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Glossary Index

Avalanche Institute


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Lubricating Layer


1 - A layer within a snowpack which has been wetted by free water percolating through the snow. Sometimes any weak layer or cohesionless layer which has acted as the basal zone in a slab avalanche.

2 - A layer with weak internal strength and/or poor bonding to adjacent layers which facilitates mechanical failure within the snow pack. A recognizable lubricating layer may or may not be present in an avalanche.

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