Current Avalanche News and Events

Current Avalanche News and Events, Avalanche News Articles.
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Traditional hydrologic models may misidentify snow as rain, new citizen science data shows
Normally, we think of the freezing point of water as 32°F - but in the world of weather forecasting and hydrologic prediction, that isn't always the case. In the Lake Tahoe region of the Sierra Nevada, the shift from snow to rain during winter storms may actually occur at temperatures closer to 39.5°F, according to new research from the Desert Research Institute (DRI), Lynker Technologies, and citizen scientists from the Tahoe Rain or Snow project. (2021-02-22)

Collapsed glaciers increase third pole uncertainties: Downstream lakes may merge within a decade
According to researchers from the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, meltwater from ice avalanches has been filling downstream lakes in a way that may cause previously separated lakes to merge within the next decade, thus disrupting the function of ecosystems in the region. (2021-02-09)

Using science to explore a 60-year-old Russian mystery
Researchers from EPFL and ETH Zurich have conducted an original scientific study that puts forth a plausible explanation for the mysterious 1959 death of nine hikers in the Ural Mountains in the former Soviet Union. The tragic Dyatlov Pass Incident, as it came to be called, has spawned a number of theories, from murderous Yeti to secret military experiments. (2021-01-28)

Scientists identify flank instability at a volcano with history of collapse
Landslides caused by the collapse of unstable volcanoes are one of the major dangers of volcanic eruptions. A method to detect long-term movements of these mountains using satellite images could help identify previously overlooked instability at some volcanoes, according to Penn State scientists. (2021-01-26)

When absolute certainty may not be possible: Criteria to determine death by mountain rescue teams
The International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MedCom) convened an expert medical panel to develop evidence-based criteria that allow for accurate determination of death in mountain rescue situations. These recommendations appear in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, published by Elsevier. (2020-12-14)

NASA's IRIS spots nanojets: Shining light on heating the solar corona
In a paper published today in Nature Astronomy, researchers report the first ever clear images of nanojets -- bright thin lights that travel perpendicular to the magnetic structures in the solar atmosphere, called the corona -- in a process that reveals the existence of one of the potential coronal heating candidates: nanoflares. (2020-09-21)

The cascade to criticality
Combined theoretical and experimental work unveils a novel mechanism through which criticality emerges in quasiperiodic structures -- a finding that provides unique insight into the physics on the middle ground between order and disorder. (2020-06-01)

Avalanche photodiode from UVA and UT-Austin breaks performance record for LiDAR receivers
Electrical and computer engineers at the University of Virginia and University of Texas-Austin have developed an avalanche photodiode that achieved record performance and has the potential to transform next generation night-vision imaging and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) receivers. For LiDAR, the team's low-noise, two-micrometer avalanche photodiode enables higher-power operation that is eye-safe. The peer reviewed paper was published May 18, 2020, in Nature Photonics. (2020-05-27)

Tackling alcohol harms must be an integral part of the nation's recovery from COVID-19
As the UK and most other countries went into lockdown, the need to save lives from the coronavirus rightly took priority over longer term health issues. But experts writing in The BMJ today warn that 'if we don't prepare for emerging from the pandemic, we will see the toll of increased alcohol harm for a generation.' (2020-05-20)

New photon-counting camera captures 3D images with record speed and resolution
Researchers have developed the first megapixel photon-counting camera based on new-generation image sensor technology that uses single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs). The new camera can detect single photons of light at unprecedented speeds, a capability that could advance applications that require fast acquisition of 3D images such as augmented reality and LiDAR systems for autonomous vehicles. (2020-04-16)

Single cell division error may be responsible for complexity in cancer genomes
A single error in cell division related to the formation of a chromosome bridge can trigger a cascade of mutational events, rapidly generating many of the defining features of cancer genomes, a new study suggests. (2020-04-16)

Genes sow seeds of neuropsychiatric diseases before birth, in early childhood
From early prenatal development through childhood, the prefrontal cortex of the human brain undergoes an avalanche of developmental activity. In some cases, it also contains seeds of neuropsychiatric illnesses such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia, according to a new genetic analysis led by researchers at Yale University and the University of California-San Francisco. (2020-04-07)

South American volcano showing early warning signs of 'potential collapse', research shows
One of South America's most prominent volcanoes is producing early warning signals of a potential collapse, new research has shown. (2020-02-18)

