Articles | Volume 15, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 15, 983–1004, 2021
The Cryosphere, 15, 983–1004, 2021
Research article
 | Highlight paper
24 Feb 2021
Research article  | Highlight paper | 24 Feb 2021

Mapping avalanches with satellites – evaluation of performance and completeness

Elisabeth D. Hafner et al.

Related authors

Automated avalanche mapping from SPOT 6/7 satellite imagery: results, evaluation, potential and limitations
Elisabeth D. Hafner, Patrick Barton, Rodrigo Caye Daudt, Jan Dirk Wegner, Konrad Schindler, and Yves Bühler
The Cryosphere Discuss.,,, 2022
Preprint under review for TC
Short summary
Spatially continuous snow depth mapping by airplane photogrammetry for annual peak of winter from 2017 to 2021
Leon J. Bührle, Mauro Marty, Lucie A. Eberhard, Andreas Stoffel, Elisabeth D. Hafner, and Yves Bühler
The Cryosphere Discuss.,,, 2022
Preprint under review for TC
Short summary
Where are the avalanches? Rapid SPOT6 satellite data acquisition to map an extreme avalanche period over the Swiss Alps
Yves Bühler, Elisabeth D. Hafner, Benjamin Zweifel, Mathias Zesiger, and Holger Heisig
The Cryosphere, 13, 3225–3238,,, 2019
Short summary

Related subject area

Discipline: Snow | Subject: Remote Sensing
Snow water equivalent change mapping from slope-correlated synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) phase variations
Jayson Eppler, Bernhard Rabus, and Peter Morse
The Cryosphere, 16, 1497–1521,,, 2022
Short summary
Sentinel-1 time series for mapping snow cover depletion and timing of snowmelt in Arctic periglacial environments: case study from Zackenberg and Kobbefjord, Greenland
Sebastian Buchelt, Kirstine Skov, Kerstin Krøier Rasmussen, and Tobias Ullmann
The Cryosphere, 16, 625–646,,, 2022
Short summary
Sentinel-1 snow depth retrieval at sub-kilometer resolution over the European Alps
Hans Lievens, Isis Brangers, Hans-Peter Marshall, Tobias Jonas, Marc Olefs, and Gabriëlle De Lannoy
The Cryosphere, 16, 159–177,,, 2022
Short summary
Characterizing tundra snow sub-pixel variability to improve brightness temperature estimation in satellite SWE retrievals
Julien Meloche, Alexandre Langlois, Nick Rutter, Alain Royer, Josh King, Branden Walker, Philip Marsh, and Evan J. Wilcox
The Cryosphere, 16, 87–101,,, 2022
Short summary
Mapping liquid water content in snow at the millimeter scale: an intercomparison of mixed-phase optical property models using hyperspectral imaging and in situ measurements
Christopher Donahue, S. McKenzie Skiles, and Kevin Hammonds
The Cryosphere, 16, 43–59,,, 2022
Short summary

Cited articles

Abermann, J., Eckerstorfer, M., Malnes, E., and Hansen, B. U.: A large wet snow avalanche cycle in West Greenland quantified using remote sensing and in situ observations, Nat. Hazards, 97, 517–534,, 2019. 
Bebi, P., Kulakowski, D., and Rixen, C.: Snow avalanche disturbances in forest ecosystems – State of research and implications for management, Forest Ecol. Manag., 257, 1883–1892,, 2009. 
Bourbigot, M., Johnsen, H., Piantanida, R., Hajduch, G., Poullaouec, J., and Hajduch, G.: Sentinel-1 Product Definition, ESA Unclassified – For Official Use, availabe at: (last access: 18 February 2021), 2016. 
Brenner, H. and Gefeller, O.: Variation of sensitivity, specificity, likelihood ratios and predictive values with disease prevalence, Stat. Med., 16, 981–991, 1997. 
Bründl, M. and Margreth, S.: Integrative Risk Management, in: Snow and Ice-Related Hazards, Risks and Disasters, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 263–301, 2015. 
Short summary
Satellites prove to be very valuable for documentation of large-scale avalanche periods. To test reliability and completeness, which has not been satisfactorily verified before, we attempt a full validation of avalanches mapped from two optical sensors and one radar sensor. Our results demonstrate the reliability of high-spatial-resolution optical data for avalanche mapping, the suitability of radar for mapping of larger avalanches and the unsuitability of medium-spatial-resolution optical data.