Can the propagation speed of snow avalanches be determined by seismic methods?
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The main question of the given work is whether the propagation speed of snow avalanches can be determined using seismic observations. The significance of having at least an order of magnitude estimate of this basic physical parameter is doubtless: in order to reduce the risks associated with this frequently occurring natural phenomena it is crucial to design the constructions (including protective structures) that can withstand the impact pressures exerted by avalanches. However, the estimation of these pressures requires the knowledge of the propagation speed of the avalanche. The same is also true in case of determination of the hypothetical run out distances of avalanches during the modelling procedure. In this study we illustrate different methods, with its advantages and pitfalls, of estimating avalanche propagation speed from seismic observations. For this purpose, we utilize a set of seismic data from the avalanche test site in Ryggfonn, Norway.