Hazard scenarios for avalanche actions on bridges
Authors: Margreth, Stefan; Ammann, Walter J.
Source: Annals of Glaciology, Volume 38, Number 1, January 2004 , pp. 89-96(8)
Publisher: International Glaciological Society
Abstract:Engineers require impact scenarios when developing hazard mitigation strategies to protect structures against snow avalanches. Since direct measurements of avalanche impacts on large obstacles are rare, the documentation and post-event analysis of avalanche damages is essential to understand the interaction of avalanches with ob- stacles. The objective of this paper is to develop hazard scenarios for avalanche actions on bridges, based on a case study of a well-documented avalanche event. The 40 m long pre-stressed road bridge Ri di Rialp in the Swiss Alps collapsed after being struck by a dense-flow avalanche in 1998. The post-event analysis shows that the controlling hazard scenario was an inclined avalanche impact, not a horizontal impact as one would assume given the topographical situation. Using a failure analysis, an impact angle of 40° and a minimal impact pressure of 172kN m−2 were found. Finally the insights are summarized so that engineers can apply the results when designing a bridge at risk from avalanches.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 2004
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