Following of snow meteorological episodes and avalanches.
CC BY 4.0 Andorra Recerca + Innovació

In this project, snow thickness is monitored with the aim of studying episodes with avalanche activity and better understanding the triggers, meteorological, terrain or - in the case of accidental avalanches - human factor.

During the winter, the formation and evolution of the weak layers located within the snow thickness is systematically monitored, as well as the monitoring of avalanche activity episodes. Observations are usually made in the Estanyó circus sector, in Sorteny, where one of the weather stations of the National Meteorological Service is located. Additional observations are also made in other areas when mapping the terrain for the ATES project. Snow thickness profiles are also made in areas where accidental avalanches have occurred or in particular situations with interesting stratigraphy to follow.

Snow profile at Perafita station.

At the end of 2019, the SNOWPACK model was put into operation for the Sorteny and Perafita weather stations. This program is used to model snow thickness and its stratigraphy, and to predict evolution in different orientations. In this sense, weekly observations are made near the weather stations in order to compare the profiles made manually with the output of the automatic model and thus be able to detect limitations of the model in order to improve it.

Observation of snow crystals.