Item: Model for avalanches in three spatial dimensions: comparison of theory to experiments
Title: Model for avalanches in three spatial dimensions: comparison of theory to experiments
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1994 International Snow Science Workshop, Snowbird, Utah, USA
Authors: R. M. LANG, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research 8 Engineering Laboratory 72 Lyme Road, Hanover, N.H., 03755-1290, U.S.A., Brian R. LEO, Sigma Technologies, Inc., 6970 Ford Dr. N. w., Gig Harbor, WA 98335, U.S.A.
Abstract: Increases in land use and development in mountainous areas, anticipated warming of the earth's atmosphere, and the deforestation in alpine regions from air pollution, acid rain, previously poor forestry practices, and land misuse have renewed attention to the importance of reliably recognizing natural avalanche paths and predicting deposition zones. The impact pressures induced by an avalanche in the runout area motivate zoning restrictions and building code requirements. Existing avalanche models are generally inadequate. Therefore, the current trend in the research of flowing snow and other materials is still directed at determining the predominant mechanisms governing the motion. The phenomena collectively referred to as avalanches can be physically characterized as multiphase gravity flows, which consist of randomly dispersed, interacting phases, whose properties change with respect to both time and space. Lang and Dent (1982) describe an avalanche as "the transient, three-dimensional motion of a variable mass system made up of nonrigid, nonrotund, nonuniform assemblage of granular (snow) fragments flowing down a nonuniform slope of varying surface resistance." In this sense, an exact analysis of the motion of an avalanche is perhaps an unattainable goal.
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Keywords: avalanche path, avalanche release, avalanche runout
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