When I am not doing GIS or writing about GIS I try to escape to the mountains. They mountains have always had a magnetic like attraction over me, and are probably the reason I got into maps and geography in the first place. Mountains are magical, dynamic places but they do present dangers to those who venture into them. The risks and dangers increase significantly when you add snow into the mix.
Avalanches are the most obvious risk and they are not confined to the high mountains of the Alps and the Rockies. Avalanches occur frequently in the mountains of Great Britain. In fact, the constantly changing weather in Great Britain regularly creates quite unstable snow packs. Research into avalanche prediction and probabilities helps forecasters inform walkers and climbers and this research relies on GIS to analyse the various parameters that determine the risk.
I spotted this great article about the use of GIS in mapping avalanche probability in the Northern Cairngorms. It is written by a PhD student at The University of Edinburgh. They have used various data such as Ordnance Survey Panorama DTM and base maps from EDINA’s Digimap service. They have then used some free Open Source tools (GRASS – an open source remote sensing package which is also available as a plugin for QGIS.) to run the analysis.
Worth a read, oh, and there is nice pic of a slide from me! Link to the article.