Item: Scale invariance of snow avalanche triggering mechanisms
Title: Scale invariance of snow avalanche triggering mechanisms
Proceedings: 2002 International Snow Science Workshop, Penticton, British Columbia
Authors: J. Faillettaz, F. Louchet, J.R. Grassco, D. Daudon, and R. Dendievel, Sols, Solides, Structure, ENSHMG, B.P. 75, 38402 St Martin d'Heres, LTPCM/ENSEEG, BP 75, 38402 St Martin d'Heres cedex, LGIT, BP 53X, 38041 Grenoble cedex 9 GPM2 /INPG-UJFB.P. 75,3
Abstract: Field data on more than 5000 avalanches confirm that avalanche size distributions are scale invariant, in a same way as a number of other geophysical phenomena. They also suggest that this particular behavior may reflect a scale invariant in depth distribution of snow shear resistance. In order to better understand the origin of this scale invariant behavior, we ran two different cellular automata representing the interface between the substrate and the snow slab, and loaded in shear. In the first one, each cell is in a binary state (0 if failed, 1 otherwise), depending on its neighbors states. It reproduces quite well the release scale invariant statistics. The second one is based on a gradual evolution of the cell states (between 0 and 5, depending on the number of the failed first neighbors), and may include tensile rupture. Interesting results show a very good qualitative behavior of basal crack propagation followed by tensile rupture. Slab avalanche release morphology is also nicely reproduced.
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Keywords: avalanche triggering, scale invariance, critical phenomena, cellular automata
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