Item: Study of layered snow under shear and tension
Title: Study of layered snow under shear and tension
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2006 International Snow Science Workshop, Telluride, Colorado
Authors: S.K.Joshi, P.Mahajan and Agraj Upadhyay, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Hauz Khas, NewDelhi-110016, India, Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Him Parisar, RDC SASE, Sec-37A, Plot No.1, Chandigarh, 160036, India
Abstract: Natural avalanche release involves the failure by both tension and shear. Clear illustration of this failure phenomenon individually or as a combination is not known till now. Lots of controversies still prevail whether initiation of failure is tensile or shear. It is necessary to evaluate the fracture properties of the snow pack for specific situations in order to characterize or map this behavior physically to the field conditions. Many studies and experiments on homogenous snow have been performed earlier to idealize this scenario. Real perspective of natural avalanche release phenomenon can be obtained by analyzing the layered snow under shear and tension loading. In this paper, such a process has been attempted experimentally in the cold laboratory under controlled conditions and in field under natural conditions. The comparison of the tensile and shear properties has been projected clearly with the help of experiments, which reveals the role of the respective properties in deciding the fracture behavior. As the experiments were conducted on layered snow, the characterization of interfacial failure stress under normal and shear loading conditions for different snow-snow interactions can be obtained. The load-displacement behavior for various snow-snow interfaces also interprets the phenomenal fracture mechanism of an avalanche.
Keywords: tensile failure, shear failure, layered snow, interface, fine grained snow, melt- freeze snow
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