Item: Contrasting stable and unstable snow profiles with respect to skier loading
Title: Contrasting stable and unstable snow profiles with respect to skier loading
Proceedings: 2002 International Snow Science Workshop, Penticton, British Columbia
Authors: Jurg Schweizerl and J. Bruce Jamieson, Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos, Switzerland, Department of Civil Engineering, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Calgary, Canada
Abstract: A Swiss-Canadian data set of over 400 snow profiles from skier-triggered slopes and slopes that have been skied but not triggered was contrasted to derive statistically relevant differences that can be used in snow profile interpretation. For some typical slab properties such as slab thickness and density, as well as for snow temperature, no significant difference was found between stable and unstable profiles. However, the analysis showed that the following parameters are indicators of snow instability with respect to skier loading: low rutschblock score, large and persistent grains in soft failure layer, large difference in grain size and hardness across the failure interface. According approximate critical values to distinguish between stable and unstable profiles were given, that can be used by practitioners as well as for model development.
Keywords: snow stratigraphy, avalanche formation, avalanche forecasting, snow cover stability, snow stability evaluation, skier triggering
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