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Modeling snow slab avalanches caused by weak-layer failure – Part 1: Slabs on compliant and collapsible weak layers

Rosendahl, Philipp L. and Weißgraeber, Philipp (2020):
Modeling snow slab avalanches caused by weak-layer failure – Part 1: Slabs on compliant and collapsible weak layers.
In: The Cryosphere, 14, (1), Copernicus, pp. 115-130, ISSN 1994-0424,
DOI: 10.25534/tuprints-00011573,
[Online-Edition: https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-115-2020],
Secondary publishing via sponsored Golden Open Access, [Article]

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Item Type: Article
Origin: Secondary publishing via sponsored Golden Open Access
Title: Modeling snow slab avalanches caused by weak-layer failure – Part 1: Slabs on compliant and collapsible weak layers
Language: English
Abstract:

Dry-snow slab avalanche release is preceded by a fracture process within the snowpack. Recognizing weak-layer collapse as an integral part of the fracture process is crucial and explains phenomena such as whumpf sounds and remote triggering of avalanches from low-angle terrain. In this two-part work we propose a novel closed-form analytical model for a snowpack under skier loading and a mixed-mode failure criterion for the nucleation of weak-layer failure.

In the first part of this two-part series we introduce a closed-form analytical model of a snowpack accounting for the deformable layer. Despite the importance of persistent weak layers for slab avalanche release, no simple analytical model considering weak-layer deformations is available. The proposed model provides deformations of the snow slab, weak-layer stresses and energy release rates of cracks within the weak layer. It generally applies to skier-loaded slopes as well as stability tests such as the propagation saw test. A validation with a numerical reference model shows very good agreement of the stress and energy release rate results in several parametric studies including analyses of the bridging effect and slope angle dependence. The proposed model is used to analyze 93 propagation saw tests. Computed weak-layer fracture toughness values are physically meaningful and in excellent agreement with finite element analyses.

Journal or Publication Title: The Cryosphere
Journal volume: 14
Number: 1
Publisher: Copernicus
Classification DDC: 600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften > 600 Technik
Divisions: 16 Department of Mechanical Engineering > Institute of Structural Mechanics (FSM)
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2020 09:35
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2020 09:35
DOI: 10.25534/tuprints-00011573
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-115-2020
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-115731
URI: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/id/eprint/11573
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