avalanche

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v avalanche gather into a huge mass and roll down a mountain, of snow
    • n avalanche a sudden appearance of an overwhelming number of things "the program brought an avalanche of mail"
    • n avalanche a slide of large masses of snow and ice and mud down a mountain
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Avalanche A fall of earth, rocks, etc., similar to that of an avalanche of snow or ice.
    • Avalanche A large mass or body of snow and ice sliding swiftly down a mountain side, or falling down a precipice.
    • Avalanche A sudden, great, or irresistible descent or influx of anything.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n avalanche The fall or sliding down of a mass of snow or ice from a mountain-slope. The sliding down of ordinary snow is, in high snow-covered mountains, an event of frequent occurrence, and is generally not dangerous or destructive, since it mostly takes place high above habitations and forests. Partly consolidated snow, or névé however, is sometimes set in motion in large quantities, and such an occurrence may be productive of very serious injury, especially to the forests below. Small glaciers sometimes detach themselves from their rocky beds and fall into the valley below; such events are rare, but have sometimes been attended by very disastrous results. The more terrible catastrophes which have occurred, and by which, especially in the Alps, whole villages have been buried, have been due to the sliding down of a portion of the rock itself of which the mountain was formed. These “rock-avalanches,” as they are sometimes called, are more properly denominated land-slips or land-slides. See landslip, land-slide.
    • n avalanche Hence—2. Anything resembling an avalanche in suddenness and destructiveness: as, an avalanche of misfortunes.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Avalanche av′al-ansh a mass of snow and ice sliding down from a mountain: a snow-slip
    • v.t Avalanche (Spens.) to cause to descend
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Quotations

  • Stanislaw J. Lec
    Stanislaw J. Lec
    “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. avalanche, fr. avaler, to descend, to let down, from aval, down, downward; (L. ad,) + val, L. vallis, valley. See Valley

Usage

In literature:

Mounted on a good horse, one might hope to ride clear of the advancing avalanche of hoofs and horns.
"The Outdoor Chums After Big Game" by Captain Quincy Allen
And perched on the side of the hill the Briars found itself in a perfect avalanche of blossoms.
"Rose of Old Harpeth" by Maria Thompson Daviess
Misfortunes seemed now to be falling like an avalanche upon Poland.
"The Empire of Russia" by John S. C. Abbott
Snow avalanches like the one which has destroyed the wing of the monastery are of frequent occurrence there.
"The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 20, March 25, 1897" by Various
Over the last declivity it leaps, hissing, foaming, crashing like an avalanche.
"The Lancashire Witches" by William Harrison Ainsworth
But it was not until the forty-ninth ballot that they started the avalanche.
"Stephen A. Douglas" by Allen Johnson
Who could stand against this world-wide avalanche?
"Children of the Market Place" by Edgar Lee Masters
His feet commenced to slide; against his will he went avalanching and cavorting down the path.
"Christmas Outside of Eden" by Coningsby Dawson
I told how Steele rebounded from his weakness and could no more have been stopped than an avalanche.
"The Rustlers of Pecos County" by Zane Grey
In an avalanche people went down the stairs.
"T. De Witt Talmage" by T. De Witt Talmage
And behind the leaders poured the whole pile, gathering speed as the avalanche made headway!
"Ruth Fielding in the Great Northwest" by Alice B. Emerson
The charge rolled on like an avalanche.
"Notable Events of the Nineteenth Century" by Various
Do we ever know what electric current precipitates the avalanche or decides a revolution?
"The Petty Troubles of Married Life, Complete" by Honore de Balzac
She bounded among them like a flash, singled out Wee Johnnie Tamarack, and proceeded to deluge the old man with an avalanche of words.
"The Gun-Brand" by James B. Hendryx
She was indeed a whirlwind of language, an avalanche of emotion.
"Dickey Downy" by Virginia Sharpe Patterson
He's an avalanche of woe, waiting to sweep down upon you.
"The Clarion" by Samuel Hopkins Adams
Heard the avalanches falling every five minutes nearly.
"Life of Lord Byron, Vol. III" by Thomas Moore
They had neglected to strengthen the eastern barrier to the Turkish avalanche.
"Historical Tales, Vol 5 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
There followed a succession of crashes, the rolling of rocks over each other, the grinding slide of avalanches great and small.
"The Killer" by Stewart Edward White
Nobody saw the avalanche coming, but everybody heard it arrive.
"The Way of the Wild" by F. St. Mars
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In poetry:

