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Image: Jessica Lucas/National Geographic


A fast-moving mass of snow, rock, ice, and soil rushes down a slope, snapping large trees like matchsticks. Large avalanches can weigh a million tons and travel at speeds of 200 mph.

Take a closer look at the two main types of snow avalanches, sluffs and slabs. Then discover why its difficult for scientists to predict these destructive events with any certainty.

National Geographic

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