How do avalanches happen?

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Wiki User
July 15, 2015 9:50PM

In 90 percent of avalanche fatalities, the avalanche is

triggered by the weight of the victim, or someone in the victim's

party. Natural avalanches occur because new or windblown snow

overloads weak layers of snow, or because of rapid warming, but

there's almost always obvious signs of instability by the time

avalanches come down on their own.

Here are more opinions and answers from other s users:

  • When too much snow builds up, and there is too much vibration,

    an avalanche occurs.

  • They happen by vibration.

  • An avalanche is a natural process in which snow responds to the

    pull of gravity.

  • When snow falls, its own weight causes it to melt and refreeze,

    therefore bonding the crystals together. This is how a glacier is

    formed. But, if the climate is unusually warm, or the snow has no

    time to melt, the bond is weak. This area of weak snow is very

    unstable. When a skier yells, or when a person is just too heavy,

    he displaces a small amount of snow. This causes (mind the pun) a

    "snow ball effect". One ounce of weak snow moves. This allows

    another few ounces to move, which in turn, causes the whole area of

    weak snow to start falling down the mountain. All this happens

    verry quickly, but can be prevented.

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