of dangerous events and to make decisions to prevent hazardous situations. This work focusses on the practical implementation of methods and tools to assess a snow avalanche that affected a road at the Coll de Pal in 2018 (SE Pyrenees). This is a quite common situation in mountain roads and the assessment has to focus specially in the avalanche–road interaction, on the return periods considered and on the dynamics of the phenomena. This assessment presents the field recognition, snow and weather characterization and numerical modelling of the avalanche. Field campaigns revealed evidences of the avalanche triggering, runout trajectory and general behavior. An unstable situation of the snowpack due to a relatively large snowfall fallen some days before over a previous snowpack with weak layers, caused the avalanche triggering when an additional load was added by a strong wind-drift episode. A medium size (<2500 m3) soft slab avalanche, corresponding to a return period of 15–20 years, occurred and crossed the road of the Coll de Pal pass. The event was reproduced numerically by means of the 2D-SWE based numerical tool Iber aiming to analyze the avalanche behavior. Results of the simulation corresponded with the observations (runout trajectory and snow deposit); thus, relevant information about the avalanche dynamics could be obtained. Identified differences probably come from the terrain elevation data, which represent “snow free” topography and do not consider the snowpack on the terrain. View Full-Text
Keywords: hazard assessment; snow avalanche evidence; weather conditions; numerical modelling hazard assessment; snow avalanche evidence; weather conditions; numerical modelling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sanz-Ramos, M.; Andrade, C.A.; Oller, P.; Furdada, G.; Bladé, E.; Martínez-Gomariz, E. Reconstructing the Snow Avalanche of Coll de Pal 2018 (SE Pyrenees). GeoHazards 2021, 2, 196-211.

AMA Style

Sanz-Ramos M, Andrade CA, Oller P, Furdada G, Bladé E, Martínez-Gomariz E. Reconstructing the Snow Avalanche of Coll de Pal 2018 (SE Pyrenees). GeoHazards. 2021; 2(3):196-211.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sanz-Ramos, Marcos, Carlos A. Andrade, Pere Oller, Glòria Furdada, Ernest Bladé, and Eduardo Martínez-Gomariz. 2021. "Reconstructing the Snow Avalanche of Coll de Pal 2018 (SE Pyrenees)" GeoHazards 2, no. 3: 196-211.

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