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Dynamics of avalanches along general mountain slopes

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A continuum dynamical hydraulic model for the flow of a finite mass of cohesionless shallow granular material down an inclined plane was proposed by Savage and Hutter (SH) in 1989. This model consists of depth-averaged equations for the time and space evolution of the velocity profile and the avalanche depth. Their model was generalized to incorporate more complicated topography in which the coordinate lines in the downhill direction are curved but not twisted. We present recently developed model equations by Pudasaini and Hutter for free-surface geophysical gravity-driven flows (e.g.avalanches, debris and pyroclastic flows) down complicated realistic mountain terrain generated by arbitrary space curves with slowly varying curvature and torsion. These are very important extensions to the successful SH theory, which incorporate curvature and torsion effects of the sliding surface. Shock-capturing numerical schemes are used to integrate the hyperbolic conservation system of equations. The physical significance of the numerical solutions is discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • 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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