Skip to main content

A fracture-entrainment model for snow avalanches

Buy Article:

$35.11 plus tax (Refund Policy)


We use the invariant Γ integral of fracture mechanics to calculate the frontal pressure and resistance to the downward motion a of snow avalanche. A basic characteristic property of the snowpack, termed the entrainment toughness, is introduced. From an analysis of the non-entrainment frictional mechanisms of avalanches, we find the necessary condition for a fracture-entrainment regime, and from an analysis of limiting equilibrium of gravitational force and frontal resistance, the necessary condition equation for the start of avalanches. We then derive the governing equations for the dynamics of avalanches, using a point-mass approach with entrainment taken into account. The governing equations are used to numerically simulate the VallĂ©e de la Sionne (Switzerland) avalanche of 7 February 2003.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-01-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more