Item: The effects of temperature on shear failure of alpine snow
Title: The effects of temperature on shear failure of alpine snow
Proceedings: 1988 International Snow Science Workshop, Whistler, October 12-15
Authors: D.M. McClung and P.A. Anhorn
Abstract: Studies at fracture lines of fallen dry snow slabs show that the stratigraphy consists of a relatively thick slab on top of a thin, weak layer. A principal result of Perla's (1971) doctoral thesis is that shear failure in the weak layer (or at the slab-weak layer boundary) is a pre-requisite for slab avalanche release. The strength and deformation characteristics of alpine snow depend on the rate of deformation as well as the physical properties of the material. One of these properties which has not received much attention is snow temperature. In this paper, we discuss temperature effects on shear failure from two perspectives: (1) evidence from slab avalanche fracture line data, and (2) failure characteristics as a function of temperature measured in a cold laboratory.
Keywords: stratigraphy, dry snow, slabs, fracture lines, weak layer, snow temperature
Digital Abstract Not Available