To improve avalanche forecasting, information on snow layering and snow instability is of key importance. While observations are very rare and time consuming, snow cover models can help increasing the spatial and temporal resolution of these data. The in-house developed model SNOWPACK can simulate snow stratigraphy using data from automatic weather stations. Using measurements from extensive campaigns, we first validated and improved snow instability metrics in SNOWPACK. The next step consists of simulating snow instability in 3D on real topographies. This is not an easy task, since snow accumulation patterns in the mountains are very complex. However, our results have shown that it is very important to account for these snow depth variations. Using detailed field observations, we want to validate these 3D simulations, which will be an important step towards model based spatial avalanche forecasting.
2017 - 2020