Item: French avalanche research : experimental test sites
Title: French avalanche research : experimental test sites
Proceedings: International Snow Science Workshop, Davos 2009, Proceedings
Authors: X. Ravanat, F. Ousset ETNA, Cemagref, 2 rue de la Papeterie, BP 76, 38402 Saint Martin d'Hères France
Abstract: A variety of small-scale and full scale measurement instruments have been developed by Cemagref (ETNA research unit, Grenoble France) to study avalanche dynamics and define avalanche mitigation strategies. The avalanche site at the Lautaret pass is used since 1972. Two sides of the Chaillol mountain are operated at the experimental avalanche site located at the Lautaret pass (France). Three avalanche paths are used during the artificial releases by explosives. The avalanche paths n°1 a nd n°2 are equipped with structures supporting instrumentation which aims at measuring the thickness, the depth velocity profile and the pressure of avalanche flows. The snow chute at the Lac Blanc pass has been developed since 2000. At the Lac Blanc pass, located on the Alpe d'huez ski resort at 2800 m, the ETNA research unit has set up an experimental device which allows us to generate steady and uniform snow flows under entirely controlled conditions, and to measure the flow parameters: the mass flow rate, the flow thickness, the velocity profile, the shear and normal basal stresses. The instrumentation development in the Taconnaz avalanche path is in progress (2009). Taking the opportunity of the new design undertaken for the avalanche protection system at Taconnaz, the ETNA research unit has scheduled to equip two large retarding mounds recently built, located at the top of the run-out zone, with sensors to measure flows velocities and pressures, in the framework of the DYNAVAL Interreg III project.
Keywords: avalanche, experimental test site, full-scale, small-scale
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