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A transition in dry-snow slab avalanche triggering modes

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Abstract:

We show that two different types of dry-snow slab avalanches may result from a tensile failure of the slab crown triggered by either a quasi-static or an unstable shear propagation of a basal crack at the slab/substrate interface. The triggering conditions for both modes are derived analytically. The latter only takes place if the depth of the top layer is above a critical value, and in "window" centred around a critical slope of 35.3°, if residual friction on the basal crack surfaces is neglected. The width of this window increases with snow thickness. The introduction of a residual friction on the basal crack surfaces increases the critical slope.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756401781818996

Publication date: 2001-01-01

More about this publication?
  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

    Beginning in 2016, content will be available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology.

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