Nova Video Library: Avalanche! takes a look at avalanches from several perspectives, beginning with the destruction caused by one that dropped 250,000 tons of snow at 125 miles per hour on a little town off the coast of Iceland. It wiped out much of the town and killed 25 people. The rest of the program focuses on how to predict an avalanche and how to keep people safe from them. A scientist at the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos, Switzerland, checks the strength of snow to determine its stability. Researchers at Montana State University set up a wood shack and trigger an avalanche to determine the mechanics at the base of an avalanche. "Ski cutting" and explosive charges are used to start avalanches on roads and on mountains before skiers are allowed on the slopes. Avalanche advisories are issued by tracking weather and using knowledge about the snow.
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