International Symposium on Mitigation Measures against Snow Avalanches and other Rapid Gravity Mass Flows – Siglufjörđur 3–5 April 2019


Tuesday 2 April 2019

17:00 – 19:00

Registration at Hótel Sigló

18:30 – 20:00

Welcome reception sponsored by the municipality of Fjallabyggđ/Siglufjörđur in the Herring Era Museum

Wednesday 3 April 2019

08:00 – 09:00

Registration at the symposium venue (red/blud buildings near Hótel Sigló)

09:00 – 09:20

Symposium openingGuđmundur Ingi Guđbrandsson, the Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, Gunnar Birgisson, the mayor of Fjallabyggđ/Siglufjörđur, Árni Jónsson, chairman of the local organizing committee.


Risk management, general

Chair: Harpa Grímsdóttir

09:20 – 09:40

Michael Bründl: Risk management of gravitational driven processes in Switzerland (keynote)

09:40 – 09:55

Andreas Drexel: Blons in Vorarlberg, Austria – 60 years sustainable avalanche protectionExperience, setbacks and lessons learned

09:55 – 10:10

Odd-Arne Mikkelsen: Snow2019_NVE.RN_The Norwegian way of preventing nature hazard

10:10 – 10:25

Martin Proksch: An integral avalanche safety concept for Goms region, Valais, Switzerland

10:25 – 10:40

Hafsteinn Pálsson: The importance of the Icelandic Avalanche and Landslide Fund for avalanche-prone areas in Iceland

10:40 – 10:55



Risk management, general, continued

Chair: Fjóla Guđrún Sigtryggsdóttir

10:55 – 11:10

Magni Hreinn Jónsson: Avalanche hazard mapping and mitigation for settlements in Iceland – An overview

11:10 – 11:25

Hiroki Matsushita: A simple evaluation of dry-snow avalanche hazard using meteorological data

11:25 – 11:40

Bruce Jamieson: Adjusting for uncertainty when combining runout estimates for extreme snow avalanches

11:40 – 11:55

Cam Campbell/Brian Gould: Post wildfire analysis of avalanche hazard in Canada


11:55 – 12:05


12:05 – 13:00



Society and the environment

Chair: Tómas Jóhannesson

13:00 – 13:20

Arne Instanes: Society and environment in the context of changing climate in Arctic regions (keynote)

13:20 – 13:35

Arnold Studeregger: Avalanche commissions in Austria at the interface between locals and authorities. Embedding, decision process and quality assurance

13:35 – 13:50

Fjóla Guđrún Sigtryggsdóttir: Avalanche and landslide hazard zoning committees in Iceland

13:50 – 14:05

Halldór Halldórsson: Protection measures and working with the locals, practical challenges

14:05 – 14:20

Eiđur P. Birgisson: Landscape design of snow avalanche protection structures in Siglufjörđur, Ólafsfjörđur and Seyđisfjörđur

14:20 – 14:35

Abdurrahim Aydın: Historical development and future outlook of the avalanche hazard potential of residential areas in the Lake Uzungöl (Eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey) between 2004 and 2050

14:35 – 15:00


15:00 – 15:20



Risk management, general, traffic and ski areas

Chair: Magni Hreinn Jónsson

15:20 – 15:40

Peter Gauer: Avalanche observations related to probabilities (keynote)

15:40 – 15:55

Martin Proksch/Pascal Venetz: From the pilot study to the practical implementation – A case study from the Oberalppass in Switzerland

15:55 – 16:10

Remzi Eker: Evaluation of snow avalanche hazard on the highway using high resolution UAV data: Case of Erzurum-Çat-Karlıova highway, Turkey

16:10 – 16:25

Patrick Siegele: Hazard managing in Austrian ski areas

16:25 – 16:40

Harpa Grímsdóttir: Management of avalanche risk in Icelandic ski areas

16:40 – 16:55

Tore Humstad: Avalanche warning services as an integrated part of winter road operations in Norway

16:55 – 17:10

Geir Sigurđsson: Avalanche management for roads in Iceland

17:10 – 17:25

Ole-André Helgaas: Methods for avalanche protection on roads in Finnmark in Northern Norway

17:25 – 17:40

Daniel Germain: Avalanche hazard in urban snow storage sites in Province of Quebec, Canada

17:40 – 18:00


20:30 – 21:30

Optional evening session with photos and videos of avalanches and protection measures



Thursday 4 April 2019


Planning, design, construction and management of protection measures

Chair: Bruce Jamieson

09:00 – 09:20

Stefan Margreth: Effectiveness and maintenance of technical avalanche protection measures in Switzerland (keynote)

09:20 – 09:35

Cameron Ross: Avalanche deflection berm and stopping wall at a hydro-electric facility in north-western British Columbia, Canada

09:35 – 09:50

Árni Jónsson: Longyearbyen Svalbard – Mitigation measures for Sukkertoppen and Vannledningsdalen

09:50 – 10:05

Daniel Illmer: Everyday work of an avalanche engineer – Calculation of avalanche loads and protection of small objects in avalanche paths like ropeway towers

10:05 – 10:20

Jón Skúli Indriđason: Experience and evaluation of reinforced soil systems in catching dams in Iceland 1998–2017

10:20 – 10:35

Áslaug Traustadóttir: Landscaping of avalanche dams in Fjarđabyggđ and Vestfirđir

