Landslide & Snow Avalanches: An Overview

RAHUL CHOUDHARY

Abstract


A landslide, also known as a landslip, is a form of mass wasting that includes a wide range of ground movements, such as rock falls, deep failure of slopes, and shallow debris flows. Landslides occur when the slope changes from a stable to an unstable condition. A change in the stability of a slope can be caused by a number of factors, acting together or alone. Landslides can be triggered by rainfall, snowmelt, changes in water level, stream erosion, and changes in ground water, earthquakes, volcanic activity, disturbance by human activities, or any combination of these factors. An avalanche (also called a snowslide or snowslip) is a rapid flow of snow down a sloping surface. Technically, an avalanche is any amount of snow sliding down a mountainside.  It can be compared to a landslide, only with snow instead of earth. An avalanche can be composed of many different kinds of snow depending on the region, temperature and weather.  It could be compiled of loosely packed light fluffy snow, which can still be very dangerous even though it may not appear threatening.  It could also consist of a thick “slab” which is an area of tightly packed together snow that separates itself from the surroundings. Although avalanches can occur on any slope given the right conditions, certain times of the year and certain locations are naturally more dangerous than others. Wintertime, particularly from December to April, is when most avalanches tend to happen. However, avalanche fatalities have been recorded for every month of the year.


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