But following a mountain gulch,
Avalanche and slide,
I only found a dark ravine
Where tall waters ride.
"Blind Alley " by Norman MacLeod
O bird with heart of wassail,
That toss the Bacchic branch,
And slip your shaken music,
An elfin avalanche;
"A Question" by Francis Thompson
Where far along the desart air
Is heard no creature's call:
And undisturbing mortal ear
The avalanches fall:
"Hymn Written Among The Alps" by Helen Maria Williams
And let the eagle and the crow
Find shelter in his branches,
When winds shake down his winter snow
In silver avalanches.
"The Wood Giant" by John Greenleaf Whittier
From mountains old and hoary,
First Liberty came down;
Like the avalanche her footfall,
Like the thunder-cloud her frown.
"The March Of Freedom" by Ernest Jones
The snow-clad mountain terror--
The fearful avalanche--
Whose thunders are heard in valleys
Where imploring faces blanch;
"The Desirable Undefined" by Jared Barhite

In news:

An avalanche warning has been issued for Kananaskis Country due to high winds and snowfall in the area.
Montreal Canadiens at Colorado Avalanche .
Five Questions with Lubbock Avalanche -Journal beat writer Nick Kosmider.
BRP is once again bringing avalanche awareness courses to snowmobilers throughout North America in the fall of 2012.
Avalanche center looking to grow.
Avalanche kills climbers at Nepal peak.
At least 11 climbers were killed in an avalanche Sunday morning on Manaslu, the world's eighth-highest peak, a pilot who took part in the rescue effort said.
The avalanche , which took place Sunday at about 5 am local time, was likely caused by a huge piece of ice that fell from a glacier above the camp, Trommsdorff said.
With the recent snowfalls, backcountry avalanches are already a threat this season in Summit County, Diegel said.
Economic avalanche can't keep skiers away from slopes.
Avalanche 's Joe Sakic inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame.
Two of the fatal avalanches happened in California, including one near Lake Tahoe in March that killed 29-year-old Olympic Valley resident Benjamin Brackett.
An average of four people — they may be skiers, snowboarders or snowmobilers — die in Wasatch Mountain avalanches each year.
People are almost never killed in slides that aren't triggered by humans, and virtually all human-caused avalanches can be avoided with proper training.
3 skiers partially buried by avalanche in Montana.
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In science:

For smaller system sizes L < Lb one could study “avalanche”-like behavior, i.e. the sizes of the areas that get turned with the magnetic field (see ).
Susceptibility and Percolation in 2D Random Field Ising Magnets
But, there is a diffusion effect which is able to cause an avalanche of disconnections.
Self-Organized Critical Random Boolean Networks
In order to characterize the avalanches, we have measured two different variables: the time T needed for the net to reach a stationary state and the total number of disconnections B during T .
Self-Organized Critical Random Boolean Networks
Log-log histogram for the sizes of the avalanches B . B is the number of disconnections for each perturbation and S (B ) is the histogram.
Self-Organized Critical Random Boolean Networks
There are strong computational restrictions for working with bigger RBN because the size of the avalanches is limited by the number of RBN automata.
Self-Organized Critical Random Boolean Networks
In the prototype sandpile model of self-organized criticality time series obtained by decomposing avalanches into waves of toppling show intermittent fluctuations.
Turbulent self-organized criticality
The bursts are called avalanches, and their time series show indeed some similarities to those of turbulent fluctuating quantities.
Turbulent self-organized criticality
Quite recently it was realized that the two-dimensional (2D) Bak-Tang-Wiesenfeld (BTW) sandpile, the prototype model of self organized criticality [3,4], obeys a peculiar form of multiscaling for the pdf ’s of several avalanche measures .
Turbulent self-organized criticality
Thus, an avalanche made by a total number s ≥ 0 of topplings occurs before a new stable configuration is reached and a new grain is added.
Turbulent self-organized criticality
After many additions the system reaches a stationary critical state in which avalanche properties are sampled. A key notion in the approach to the BTW is that of wave decomposition of avalanches .
Turbulent self-organized criticality
The total number of topplings in an avalanche is the sum of those of all its waves.
Turbulent self-organized criticality
The global sample of all waves resulting from the decomposition of a sequence of several avalanches has exactly known scaling properties, well confirmed numerically [6,7].
Turbulent self-organized criticality
The long time autocorrelation of waves is responsible for the fact that the scaling of the BTW avalanche size pdf, Pav , is different from that of Pw .
Turbulent self-organized criticality
It remains a ma jor challenge to identify which features of the BTW wave time series are at the root of the multifractal scaling pattern detected for avalanches .
Turbulent self-organized criticality
Avalanche time series in general show finite correlation time for models of self organized criticality, including the 2D BTW sandpile .
Turbulent self-organized criticality
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