EGU2020-8133
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8133
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Spatial and temporal variability of snow avalanche impact pressure and its importance for structural design

Betty Sovilla1, Michael Kyburz1,2, Camille Ligneau1,3, Jan-Thomas Fischer4, and Mark Schaer1
Betty Sovilla et al.
  • 1WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos Dorf, Switzerland (sovilla@slf.ch)
  • 2Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 3Snow and Avalanche Simulation Laboratory SLAB, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 4Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW), Innsbruck, Austria

Measurements of snow avalanche impact pressures are performed at the Vallée de la Sionne test site since winter 1999. In these years of operation, we recorded the impact pressure of around 60 avalanches characterized by different flow regimes and dimensions.

Pressure measurements were performed, simultaneously, on three different structures which are spatially distributed with a maximum distance of 30 m, in the run-out zone of the Vallée de la Sionne test site. The structure widths range from 0.25 to 1 m. On these structures pressure sensors ranging from small cells with 0.10 to 0.25 m in diameter to large pressure plates with area of 1m2 are mounted at different heights.

A systematic analysis of all 60 avalanche data sets shows that the pressure measured at the different obstacles varies considerably, even within the same avalanche, both in space and time. Part of these differences can be attributed to different drag coefficients and dependence on obstacle size, but a large part of these differences can only be explained by the spatial variability of the flow properties and the temporal variability of the physical processes governing the interaction of the avalanche and the structures.

In this contribution we show how spatial and temporal impact pressure variabilities correlate to avalanche dimension and flow regimes and we discuss the implication of such variations for structural design and hazard mapping.

How to cite: Sovilla, B., Kyburz, M., Ligneau, C., Fischer, J.-T., and Schaer, M.: Spatial and temporal variability of snow avalanche impact pressure and its importance for structural design, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8133, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8133, 2020