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Glossary Index

Avalanche Institute


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Air Blast

Also: Also: Shock wave, Pressure blast, Pressure wave, Wind Blast

A strong rush of air which may precede some fast moving powder avalanches.

Some slides, particularly large ones, appear to be preceded by an air blast or pressure wave. Destructive air blasts are not common. However, there are certain paths where the phenomena occurs regularly. When it does occur the air blast may extend about 100 meters beyond a major path.

Sometimes reference is made to a shock wave. This is misleading since the air blast is not a true shock wave.

This glossary is a work in progress and is made possible by AlpenPro.