Item: Effect of snow temperatures on skier triggering of dry slab avalanches
Title: Effect of snow temperatures on skier triggering of dry slab avalanches
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1996 International Snow Science Workshop, Banff, Canada
Authors: D.M. McClung and Jurg Schweizer, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary
Abstract: Field observations and experience show that snow temperatures can have a strong influence on dry snow slab instability. Experience shows that there are two general categories of important competing effects: 1. metamorphism (depending on temperature, temperature gradient and other snow properties) and creep; 2. mechanical properties (excluding metamorphism effects) including snow stiffness (hardness), fracture propagation potential (failure toughness) and strength. There are two general features which separate these categories: 1. they may operate on different time scales and 2. for a given snow temperature they usually operate in opposite directions with respect to stability. For example, warmer snow temperatures imply faster bond formation due to metamorphism in a potential weak layer thereby increasing stability but warmer temperatures in the weak layer also decrease snow stiffness, failure toughness and strength.
Keywords: dry snow, snow temperature, snow strength, slab avalanche, avalanche formation, skier triggering
Digital Abstract Not Available