Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Avalanche hazard management using terrain classification analysis

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.12.01  Humanities  Geography  Physical geography 

Code Science Field
5.07  Social Sciences  Social and economic geography 
avalanche, terrain classification, avalanche model, guidelines, climate change, natural disasters, the Alps, Slovenia
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on December 6, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  261  4,887  4,283  16.41 
Scopus  379  6,206  5,285  13.94 
Researchers (15)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  30791  PhD Rok Ciglič  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  411 
2.  33273  PhD Mateja Ferk  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  179 
3.  29633  PhD Polona Hafner  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2023  156 
4.  13179  PhD Mauro Hrvatin  Humanities  Researcher  2020 - 2023  363 
5.  21464  PhD Blaž Komac  Geography  Head  2020 - 2023  628 
6.  17333  Robert Krajnc    Technical associate  2020 - 2023  55 
7.  11595  PhD Tomislav Levanič  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  610 
8.  50215  PhD Matej Lipar  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  146 
9.  51975  PhD Andrej Novak  Geology  Junior researcher  2020 - 2022  53 
10.  14000  MSc Miha Pavšek  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  1,394 
11.  20249  PhD Andrej Šmuc  Geology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  403 
12.  38267  PhD Jure Tičar  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  217 
13.  53096  Andreja Vedenik  Forestry, wood and paper technology  Researcher  2022 - 2023 
14.  33837  Manca Volk Bahun  Humanities  Researcher  2020 - 2023  316 
15.  22245  PhD Matija Zorn  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  1,220 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0404  Slovenian Forestry Institute  Ljubljana  5051673000  11,769 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  61,981 
3.  1555  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engeneering  Ljubljana  1627074  19,931 
AVALANCHE HAZARD MANAGEMENT USING TERRAIN CLASSIFICATION ANALYSIS ABSTRACT As part of this project, 1) an avalanche terrain classification for avalanche occurrence model will be produced and tested at the local level, 2) an avalanche atlas will be compiled, and 3) guidelines for managing avalanche hazards in the Slovenian Alps will be designed. RATIONALE In mountainous regions, avalanches are an important part of the water cycle because they transfer snow to lower elevations, feed glaciers and ice caves, and maintain the water level in the rivers by melting slowly during dry periods. They also cause erosion by transporting soil, rocks, and debris down the slope. They affect vegetation, especially forests, and, first and foremost, transform the terrain due to great speeds and pressures in the snow slab.Climate change and increasing human activity in avalanche-prone areas will cause avalanches to become a greater landscape management challenge in the future. Even though they will be less frequent, they will be more extensive due to more frequent extreme precipitation events and the new less well-known avalanche types. SOME DETAILS ON THE CONTENTS This project will pay special attention to the impact of the terrain on avalanches in their starting zone, track, and runout zone. We will use statistical terrain and avalanche analysis methods to build the avalanche terrain classification. We will search for spatial patterns in historical avalanche data (based on the Avalanche cadaster and our research) and develop an avalanche prediction model based on a statistical analysis of geographical data and past avalanche events. The results will be supported at local level by drone imaging, physical dynamics rapid mass movement (RAMMS) simulation, GIS and other physical-geographical techniques, as well as dendrochronological analyses. Tree rings analysis will yield important new information about the magnitude, frequency and spatial-temporal occurrence of snow avalanches. We will also analyse impact of Climate change on avalanches. The change is manifested in deviations in temperature and the quantity and distribution of precipitation, which is also reflected in the frequency and size of avalanches. Field analyses will be conducted at the following sites: Zelenica (a former ski slope in an avalanche-prone area in the Karawanks), the Vršič Pass and the avalanche-prone road over it in Julian Alps, and the Torka avalanche-prone settlement below the Ratitovec Ridge in the Pre-Alps. With the collected historical and project data we will build the web-based Avalanche Atlas and prepare the Guidelines for avalanche hazard management. The project team has all the necessary equipment, including the physical-geographical laboratory, the dendrochronological laboratory, and the computer equipment. PROJECT IMPACT Because this is the first pure-research project focusing on avalanches in geography in Slovenia, it will have a great social and strategic impact. The project will draw attention to an important, yet ignored, topic and, by using the latest laboratory, field and GIS research methods to study terrain-avalanche interdependence. For the first time ever, the scale and landscape effects of avalanches in Slovenia will be analyzed using dendrochronology. The project results will be publicly accessible via a userfriendly online application. Management (or land-use) guidelines for avalanche-prone areas will be prepared for more demanding stakeholders. The results of this project will contribute to resilience and thus greater safety and reduce the threat to the population.
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