What is the meaning of avalanche?

Overview of avalanches. Avalanche, a mass of material moving rapidly down a slope. An avalanche is typically triggered when material on a slope breaks loose from its surroundings; this material then quickly collects and carries additional material down the slope. There are various kinds of avalanches, including rock avalanches ...

What is a loose snow avalanche?

Loose snow avalanches fan out from a point of triggering as they plummet downhill and sweep along more and more snow. This type of avalanche often occurs during or shortly after snowfall, or when significant warming occurs. A loose snow avalanche consisting of dry powder generally requires a slope angle of 40°.

What are the effects of an avalanche?

An avalanche is one of the most powerful events in nature. A fractured mass of snow may flow down a slope or become airborne. As a large avalanche speeds down a mountainside, it may compress the air below it, producing a powerful wind that can blow a house apart, breaking windows, splintering doors, and tearing off the roof.

What is a slab avalanche?

Slab avalanches typically occur on slopes of 30 to 50 degrees. On slopes that are less steep, there is generally insufficient gravitational force to overcome frictional resistance and cause the displacement of a snow slab; on steeper slopes snow tends to sluff off.