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Influences of avalanche-defence snow-supporting structures on ground temperature in Alpine permafrost terrain

  • Marcia Phillips (a1), Perry Bartelt (a1) and Marc Christen (a1)

Abstract

To investigate the effects of steel snow-supporting structures on the thermal regime of the ground in typical Alpine permafrost avalanche terrain, ground temperatures were monitored and simulated on an avalanche slope equipped with experimental snow-supporting structures. Temperature measurements were effected in lm boreholes above and below a row of snow nets and in two 18 m boreholes located between the structures and in a reference location. The presence of the structures can induce modifications of the temporal and spatial snow-cover distribution, leading to differences in active-layer temperatures just below and above the structures: snow accumulates above the supporting surface of the structures, and frequently there is less snow below. The long-term thermal effect of these variations near a snow net was simulated using a two-dimensional finite-element program based on heat conduction. The material and thermal characteristics of the ground simulated are obtained from temperature measurements and from borehole-core information.

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Copyright

References

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