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Simulation of a destructive avalanche at Maseguchi, Japan

  • D.M. Mcclung (a1), S. Kobayashi (a2) and K. Izumi (a2)

Abstract

In 1986, a large avalanche destroyed 11 houses and killed 13 people at Maseguchi, Japan. Previous attempts to model the avalanche were based on the assumption that it was a powder avalanche consisting of snow particles suspended by air turbulence. In this paper, the avalanche is modelled as a dry flowing avalanche with a dense core of flowing material at the base. It is suggested that for a comprehensive explanation of the observed damage and the characteristics of the avalanche deposit, the assumption that the avalanche was a flowing avalanche is more appropriate. The comparison of model results from a flowing versus a powder avalanche is of general interest for avalanche zoning and design of structures in avalanche-threatened areas.

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References

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Ackermann, N. L. Shen, H.T. 1978 Flow of granular material as a two–component system. In US–Japan seminar: Continuum Mechanical and Statistical Approaches in the Mechanics of Granular Materials. Preprint. U.S. National Science Foundation and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 5–9 June, 1978 Sendai, Japan, 916.
Fukushima, Y. Parker, G. 1990 Numerical simulation of powder–snow avalanches. J. Glacial., 36(123), 229237.
Kobayashi, S. Izumi, K. 1989 A brief review of the Masequchi avalanche in Japan in 1986. In Proceedings of the International Snow Science Workshop, October 12–15, 1988 Whistler, BC. Vancouver, Canadian Avalanche Association, 5762.
McClung, D.M. 1990 A model for scaling avalanche speeds. J. Glacial., 36(123), 188198.
McClung, D.M. Schaerer, P.A. 1985 Characteristics of flowing snow and avalanche impact pressures. Ann. Glaciol., 6, 914.
Norem, H. Irgens, F. Schieldrop, B. 1987 A continuum model for calculating snow avalanche velocities. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 162 (Symposium at Davos 1986 – Avalanche Formation, Movement and Effects), 363379.
Perla, R.I. Martinelli, M. 1976 Avalanche handbook. Washington DC, U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Handbook 489.)
Quervain, M. R.de 1966 Problems of avalanche research. International Association of Scientific Hydrology Publication 69 (Symposium at Davos 1965 – Scientific Aspects of Snow and Ice Avalanches), 1522.
Turner, J.S. 1973 Buoyancy effects in fluids. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

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