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Modelling cohesion in snow avalanche flow

  • Perry Bartelt (a1), Cesar Vera Valero (a1), Thomas Feistl (a1), Marc Christen (a1), Yves Bühler (a1) and Othmar Buser (a1)...

Abstract

Flowing snow is a cohesive granular material. Snow temperature and moisture content control the strength of the cohesive bonding between granules and therefore the outcome of granular interactions. Strong, cohesive interactions reduce the free mechanical energy in the avalanche core and therefore play a significant role in defining the avalanche flow regime. We introduce cohesion into avalanche dynamics model calculations by (1) treating cohesion as an additional internal binding energy that must be overcome to expand the avalanche flow volume, (2) modifying the Coulomb stress function to account for the increase in shear because of cohesive interactions and (3) increasing the activation energy to control the onset of avalanche fluidization. The modified shear stress function is based on force measurements in chute experiments with flowing snow. Example calculations are performed on ideal and real terrain to demonstrate how snow cohesion modifies avalanche flow and runout behaviour.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Perry Bartelt <bartelt@slf.ch>

References

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Keywords

Modelling cohesion in snow avalanche flow

  • Perry Bartelt (a1), Cesar Vera Valero (a1), Thomas Feistl (a1), Marc Christen (a1), Yves Bühler (a1) and Othmar Buser (a1)...

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