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Avalanches: not only risk factors but important environmental modification agents

informazioni
Date
15/05/2018
Time
15:30
Where
Aula magna, Università della Montagna, Via Morino 8 - Edolo (BS)
Speaker
Prof. Michele Freppaz Università di Torino - DISAFA e NatRisk
Watch the video
Description

Avalanches are not just a risk factor for those who go to mountain areas in the winter, they also represent a formidable agent which modifies the environment, able to model the landscape in a unique way.

Avalanches, for example, exert considerable erosive activity on the soil, which can be removed and transported, particularly in the area where the snow mass moves. The soil mixes with the snow carried by the avalanche and is normally deposited on the valley floor, where it accumulates in specific forms. The amount of soil removed by the avalanche in movement depends on the characteristics of the avalanche itself (e.g. size, moisture content of the snow), morphological factors (e.g. inclination, width of the slope) but also on the characteristics of the soil and vegetation.

The zones of accumulation of avalanches are characterized by a greater persistence of the snowpack that reduces the duration of the vegetative season and alters the cycle of the nutrients in the soil, favouring the development of species whose seeds are transported from areas of higher altitude.

Therefore, areas which are characterized by high pedodiversity and biodiversity originate, contributing to significantly differentiate the landscape in alpine areas and with specific features which still partly need to be discovered.

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