10:35 – 10:50



Planning, design, construction and management of protection measures, continued

Chair: Andreas Drexel

10:50 – 11:05

Rico Brändle: Floating foundations for flexible snow nets on permafrost and creeping slopes – 10 years experience

11:05 – 11:20

Nicolas Villard: Hybrid innovative protection structures with optimized foundations and field adaptation

11:20 – 11:35

Jón Skúli Indriđason: Observed changes in hydrology downstream of large earth fill dams in Iceland. Lessons learned

11:35 – 11:50

Anders Bjordal: Tree Tribes Meeting how to build a protection dam

11:50 – 12:05


12:05 – 13:00



Observations of avalanches, instrumentation

Chair: Árni Jónsson

13:00 – 13:20

Betty Sovilla: The avalanche flow regimes and their pressure on infrastructures (keynote)

13:20 – 13:35

Philippe Berthet-Rambaud: Attempt to combine few historical data from a 19th century avalanche and recent modelling capabilities for hazard zoning at Tignes Brévičres

13:35 – 13:50

Ţorsteinn Sćmundsson: Monitoring rock avalanche hazard from the Svínafellsheiđi mountainside in SE Iceland

13:50 – 14:05

Engelbert Gleirscher: SNOWCATCHER – full-scale test site in the Stubai Valley – site selection, installation of structure and monitoring system, first results of the avalanche–structure interaction

14:05 – 14:20

Rune Solberg: Landslide detection and mapping by remote sensing

14:20 – 14:35

Tómas Jóhannesson: Snow avalanches hitting deflecting and catching dams in Iceland 1997–2018

14:35 – 14:50

Sveinn Brynjólfsson: Snow avalanches hitting natural obstacles in Iceland: The avalanches at Kisárdalur, Steinsstađaskál and Upsi in N-Iceland

14:50 – 15:00


15:00 – 15:20


15:20 – 16:20

Poster session




Simulations of avalanches, laboratory experiments

Chair: Betty Sovilla

16:20 – 16:40

Chris Johnson: Interaction of granular avalanches with obstacles and topography (keynote)

16:40 – 16:55

Gísli Steinn Pétursson: Analyzing and mitigating the impact of avalanche protection structures on their local wind climate

16:55 – 17:10

Kristín Martha Hákonardóttir: The design of slushflow barriers: Laboratory experiments

17:10 – 17:25

Halldór Pálsson: The design of slushflow barriers: OpenFOAM simulations

17:25 – 17:40

Hafţór Örn Pétursson: Use of RAMMS Avalanche and OpenFOAM to simulate the interaction of avalanches and slush flows with dams

17:40 – 18:00



Closing remarks

18:30 – 20:00

Hotel lounge area open for meeting other guests before the banquet


Symposium Banquet

Friday 5 April 2019

09:00 – 17:30

Symposium Excursion

18:00 – 19:00

Bus to Akureyri airport from Siglufjörđur or Dalvík with excursion participants (flight to Reykjavík departs at 20:10)

Saturday 6 April 2019

09:00 – 16:00

Ski mountaineering tour

17:00 – 18:00

Bus to Akureyri airport with ski mountaineering tour participants (flight to Reykjavík departs at 19:05)


Posters, booths, company introductions

Susan J. Conway: Using RAMMS (RApid Mass Movement Simulation) to simulate rapid gravity mass flows in martian gullies

Armelle Decaulne: Mass movements in Nunavik: hazard and risk

Andreas Drexel: Adaption of snow bridges in the Großtal avalanche in Galtür, Tyrol, Austria – Constructive and static problems

Örn Ingólfsson: Using data from automatic snow sensors for avalanche forecasting in Iceland

Árni Jónsson: Planning for highways in avalanche-prone areas in Troms County, Northern Norway

Árni Jónsson: Wind simulation for Longyearbyen mitigation measures

Costanza Morino: Geomorphic signatures of different debris-flow release processes in Ísafjörđur, north-western Iceland


Trond Jřran Nilsen: Methods for avalanche protection on roads in Finnmark in Northern Norway




Elena Pummer: Hybrid modeling of debris flows – Focusing on initial and boundary conditions



Rune Solberg: Mapping snow surface hoar by optical remote sensing

Brynjólfur Sveinsson: Snow avalanche history of rural areas in Iceland

Ţorsteinn Sćmundsson: TDR used for the first time to monitor slope movements in Iceland. A case study from the Almenningar landslide in central North Iceland

FSR – Government Construction Contracting Agency: Protection measures in Iceland – 1997–2018 – Protection dams, supporting structures (three posters)






Exhibitors with booths




Svarmi ehf. Iceland: Use of drones for mapping snow avalanches, landslides and construction areas




CautusGeo, Norway




Trumer Schutzbauten, Austria




Geobrugg, Switzerland




Húsasmiđjan/TAS, Iceland/France








Company introductions




Verkís hf.: Design of avalanche protection measures in Iceland. Verkís Consulting Engineers




Hnit hf.: Design of avalanche protection measures in Iceland. Hnit Consulting Engineers




Efla hf.: Design of avalanche protection measures in Iceland. Efla Consulting Engineers




TenCate Geosynthetics North West Europe




Reinforced Earth Company




Mair Wilfried GmbH



Wyssen Avalanche Control