Title Anticrack model for skier triggering of slab avalanches
Author Heierli, J.; Birkeland, K.W.; Simenhois, R.; Gumbsch, P.
Author Affil Heierli, J., Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Reliability of Components and Systems, Karlsruhe, Germany. Other: U. S. Department of Agriculture-Forest Service; Coeur Alaska
Source Cold Regions Science and Technology, 65(3), p.372-381, . Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0165- 232X
Publication Date Mar. 2011
Notes In English. Based on Publisher- supplied data; includes appendix GeoRef Acc. No: 309961
Index Terms accidents; avalanches; human activity; loading; mass movements (geology); mathematical models; models; countermeasures; environmental protection; slopes; snow; failures; fractures; mass movements; preventive measures; skiing; slab avalanches; snowpack
Abstract Skiers caught in a slab avalanche often trigger the avalanche themselves. Preventing those accidents necessitates a better understanding of the factors contributing to the failure of the snowpack under the action of a skier. In the present work, a mathematical model based on the principles of mixed-mode anticracking is proposed for skier triggering. The respective influences of the slope-normal and slope- parallel components of the load exerted by a skier on the prospective fracture plane are taken into account. A criterion for fracture propagation under typical skier loads is derived. It manifests a small number of factors that, combined, multiply the risk of triggering an avalanche. The criterion indicates, contrary to a common perception, that fracture is not more difficult to trigger in gentle slopes than in steep slopes. This major result of the model is confirmed by data obtained from field experiments.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.coldregions.2010.10.008
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 65006891