Using High Resolution LiDAR Data for Snow Avalanche Hazard Mapping

  • Paweł ChrustekEmail author
  • Piotr Wężyk
  • Natalia Kolecka
  • Marek Biskupič
  • Yves Bühler
  • Marc Christen
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


Each year in the Carpathian Mountains and the Sudety Mountains snow avalanches cause a great number of accidents. Avalanches also threaten buildings and affect the environment. The latest studies in Poland aim to implement advanced snow avalanche hazard mapping procedures, which would allow the creation of complex cartographic products for the location of avalanche hazard areas. These preliminary studies showed that results of these procedures strongly depend on the quality of the input digital surface data. The main goal of this study is to investigate this problem in detail through comparison of different types of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), putting stress on high resolution DEMs generated from airborne and terrestrial laser scanning, in the context of estimating potential avalanche release areas and making run-out calculations. Test sites in the Tatra Mountains in the Carpathians and in the Karkonosze Mountains in the Sudety Mountains were selected for this study. The analysis was performed using Swiss Rapid Mass Movements (RAMMS) model and modified script on delineation automated release area. The study recognized that not only quality but also resolution of a digital surface models influence the accuracy of release area and volume estimation, calculated topography parameters, location of avalanche track and other parameters calculated by dynamic models.


Digital Elevation Model Geographic Information System Release Area Terrestrial Laser Scanning Airborne Laser Scanning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to express our gratitude to the Foundation for Polish Science for financial support of Paweł Chrustek. Performing analyses was possible mainly thanks to the VENTURES program organized by the Foundation of Polish Science and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Program Innovative Economy 2007–2013. We would also like to thank to the Anna Pasek Foundation for additional financial support. Natalia Kolecka is a grant holder of “Doctus” Programme. We would like to also thank the Karkonosze National Park, ProGea Consulting Company and Kraków Branch of the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (IMGW) for deriving the Geodata (ALS, GIS, Meteo data), Andrzej Brzeziński and Jakub Radliński from the Mountain Rescue Services (GOPR), for assistance in collecting data and materials concerning avalanches in the Karkonosze Mountains and Marek Świerk from the Anna Pasek Foundation in Poland, for assistance in collecting field data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paweł Chrustek
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Piotr Wężyk
    • 2
    • 3
  • Natalia Kolecka
    • 1
  • Marek Biskupič
    • 2
    • 4
  • Yves Bühler
    • 5
  • Marc Christen
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Geography and Spatial ManagementJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland
  2. 2.Anna Pasek FoundationBędzinPoland
  3. 3.Agricultural University in KrakówFaculty of ForestryKrakówPoland
  4. 4.Charles University in PragueFaculty of SciencePrahaCzech Republic
  5. 5.WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLFDavosSwitzerland

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