Title Measuring spatial variations of weak layer and slab properties with regard to snow slope stability
Author Bellaire, S.; Schweizer, J.
Author Affil Bellaire, S., WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos, Switzerland
Source Cold Regions Science and Technology, 65(2), p.234-241, . Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0165- 232X
Publication Date Feb. 2011
Notes In English. 32 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 309492
Index Terms avalanches; layers; mass movements (geology); mechanical properties; penetrometers; slope stability; snow; statistical analysis; microstructure; geostatistics; layered materials; mass movements; natural hazards; probability; risk assessment; sampling; spatial variations; ultrastructure
Abstract Spatial variations of weak layer and slab properties are believed to affect snow slope stability. To quantify spatial variability at the slope scale, penetration resistance was measured with a high- resolution snow micro-penetrometer (SMP) in a partly randomized grid pattern. The grid design consisted of 46 SMP measurement locations. In addition, a full snow profile and 20 compression tests as well as a Rutschblock test at the snow profile location were performed within the grid. Fifteen slopes of different aspects were sampled of which 11 could be analysed. Weak layer and slab properties were characterised using non- spatial as well as spatial statistics and results were related to slope stability. The geostatistical analysis revealed that in more than half of the cases a range could be determined. Slab layers tended to have more spatial structure than the weak layer. Though some trends are apparent, firm conclusions on the dependence of slope stability on spatial variations were not possible due to the limited range of snow conditions in the dataset, and the fact that the definition of slope stability remains elusive. Based on our limited data set, we can therefore not specify the conditions when spatial variations of weak layer and slab properties are most relevant for snow slab release.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.coldregions.2010.08.013
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 65006615