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Experimental study of dense snow avalanches: velocity profiles in steady and fully developed flows

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In order to study channelled snow flows over rough surfaces, a labora- tory-scale experiment was installed at the "Col du Lac Blanc", a 2800 m high pass in the French Alps, near the Alpe d'Huez ski resort. It consists of a 0.2 m wide,10 m long channel fed with snow by a motorized hopper. Both the slope of the channel and the feeding rate of the hopper can be modified. Sensors in the channel provide measurements of the velocity profile, the flow height and the shear and normal stresses at the bottom of the flow. Velocity profiles for different slopes are presented in this paper. Results indicate the pres- ence of a highly active layer at the bottom. This layer is mainly responsible for the ava-lanche velocity, while the upper layer has a much smaller velocity gradient. A first interpretation of both layers is given.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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.

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