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Avalanche simulation with SAMOS

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Dry snow avalanches consist of two distinct layers. A dense-flow layer is superposed by a powder-snow layer, a cloud of relatively small ice particles suspended in air. The density of this suspension is one order of magnitude smaller than that of the dense flow. A simulation model for dry avalanches has been developed, based on separate sub-models for the two layers. The sub-models are coupled by an additional transition model, describing the exchange of mass and momentum between the layers. The fundamentals of the two-dimensional granular flow model for the dense flow and of the three-dimensional turbulent mixture model for the powder flow are presented. Results of the complete coupled model, SAMOS (Snow Avalanche MOdelling and Simulation), applied to observed catastrophic avalanche events, are discussed, and the prediction of powder-snow pressures acting on a tunnel bridge is briefly described. SAMOS is used routinely for hazard zoning at the Austrian Federal Service for Torrent and Avalanche Control.

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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