Hydrologic roles of snow avalanches in high-mountain environments: A review

TitleHydrologic roles of snow avalanches in high-mountain environments: A review
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1996
Authorsde Scally, F. A.
Conference Name64th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 64th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1996
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationBend, Oregon
KeywordsDisturbance, Review, Snow avalanches

The hydrologic roles of snow avalanches in high-mountain environments are rarely addressed by the research community. Yet, as a component within the snow and ice subsystem of the hydrologic cascade, avalanches can provide a significant source of accumulation for glaciers; alter the nature and timing of seasonal snowmelt; disturb the winter runoff regime through damming of rivers and displacement of lake water; and increase the incidence of other mass movement processes by their disruption of slope sediments. The purpose of this paper is to review the current state of knowledge with respect to these roles, particularly as they affect downstream hydrologic processes.