Types of Avalanches

 

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There are three main types of avalanches: powder, wet, and slab avalanches.

A powder avalanche is a fast moving, very destructive avalanche. These avalanches can travel up to 160 kilometers per hour or 100 miles per hour. Powder avalanches are usually triggered by something small, such as a piece of ice or a rock.

Source: http://www-lmc.imag.fr/lmc-edp/Jocelyn.Etienne/avalanche-powder.jpg

Wet avalanches are slow-moving and consist of snow, ice, rock, and other material. These avalanches look like slow-moving water, but have enormous force behind them.

Source: http://ifyouski.com/

Slab avalanches occur when a slab of snow breaks free and flows down a slope. This type of avalanche is usually triggered by humans, and therefore causes the most fatalities.

Source: http://www.avtraining.org/Images/donateslab.jpg