A snow avalanche is a mass of snow, ice, and debris flowing and sliding rapidly down a steep slope. It is defined in state statutes as a geologic hazard. Snow avalanches kill more people in Colorado than any other natural hazard; and because of its climate and rugged terrain, avalanches have killed more people in Colorado than in any other state.
Avalanches come in several varieties, each with their own mechanisms of formation and risk management implications. This fascinating talk will cover the forces that lead to avalanches, the meteorological variables that lead to avalanche formation, and how the mechanical properties of snow relate to fracture and release.
Dr. Ethan Greene
Director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC)
Ethan has directed the CAIC since 2005. He grew up in Boulder skiing Colorado’s Front Range, then worked at Big Sky Ski Resort in Montana as a ski patroller and at the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center in Salt Lake City as an avalanche forecaster. Ethan studied meteorology at the University of Utah (BS) and snow drift formation at Colorado State University (MS). He has spent a lot of time looking at the microstructure of snow and its metamorphism in very large freezers in Colorado and Switzerland (PhD). Ethan has published a variety of articles on snow, weather and avalanches and been a member of national and international working groups on snow and avalanche projects
ABOUT SCIENCE ON TAP
Science on Tap is a monthly opportunity for science enthusiasts and beer lovers to come together and discover the latest and greatest research in science and technology that is happening right here on the Front Range. Presented by Gunbarrel Brewing Company, local scientists across a variety of disciplines present their work in a fun, informal, and interactive setting while enjoying some of Boulder’s finest craft beers. You can expect plenty of beer to be flowing, a 30-40 minute presentation, followed by discussion and Q&A.
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