Analysis of snow-drifting vulnerability. Application to Botoşani county
Keywords:vulnerability, drifting snow, road infrastructure, GIS analysis, Botosani county
Currently, in the continental transitional climate, the snow-drifting phenomenon registers different intensities which are becoming harder and harder to oversee and classify into a certain typology. The North-Eastern region of Romania is highly susceptible to a intensive snow-drifting vulnerability, due to its position in the exterior of the Carpathian arc. In the present article, we have analyzed the climatic and geomorphologic parameters, as well as road infrastructure in Botoşani county, trying to evaluate the snow-drifting vulnerability of transport infrastructure. From the hypothesis that the snow-drifting vulnerable areas are the resultant of morphologic and morphometric factors, like relief (through exposition, slope, hypsometry etc.) and climatic factors (prevailing wind direction and topoclimatic particularities), a unitary analysis was compiled, embedding these parameters in the form of a united cartographic product, equivalent to the reality on site. Rugosity, as a consequence of land use, contributes to a differential accumulation of the snow layer, particularly larger accumulations in contact areas between arborescent vegetation and grassy vegetation, as well as the contact between localities′ peripheries and the built perimeter; and also because of small areas within other land uses, ranked with lower vulnerability (like forests and orchards). The results obtained are based on spatial interpretation, quantifying the influence of each parameter with direct implication on the snow-drifting phenomenon.