avalanches disaster or miracle a changing ecological effect l.
Download
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Avalanches: Disaster or Miracle? A Changing Ecological Effect PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Avalanches: Disaster or Miracle? A Changing Ecological Effect

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 11

Avalanches: Disaster or Miracle? A Changing Ecological Effect - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 142 Views
  • Uploaded on

Avalanches: Disaster or Miracle? A Changing Ecological Effect. Jason Blair February 21, 2009 Winter Ecology Spring 2009 Mountain Research Station, University of Colorado, Boulder. Introduction. A commom natural disaster with frequently overlooked ecological benefits.

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

Avalanches: Disaster or Miracle? A Changing Ecological Effect


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
avalanches disaster or miracle a changing ecological effect

Avalanches: Disaster or Miracle?A Changing Ecological Effect

Jason Blair

February 21, 2009

Winter Ecology Spring 2009

Mountain Research Station, University of Colorado, Boulder

introduction
Introduction
  • A commom natural disaster with frequently overlooked ecological benefits.
        • Inherent Danger and Destuctive Nature
        • Avalanche Corridors
  • Climate Change
habitats
Habitats
  • Avalanches not only destroy habitats, but they create new ones.
      • Increase Ecotones
  • “The biodiversity within avalanche tracks is highly increased compared to the surrounding forest. The more avalanches occur, the more significant the difference becomes.” (Rixen)
biodiversity
Biodiversity
  • Avalanche Corridors
      • Forest Complexity
      • Avalanche Cylces
  • “Over 80% of the 141 observed species grew in less than 5% of the investigated plots, although the undisturbed vegetation outside of the avalanche tracks consisted of a larch-spruce forest throughout the entire monitoring area” (Rixen.)
climate change
Climate Change
  • “In the past 15 years the frequency of avalanches has increased from 1 every decade to one every 3-5 years” (Huggel)
      • Reflects changes in trigger mechanisms
  • Wet Avalanches
  • Permafrost
    • Impermeable by meltwater
    • Failing to freeze
wet avalanches
Wet Avalanches

Effect on Ecosystem:

-Slower Moving

-Less total snowpack

-Occur on more gentle slopes

(5-20 degrees )

-Lower Elevations

-Heavier debris

Danger to Humans:

-Harder to Predict

-Harder to control with explosives

aspen mountain research
Aspen Mountain Research
  • A 2007 study modeled climate change in CO ski areas
    • “evaluated how climate change resulting from increased greenhouse gas emissions may affect the timing of wet avalanches and snow quality at Aspen Mountain in the years 2030 and 2100.”(Lazar, Williams)
    • Potential to change the timing of wet avalanches and snow quality
    • Air Temperature
graphs
Graphs

Top of Aspen Base of Aspen

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Avalanches are a natural disturbance like fire
  • Integral part in shaping the forest community
      • Patterns of Forest Cover
      • Biodiversity
      • New Seedling Establishment
      • More Complex and Balanced Ecosystem
  • Dynamics and ecology of Avalanches being directly effected by climate change.
      • Changing Cycle
      • Wetter Snowpack
      • Less disturbance avalanches
    • More reasearch is necessary
        • Further testing on how wet avalanches

effect enivronment differently.

literature cited
Literature Cited
  • Armstrong R, Ives J.D.; “Wet snow avalanches” in “Avalanche release and snow characteristics, San Juan Mountains, Colorado.” 1976 p. 67
  • Baggi, Stefano, Schweizer, Jurg; Characteristics of wet-snow avalanche activity: 20 years of observations from a high alpine valley; November 2008; http://www.wsl.ch/personal_homepages/schweizj/publications/Baggi_Schweizer_wet_snow_avalanches_preprint.pdf
  • Huggel, Christian; “Recent Extreme Avalanches: Triggered by Climate Change?” Eos, Vol. 89, No. 47, P. 469; 18 November 2008
  • Lazar, Brian, and Williams, Mark; “Climate change in western ski areas: Potential changes in the timing of wet avalanches and snow quality for the Aspen ski area in the years 2030 and 2100” Cold Regions Science and Technology 51(2008) p. 219
  • Rixen, Christian; “Avalanches Create New Habitats for Plants” June 25, 2003http://www.waldwissen.net/themen/naturgefahren/schnee/wsl_lawinen_pflanzen_EN?-C=&
  • Simonson,S., Fassnacht,S.R.; “Snow Avalanche Disturbance Ecology: Examples From the San Juan Mountains, Colorado.” American Geophysical Union, December 2008
  • Fagre, Daniel B., Reardon, Blase A; “Avalanches in Glacier National Park”

Park Science; Vol. 24 No. 1, Summer 2006. P. 37

www.nrmsc.usgs.gov/files/norock/products/GCC/ParkScience_WMI_Reardon_06.pdf