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Numerical simulations of dense clouds on steep slopes: application to powder-snow avalanches

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In this paper, two-dimensional direct numerical simulations (DNS) of dense clouds moving down steep slopes are presented for the first time. The results obtained are in good agreement with the overall characteristics, i.e. the spatial growth rate and velocity variations, of clouds studied in the laboratory. In addition to the overall flow structure, DNS provide local density and velocity variations inside the cloud, not easily accessible in experiments. The validity of two-dimensional simulations as a first approach is confirmed by the dynamics of the flow and by comparison with experimental results. The interest of the results for powder-snow avalanches is discussed; it is concluded that two-dimensionality is acceptable and that large density differences need to be taken into account in future simulations.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-01-01

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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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