Natural Hazards

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 435–449 | Cite as

Using tree-ring signals and numerical model to identify the snow avalanche tracks in Kastamonu, Turkey

  • Nesibe Köse
  • Abdurrahim Aydın
  • Ünal Akkemik
  • Hüseyin Yurtseven
  • Tuncay Güner
Original Paper


Many parts of our planet are exposed to natural disasters such as snow avalanches, floods and earthquakes. Detailed knowledge on these natural disasters is crucial for human safety. On December 25–26, 1992, two avalanches occurred at Kayaarkası-Kastamonu in northern Turkey. The first avalanche took place at night of 25–26 December and caused no damage. The second avalanche took place at morning of 26 December, killed four people and did damage to properties. The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of the snow avalanches on tree rings and to investigate the boundaries and velocities of the avalanches using a numerical simulation model and the tree-ring data. Increment cores from 71 trees in the avalanche-impacted area and the control site were sampled to obtain individual standard chronologies. In the analyses, trees were grouped as (1) heavily damaged by the avalanche, showing a decrease in tree-ring widths since the event, (2) trees heavily damaged by the avalanche, showing an increase in tree-ring widths a couple of years later the event and (3) trees that were not damaged by the avalanche. In this study, one of the most important results is the precise determination of the temporal and spatial patterns of the undocumented avalanche (the first avalanche) event. Avalanches were numerically simulated using dynamical avalanche simulation software ELBA+. Comparison of the simulation model with tree-ring analysis revealed valuable results about the boundaries of the zone of influence of the avalanches.


Tree rings Snow avalanche Dendrochronology Abies bornmuelleriana Kastamonu Turkey 



This study was supported by the Research Fund of the Istanbul University. Project numbers: 465 and UDP 2319. M. Sinan Özeren has read the text and made valuable comments, we gratefully acknowledge his support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nesibe Köse
    • 1
  • Abdurrahim Aydın
    • 2
  • Ünal Akkemik
    • 1
  • Hüseyin Yurtseven
    • 3
  • Tuncay Güner
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Forestry, Department of Forest BotanyIstanbul UniversityBahcekoy-IstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.The Western Black Sea Forestry Research InstituteBoluTurkey
  3. 3.Faculty of Forestry, Department of Surveying and PhotogrammetryIstanbul UniversityBahcekoy-IstanbulTurkey

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