New tool to study how neuronal networks recover their function after neuron loss
A multidisciplinary study led by UB researchers has developed a new experimental tool that enables the application of focalized damage on an in vitro neuronal network of only a few millimetres and record the evolution of the whole network. One of the main conclusions is that the network quickly activates self-regulation mechanisms that reinforce the existing connections and restore the functionality of the circuit. (2020-02-18)

Quantum physics: Controlled experiment observes self-organized criticality
Researchers from Cologne, Heidelberg, Strasbourg and California have observed important characteristics of complex systems in a lab experiment. Their discovery could facilitate the development of quantum technologies. (2020-01-16)

Super-resolution at all scales with active thermal detection
IBS research team found the temperature increase caused by the probe beam could be utilized to generate a signal per se for detecting objects. Notably, this so-called 'active thermal detection' enables super-resolution imaging at all scales. (2019-12-22)

Researchers model avalanches in two dimensions
There's a structural avalanche waiting inside that box of Rice Krispies on the supermarket shelf. Cornell researchers are now closer to understanding how those structures behave - and in some cases, behave unusually. (2019-11-06)

Martian landslides not conclusive evidence of ice
Giant ridges on the surface of landslides on Mars could have formed without ice, challenging their use by some as unequivocal evidence of past ice on the red planet, finds a new UCL-led study using state-of-the-art satellite data. (2019-10-24)

Earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters obey same mathematical pattern
Researchers from the Centre for Mathematical Research (CRM) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have mathematically described the frequency of several dangerous phenomena according to their size with more precision than ever. Using new statistical tools, researchers have rigorously demonstrated how the frequency of earthquakes, hurricanes, torrential rains and meteorite impacts can be described with the same mathematical rule. However, other phenomena such as forest fires and land subsidence follow a different rule. (2019-08-05)

Hidden dynamics detected in neuronal networks
Neuronal networks in the brain can process information particularly well when they are close to a critical. However, experimental investigations of brain activity revealed much fewer indicators of such critical states than expected. Scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University have now proposed a possible explanation. They showed that neuronal networks can assume a second, previously unknown critical mode whose hidden dynamics are almost impossible to measure with conventional methods. (2019-07-23)

How much water do snowpacks hold? A better way to answer the question
Researchers have developed a new computer model for calculating the water content of snowpacks, providing an important tool for water resource managers and avalanche forecasters as well as scientists. (2019-07-15)

UK researchers develop ultrafast semiconductors
UK researchers have developed world-leading Compound Semiconductor (CS) technology that can drive future high-speed data communications. A team from Cardiff University's Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS) worked with collaborators to innovate an ultrafast and highly sensitive 'avalanche photodiode' (APD) that creates less electronic 'noise' than its silicon rivals. (2019-07-08)

Laser method promising for detecting trace chemicals in air
Researchers have developed a new laser-based method that can detect electric charges and chemicals of interest with unprecedented sensitivity. The new approach could one day offer a way to scan large areas for radioactive material or hazardous chemicals for safety and security applications. (2019-06-20)

Researchers wonder if ancient supernovae prompted human ancestors to walk upright
Supernovae bombarded Earth with cosmic energy starting as many as 8 million years ago, with a peak some 2.6 million years ago, initiating an avalanche of electrons in the lower atmosphere and setting off a chain of events that feasibly ended with bipedal hominins. (2019-05-28)

Avalanche Victims: When can rewarming lead to survival?
It is difficult for doctors to accurately assess avalanche victims who arrive at hospital suffering cardiac arrest: has the patient effectively suffocated, or is there a realistic prospect of survival if the patient is properly rewarmed? The correct initial assessment is crucial: it ensures that patients with a viable chance of survival are properly rewarmed, while also preventing unnecessary medical intervention in cases where survival is not possible. (2019-05-28)

SUTD uncovers the power of dynamically rewiring swarm robotic systems
Studies on the collective behavior of a swarm of land robots showed that a specific number of interactions among units is required to produce an optimal collective response. (2019-04-05)

'Nightmarish' antlions' spiral digging techniques create effective and deadly traps
A team of biologists and physicists, led by the University of Bristol, have uncovered new insights into how antlions - one of the fiercest and most terrifying predators in the insect kingdom - build their deadly pit traps. (2019-03-26)

Radioactive material detected remotely using laser-induced electron avalanche breakdown
University of Maryland physicists have developed a powerful new method to detect radioactive material. By using an infrared laser beam to induce an electron avalanche breakdown near the material, the new technique can detect shielded material from a distance -- improving upon current technologies that require close proximity to radioactive material. With additional engineering, the method could be scaled up to scan shipping containers at ports of entry, providing a powerful new tool for security applications. (2019-03-22)

