Example Of Course Work On Engineering

Published: 2021-06-18 06:12:28
essay essay

Category: Risk, Life, Time, Media, Radio, Wireless Technology, Snow, Walking

Type of paper: Essay

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Avalanches pose grave risks to the lives of human beings. People who have the misfortune to get stuck in the path of an avalanche have a 50% chance of survival. The remaining 50% either suffocate beneath the layers of snow that the avalanche brings in its wake, or die of trauma caused by the weight of snow and debris. In every century, there are, on an average, two large-scale avalanches. Of all types of avalanches, the dry slab avalanche is the most dangerous. The dry slab avalanches are responsible for nearly 90% of the deaths that occur due to avalanches. They are invariably self-triggered. They consist of a heavy sheet of ice that forms the top layer riding on a lower layer of snow. The critical factor for those trapped by avalanches is prompt and responsive rescue. Many a time, even fast and professional rescue is too late in arriving at the scene of an avalanche to rescue people.

Deep slab avalanches are caused by a weak slab of ice buried under many layers of snow. Deep slab instabilities are very hard to detect. On the surface, everything might be normal. However, there is the hazard of the avalanche being triggered due to the unstable layers below. The avalanche has sugar-like ice crystals that cause instability and are also fatal.
Snow in the mountains can be of different types – early season snow, new and drifted snow and old snow. When walking on snow, people should be careful. Merely observing a set of tracks on the snow does not mean that the track is safe. If one observes weak spots in the snow or signs of instability, it would be best to avoid such areas. Such areas may be unstable, and walking over them may trigger an avalanche. It is best to remain on flat terrain with a slope of less than 30 degrees to avoid the risk of an avalanche.


Avalanches remain a challenge for man to survive. Despite rapid advances of technology in the last century, man has not yet come up with a solution to overcome the danger posed by avalanches.

Avalanche prone areas require a number of innovations powered by engineering so that the risk of losing life is reduced. The most critical aspect in avalanche accidents is to trace the location of the survivors. To aid in locating survivors, it would be prudent to equip everyone hiking or mountaineering in avalanche prone areas to wear headbands embedded with electronic chips that emit radio frequencies at laid down intervals of time. Such radio emissions could be detected by specially designed devices, which would result in saving the lives of those smothered by avalanches. Apart from actively emitting electronics, passive engineering solutions could be created to guide people in avalanche prone areas. Circular poles could be embedded deep in the ground and painted with luminescent colors. These poles would serve to act as markers for people regain a sense of direction in the snow swept expanse that would obtain after an avalanche.

Teamwork and team spirit are the keys to escape being buried in an avalanche. Groups walking across avalanche prone areas need to tie themselves in a line with cord. This would ensure that if anyone fell into a crevasse, the others would be at hand to pull out the person. Most avalanche prone areas are in inaccessible, high altitude areas where mobile phone connectivity would be limited. In such areas, groups travelling across avalanche prone areas could be given radio sets that would emit signals that would be received through high frequency waves to a central monitoring station. The monitoring station would record the location of the groups on a map and call for help if a signal is not received over a gap of a predetermined period of time.

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