Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Snow Science: Explaining A Slab Avalancehe that Occurred in 1959

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Earth Science, Earth Systems Science

During the winter of 1959, nine students never returned from a cross-country skiing trip in the Ural Mountains of Russia (Dyatolov Pass). The circumstances of the remains sparked truly wild speculations including a possible attack by monsters. See the Wiki entry for the full history as well as a review of the expedition, search and discovery, investigation, explanations, and its place in popular culture.

Weather, snow conditions and the precise location of the accident have finally been determined and analyzed, revealing that the students lost their lives in a freak avalanche accident.

A video (9m 34s) is included in Shmini Bundell's essay in the scientific journal Nature which explains what happened. There is also a link to the original paper in Nature but don't be surprised if access is protected by a fire-/paywall.

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