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Downed tree samples aid research of epic avalanche cycle

Avalanche Dangers
Posted at 9:01 AM, Jul 19, 2020

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — A crew from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center is crosscutting trees that were ripped out of the ground by a massive avalanche near Aspen in March 2019.

Researchers with the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Geological Survey hope to extract clues about Colorado’s climate from the tree ring growth.

Other research will include avalanche flow dynamics and impact pressures. CAIC has harvested 730 tree disks or cookies so far over the past two summers for research by its partners.

By providing lots of samples, researchers can look for longer-term trends in climate and avalanche activity. CAIC will share results of the studies in the coming years.