Item: Measurements on skier triggering
Title: Measurements on skier triggering
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1996 International Snow Science Workshop, Banff, Canada
Authors: Christian Camponovo and Jurg Schweizer, Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, CH-7260 Weissfluhjoch/Davos, Switzerland, phone: +41 814170222, fax: +41 81 4170220, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: The forces induced by a skier (or snowboarder) within the snow cover were measured in situ with load cells for different snow cover conditions and for different load cell (weak layer) depths within the snow cover. The different steps of dynamic loading that are applied doing a rutschblock test were studied. The results show the importance of the weak layer depth (the thinner the slab the easier triggering) and in particular of the type of sublayering of the snow cover, i.e. of the slab properties. Bridging effects by hard layers are recognized. Skier penetration has to be considered. The stress increased strongly but non-linearly with rutschblock loading steps. For certain snow conditions the measured impact is of the same order of magnitude as typical shear strength values measured by pulling shear frames. The dynamic loads are applied within fractions of seconds. Provided that deformations are large enough (depending on slab thickness and slab properties), the skier's impact induces a brittle failure within a weak layer or interface.
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Keywords: snow mechanics, slab avalanche, avalanche formation, dynamic loads
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