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No. 46: Jul-Aug 1986

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The Moon And Avalanches

The moon is blamed for many things from earthquake triggering to human crimes of passion. Until now, no one seems to have studied the lunar effect on avalanche frequency; even though avalanches are obvious trigger-type phenomena. We find the following para-graph in an article on snow avalanches in general:

"Another precipitating factor may be the gravitational pull of the moon. In research published last year, Peter Lev of the Utah Highway Department found that based on a statistical study of moon and avalanche cycles in the Wasatch Mountains during the past 20 years, the chance of an avalanche's occurring on a full and new moon was 100 times greater than it is during other days in the lunar cycle."

(Anonymous; "Full Moon May Contribute to 'Loose' and 'Slab' Avalanches," San Jose Mercury News, December 3l, 1985. Cr. Bartindale)

From Science Frontiers #46, JUL-AUG 1986. � 1986-2000 William R. Corliss