Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation of snowdrift in alpine environments, including a local weather model, for operational avalanche warning
Abstract:A new continuum approach to snowdrift modelling is introduced. In addition, numerical studies are carried out to identify the influence of time-varying wind conditions on snowdrift simulations. We compare the snowdrift patterns at Grimming mountain, Austria, derived using a time-averaged wind field and a time-varying wind field obtained from the numerical weather prediction model INCA. The results show significant differences in the deposition patterns and snow depth even after a 6 hour drift period. Using time-averaged boundary conditions leads to an underprediction of the resulting snow depth caused by averaging the wind speed, which lets gusts of wind disappear while snow transport is a non-linear function of the wind speed. Using numerical weather prediction models for snowdrift simulation therefore provides enhanced knowledge of the snow depth for local avalanche warning services.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-06-01
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