Famous 'sandpile model' shown to move like a traveling sand dune
The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years. Even though the sandpile model serves as the archetypical model to study self-organized criticality, questions about its characteristics are still open and remain an active field of research. Researchers at IST Austria have now discovered a new property of this mathematical model: they managed to induce dynamics in the self-similar fractal patterns reminiscent of sand dunes in the desert. (2019-02-08)

Astronomers observe evolution of a black hole as it wolfs down stellar material
Astronomers observe evolution of a black hole as it wolfs down stellar material. (2019-01-09)

High entropy alloys hold the key to studying dislocation avalanches in metals
For decades researchers have studied materials from structures to see why and how they fail. Before catastrophic failure, there are individual cracks or dislocations that form, which are signals that a structure may be weakening. While researchers have studied individual dislocations in the past, a team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Tennessee, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory has made it possible to understand how dislocations organize and react at nanoscale. (2018-10-15)

Mathematicians propose first continuous self-organised criticality model
An international group of researchers (the first author is Nikita Kalinin, Higher School of Economics - Saint-Petersburg, the last author is Ernesto Lupercio, CINVESTAV, Mexico) has presented the first continuous model describing self-organised criticality. The proposed solution is simpler and more universal than the classical sandpile model: it integrates areas as remote from one another as economics, developmental biology and gravity in the context of tropical geometry. The paper was published in PNAS: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/08/14/1805847115. (2018-09-12)

The subtle mechanics of an avalanche -- as seen in 3D
Drawing on the fact that the snow in an avalanche can behave like both a solid and a fluid, a young researcher at EPFL and SLF has managed to simulate a snow slab avalanche with unrivaled precision. (2018-08-03)

Reconstruction of Grand Banks event sheds light on geohazard threats to seafloor infrastructure
As part of an international team, a researcher from the University of Liverpool reconstructed the 1929 Grand Banks underwater avalanche to better understand these common geohazards, which threaten critical seafloor infrastructure. (2018-07-05)

Lightning in the eyewall of a hurricane beamed antimatter toward the ground
Hurricane Patricia, which battered the west coast of Mexico in 2015, was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. Amid the extreme violence of the storm, scientists observed something new: a downward beam of positrons, the antimatter counterpart of electrons, creating a burst of powerful gamma-rays and x-rays. (2018-05-21)

Supercomputer simulation opens prospects for obtaining ultra-dense electron-positron plasmas
To achieve breakthrough research results in various fields of modern science, it is vital to develop successful interdisciplinary collaborations. Long-term interaction of physicists from the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and computer scientists from Lobachevsky University has resulted in a new software tool PICADOR developed for numerical modeling of laser plasmas on modern supercomputers (2018-03-15)

Global warming increases the risk of avalanches
The impacts of global warming are felt especially in mountainous regions, where the rise in temperatures is above average. The repercussions of these changes are manifold and varied, from retreating glaciers to an increase in the frequency and intensity of snow avalanches. Researchers from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, has employed dendrochronology- the reconstruction of past disasters as recorded in growth series of trees- to disentangle the role of global warming in the triggering avalanches. (2018-03-14)

Mastering metastable matter
The phenomenon of metastability -- when a system is in a state that is stable but not the one of least energy -- is widely observed in nature and technology. Yet, many aspects underlying the mechanisms governing the behaviour and dynamics of such systems remain unexplored. Physicists at ETH Zurich have now demonstrated a promising platform for studying metastability on a fundamental level, using an exquisitely well controlled gas consisting of a few ten thousands of atoms. (2018-03-09)

Dartmouth engineers produce breakthrough sensor for photography, life sciences, security
Engineers from Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering have produced a new imaging technology that may revolutionize medical and life sciences research, security, photography, cinematography and other applications that rely on high-quality, low-light imaging. Called the Quanta Image Sensor, or QIS, this next generation of light sensing technology is documented in the upcoming issue of Optica, the journal of The Optical Society. (2017-12-18)

Laser-boron fusion now 'leading contender' for energy
In a paper in the scientific journal Laser and Particle Beams today, lead author Heinrich Hora from the University of New South Wales in Sydney and international colleagues argue that the path to hydrogen-boron fusion is now viable, and may be closer to realization than other approaches, such as the deuterium-tritium fusion approach being pursued by US National Ignition Facility and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor under construction in France. (2017-12-13)

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