Item: The ak block, a sized-block snow test
Title: The ak block, a sized-block snow test
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2004 International Snow Science Workshop, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Authors: Bill Glude, Southeast Alaska Avalanche Center, Juneau, AK
Abstract: The AK Block is a snow test developed and used by the Southeast Alaska Avalanche Center staff over a 20-year period. It is a block sized to the tester’s weight and their ski or snowboard contact length, dug out on three sides. It is loaded in the same manner as the Rutschblock, but tests slab properties as well as shear strength. The AK Block can be done quickly by one person using a shovel, a tool to lay out the tester’s block width and length (tape, rule, or marked probe, cord, ski, snowboard, or pole), and skis or a board to load the block. It has a large sample area and gives direct sensory feedback. The sized block may allow direct comparison between blocks by testers of different weights. The first systematic testing of the AK Block, in the Chugach Mountains near Valdez, Alaska in the 2002 - 2003 winter and in the Coast Mountains near Juneau, Alaska in the 2003 - 2004 winter, is reported here. An unusually strong snowpack limited our data sample, so this is a preliminary report. The initial results are promising though, and we are recruiting other workers to help us gather more data.
Keywords: avalanche, snow stability tests, block tests, sized-block, ak block, rutschblock
Digital Abstract Not Available