Snow x-rays help avalanche science
13 February 2014 Last updated at 11:23 GMT
The 2013-2014 season has been particularly deadly in the Alps in terms of avalanches, with 13 fatalities in Switzerland alone so far.
Researchers from Europe's centre for avalanche forecasting - the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research - are employing new technology to improve their chances of predicting and preventing these disasters.
Here, snow physicist Dr Martin Schneebeli explains how examining snow with x-rays helps reveal how it changes over time to cause avalanche-triggering weak layers.