Item: Validating the propagation saw test on the slope scale
Title: Validating the propagation saw test on the slope scale
Proceedings: International Snow Science Workshop, Davos 2009, Proceedings
Authors: Cameron Ross, Bruce Jamieson, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary, Canada, Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary
Abstract: Over the past few seasons, the Propagation Saw Test (PST) has gained increasing acceptance in some guiding and highway operations in western North America. University of Calgary researchers continued to perform the PST throughout the 2009 winter season in order to further validate the test by building on a previous study. In addition, researchers experimented with column scaling in an attempt to reduce falsestable predictions previously reported for shallow soft slabs. In 2009, more than 600 PSTs were performed in close to 100 snow pits in the Columbia Mountains of British Columbia, Canada to supplement existing data from the previous two winter seasons. At 28 sites in 2009, more than 70 PSTs were performed on 34 layers where fracture propagation was observed (e.g. avalanches or whumpfs) or where fracture initiation was confirmed without propagation. This supplements the 47 sites and 95 tests available to previously validate the PST on the slope scale. An attempt to reduce falsestable predictions of the PST by scaling column length with layer depth below a meter is briefly discussed, supporting the standard test method. A recording standard for the PST is also presented.
Keywords: fracture propagation, snowpack stability, propagation saw test, avalanche forecasting
Digital Abstract Not Available