Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1

Spatial modelling of avalanches by application of GIS on selected slopes of the Western Tatra Mts. and Belianske Tatra Mts., Slovakia

Martin Boltižiar, Marek Biskupič, Ivan Barka

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1, pp. 79-90 | Full text

The avalanches represent a significant and very dynamic process within the Tatra high-mountain landscape. Undoubtedly avalanche run-out distances play a key role in land use planning within avalanche prone areas. The Žiarska valley and Predné Meďodoly valley are considered as one of the most avalanche prone valleys in Tatra Mts. This environment represents an excellent opportunity for studying and modelling extreme avalanche run-outs. Primarily avalanche release zones were estimated by using an existing model proposed by Hreško (1998). This model was modified and calibrated for both valleys. The alpha-beta regression model developed in Norway has been used to estimate avalanche run-outs. Data processing and model calibration have been elaborated in GIS environment. Avenue script for ArcGIS was written to perform automated runout estimation based on alpha-beta regression model. Model managed to estimate run-outs on some slopes while it failed to model run-ups. Finally the results were visualized by creating the fly-through simulations and 3D views. Comparison between model calculation and avalanche cadastre showed correlation.

Keywords: snow avalanche, GIS, run-out modelling, Western Tatra Mountains, Belianske Tatra Mountains

Martin Boltižiar, Institute of Landscape Ecology SAS Bratislava, branch in Nitra Akademická 2, 949 01 Nitra, Slovakia
Marek Biskupič, Institute for Environmental Studies Charles University Prague Ovocný trh 3-5, 116 36 Prague 1: Czech Republic
Ivan Barka, National Forest Department T.G. Masaryka 22, 960 92 Zvolen: Slovakia