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Rate-effect experiments on round-tipped penetrometer insertion into uniform snow

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Snow penetrometers are being developed to detect stratigraphy indicative of slab avalanches. Results are presented here from experiments performed to assess the relationship between the velocity of a round-tipped penetrometer through uniform snow and the resulting force response. The range of velocities used is commensurate with that used to drive a manually driven penetrometer through the snow. A characteristic spike is noted in profiles during the initial stage of deformation, which appears to be more pronounced for the harder snow layers tested. An investigation of snow deformation using video analysis of a split-axis rod deforming snow against a clear plastic window indicates that the spike in the force signal corresponds to the development of a compaction zone below the penetrometer tip. Once shear forces that develop in the compacted snow are overcome, deformation proceeds in a steady state and there is little or no relationship between the force response and velocity over the velocity range of our experiments.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2010

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  • 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.
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