Calculation of Powder Snow Avalanches with RAMMS::EXTENDED

Photo: On the 8th of March 2017 a mixed flowing/powder avalanche entered the village of Van in Canton Valais destroying several buildings with additional tree blow-down. This case study will be used by the RAMMS SLF team to demonstrate snowcover, temperature, forest and powder cloud dynamics with the RAMMS::EXTENDED model.

RAMMS “extended” is an advanced computational tool developed by the SLF to calculate mixed flowing/powder avalanches in three-dimensional terrain. We termed the model RAMMS::EXTENDED since it was designed to augment the existing RAMMS::AVALANCHE model, specifically to address problems involving powder pressures, snowcover entrainment, temperature effects and forest interaction. The model has undergone extensive testing and calibration and has been distributed widely to avalanche practitioners. 

In this four-hour workshop we will provide an overview how to use RAMMS::EXTENDED to simulate powder snow avalanches. At the outset of the workshop, our agenda includes installing the RAMMS::EXTENDED model on participants' laptops and guiding them through practical demonstrations using real-world examples. Armed with this hands-on experience, we will delve into the practical problems of setting-up hazard scenarios for powder avalanches. 

Topics will encompass defining snowcover distribution, temperature dynamics, and how to interpret the calculated powder cloud impact pressures. 

We hope to have a mix of participants who are both new to RAMMS::EXTENDED, but also experienced users who want to discuss detailed questions concerning specific applications. In its final phase, the workshop will encourage an open exchange of ideas, fostering discussions concerning the ongoing advancement and limitations of avalanche modeling methodologies, especially the application of advanced models in avalanche hazard mitigation.

Send e-mail to Perry Bartelt,

Sunday 22 September 2024

13:00 – 17:00

Building: The Edge Hotel Tromsø