Item: Passive snow removal with a vortex generator
Title: Passive snow removal with a vortex generator
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1998 International Snow Science Workshop, Sunriver, Oregon
Authors: R. M. Lang and George L. Blaisdell
Abstract: During the construction phase of the Pegasus runway on the McMurdo Ice Shelf, relatively large amounts of snow and ice were cleared to meet basic grade requirements for the runway surface. A considerable amount of material remains adjacent to the runway in two north-south extending mounds (berms). The runway was originally constructed on an experimental basis so attention was not focused on developing and executing a snow removal/accumulation plan. After the runway was successfully constructed and supporting routine flight operations, concern developed over the possibility of snow accumulation adjacent to the.berm area eventually inundating the runway. The intent of this project was to analyze snow accumulation and to recommend passive methods for removing some of the berm material and snow adjacent to the berm. Large quantities of excess snow could be removed by the use of vortex fences which cause erosion on the leeward side of the fence. The vortex fence was designed to be portable (unlike traditional jet or blower fences) and self-orienting into the wind to allow snow removal regardless of the wind direction. Vortices generated by the fence do not dissipate rapidly, providing effective, sustained erosion. Vortex fences could be easily installed in areas of cornice development, providing effective and sustained erosion.
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Keywords: avalanche defense, snow fences, snow erosion, snow removal
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