Avalanche problems have become a fundamental component of avalanche hazard assessment and communication since the introduction of the Conceptual Model of Avalanche Hazard. However, the observations used to assess them are not explicitly defined and rely largely on avalanche forecasters' subjective judgements that are prone to noise and bias. This study uses concept mapping to develop a comprehensive understanding of factors influencing operational applications of avalanche problems in public avalanche bulletins in Canada. Interviews with 22 experienced forecasters revealed a diverse range of physical observations and additional considerations. While some of the observed inconsistencies can be attributed to physical differences among forecast regions, others originate from personal perspectives on risk communication considerations, approaches to dealing with uncertainty, and attributes of operational forecast systems. This research offers a starting point for the development of more objective criteria for adding and removing avalanche problems in public bulletins.
Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Haegeli, Pascal
Member of collection