An avalanche is a mass of snow moving rapidly down a slope, sometimes reaching speeds of 80 miles per hour, triggered by either natural causes or human activity. Avalanches are responsible for more deaths per year than earthquakes. They are often triggered the first clear day after a storm because it has made the snowpack unstable. This category includes descriptions of avalanches and how they occur, their effects, warning signs, and safety measures.

1,742 Questions

What is the difference between a rock avalanche and a snow avalanche?

They are both an uncontrolled falling mass of material. (Other then the obvious being one is rock and another is snow).

In the over - steepened valleys of fiordland, there are 'tree avalanches' where the trees grow too big for their precarious hold on the (minimal) soil, and avalanche down.


Can an echo cause an avalanche?

No. Loud noises do not actually set off avalanches believe it or not. If you don't believe me look up "Avalanches 101" on youtube.com or National Geographic.

Conditions and Diseases

Can bursitis be prevented?

Over exercising or the repetition of a movement that triggers the condition should be avoided.


What happens when rocks are washed?

They get wet.


How do avalanches happen?

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.

What makes avalanches happen?

As snow falls, it freezes and forms layers. An avalanche occurs if these layers become separated and move apart. This can be caused by climate change, heavy snowfall or loud noises. Avalanches may also be caused by people climbing, skiing or snowboarding on unstable snow. Safety officers in ski resorts analyse the snow's profile. If they discover that the conditions are favourable for an avalanche, they carry out controlled explosions to loosen the ice and snow.

discovery channel

Meteorology and Weather
Climatology and Climate Changes

What is a mass of whirling air or water?



What countries have had the most avalanches?

The french alps have had the worst avalaunches in recorded history


Are avalanches powerful?

Yes. Avalanches can be very devastating to the people near.

Environmental Issues

How do avalanches affect the environment and people?

Effects of AvalanchesAvalanches affect people and the environment by crushing villages and causing power and water supplies to get cut off. They also destroy forested areas so that animals no longer have their homes. If people or animals are in the path of the avanlance, they bury them alive and can crush them.
Rain and Flooding
Climatology and Climate Changes

Where do avalanches happen most often?

Where Avalanches Happen Most OftenTry checking out some of these links. Lots of info about avalanches!
  • The Avalanche Zone
  • CyberSpace Avalanche Center (CSAC
  • Avalanche Awareness: Information About Avalanches and Avalanche Safety
  • Colorado Avalanche Information Center
  • La Sal Avalanche Forecast Center
  • The Patrol Pages
  • Schottischer Lawinenwarndienst - About avalanches (Englisch)
  • IGS - International Glaciological Society
  • UIAA - World Mountaineering and climbing federation

Here are more opinions and answers from other FAQ Farmers:

  • The mountains!
  • Mountains!
  • Avalanches happen on a angle much like a mountain.

Avalanches happen wherever there is snow laying on a sufficient enough angle.

It doesn't matter just don't cause one otherwise you could die, so if you here or see one run for your life

Avalanches usually occur in areas where the degree of the slope is more than 30 degrees. There are also other factors. One key factor is warm days paired with cool nights. This causes snow to melt and then refreeze, creating many different layers. This creates a zone in which avalanches are highly likely, and only need something to set them off, or a "trigger". This will cause the top layer or so to shear off, and bam! avalanche. It is highly unlikely that an avalanche will occur within a ski area, as the slopes are usually way less than 30 degrees, as well as bombing performed on areas where avalanche danger is high. Bombing is exactly what it sounds like: a cannon shoots small bombs towards a slope in order to act as a trigger. But avalanches most likely happen in moutaineous areas


Where has an avalanche occurred before?

an avalaunche has occured in Switzerland before

Drug Side Effects

What long-term side effects can androstenedione cause?

long-term use of androstenedione, which is not in accordance with medical recommendations, may eventually have a negative effect on natural levels of testosterone, due to compensation on the part of the pituitary gland.


What happens during avalanche?

Snow a falls down a the mountain!


Do avalanches occur in Australia?

Yes, they occur occasionally in the highest areas of the mountains in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, which are snowbound from late autumn to early spring. They are never large on a scale seen in other regions of the world, however, and rarely pose a threat to humans.

Global Warming
Green Living

Role of atmosphere in climate control?

It keeps the temperature of our planet i.e. the Earth fairly steady. During daytime, the atmosphere prevents the sudden increase of temperature.

During night time, it slows down the escape of heat into outer space. On the moon due to the absence of the atmosphere the temperature there ranges from -190 to 110 degrees.


How does an avalanche effect the natural environment?

Avalanches form when disturbances, such as blizzards, dislodge a large mound of snow. Avalanches are caused by weather that makes the snow unstable. Earth tremors, heavy winds, and explosions can also cause avalanches.
An avalanche is a snow drift which can travel for miles (depending on the location) which can completely destroy villages on mountain peaks and the roads with them and also the trees and wildlife

-Dr. Russel Crowe


What are avalanches made up of?

powder snow rolling down a mountain, picking up speed and snow quickly. Or a slab of snow falling down a mountain, gradually picking up speed and snow.


How many people die from avalanches per year?

Approximately 52 people die from avalanches worldwide every year.

Meteorology and Weather

What state has the most sunny days a year?

Arizona. See the Related Links for "USATODAY.com - Sunshine State isn't the sunniest" to the bottom for the answer.

Meteorology and Weather

Why are avalanches different from other natural disasters?

Avalanches are one of the few natural disasters that can actually be man made. Disasters like Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Volcanic Eruptions, and Earth quakes are normally only done naturally with out man made interference. A disaster like a Avalanche can actually be created just by blasting the side of a mountain, or having the right sound volume present. Other then that like many natural disasters some require location and specific elements. for example if theres no present snow then you probably won't have to deal with an avalanches. Plus an Avalanche is one of the few natural disasters that's only ice/snow based.


What are the environmental causes of an avalanche?

There are no enviornmental causes other than the accumulation of loose dirt or snow. Ther's a few physic laws that come to bear on it, though.


How fast does an avalanche travel down a mountain?

The average speed of an Avalanche can vary from 20-100 mph

The fast recorded speed 240mph scource Discovery Channel


What comes before a second?



Do avalanches happen often on Mt Everest?

Beleive it on not, not only do they happen, they happen every 48 hours! source is Discovery channel documentary.. Everest beyond the limit season 3 episode 1


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