Aluminum fences help prevent deadly avalanche at Yosemite, study says

By DAVID BUNNIS, Associated Press A new study finds aluminum fencing can stop an avalanche of up to 1,000-foot-tall (400-meter) high by trapping the snowpack behind the ice in the center of the glacier.

Researchers have studied the effect of ice thickness and thickness of the ice, and found that in places where the thickness is less than one-third of the width of the edge of the fence, the avalanche is stopped at just the right point to prevent the avalanche from spreading out to the edge.

The research was conducted by the University of California, Irvine and the U.S. Geological Survey.

It was published in the journal Science Advances.

The researchers analyzed snowfall measurements taken over three years for more than 50,000 square miles (180,000 km2) in Yosemite National Park, including areas near the Glacier Range and other glaciers in the area.

In Yosemite, where there is little snowfall, the thickness of ice along the edge is less.

In addition, there is a lower ice depth in some areas.

The study found that at any given location, the snowfall of the center glacier was about 20 percent lower than the average for the area, which would normally be about 40 percent.

The center glacier is the main artery of the Yosemite Valley.

In the summer, it flows up the East Sierra, and the snow falls over the West Sierra.

The thickness of an ice sheet, or how much ice it contains, can be affected by temperature, precipitation and other factors.

The research was based on the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

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