Title Load-controlled test apparatus for snow
Author Reiweger, I.; Schweizer, J.; Ernst, R.; Dual, J.
Author Affil Reiweger, I., Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, Davos, Switzerland. Other: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Switzerland
Source Cold Regions Science and Technology, 62(2-3), p.119-125, . Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0165- 232X
Publication Date July 2010
Notes In English. Based on Publisher- supplied data GeoRef Acc. No: 309545
Index Terms avalanche mechanics; avalanches; loading; mass movements (geology); mechanical properties; slopes; snow; strains; strength; acoustical emissions; failures; fractures; mass movements; slab avalanches; strain; tests; weak layers
Abstract Natural dry-snow slab avalanches start with a failure at a weak snow layer. In order to understand the mechanical behaviour and the failure mechanism, we designed an experimental setup to perform loading experiments with homogeneous and layered snow samples under controlled conditions in a cold laboratory. We here present our loading apparatus where the snow sample can be tilted by a "slope angle" and is loaded by an increasing weight analogous to a snowfall. The force and the global displacement are measured with a force and two displacement sensors, respectively. The local displacement can be computed with a particle image velocimetry algorithm (PIV). Additionally, we record acoustic emissions (AE) to monitor the damage (breaking of bonds) in the snow sample before catastrophic failure. To demonstrate the capability of the system we present preliminary results with both homogeneous and layered snow samples. The AE count rate increased before fracture, as the samples progressively weakened. For the layered samples we measured a concentration of strain within the weak layer.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.coldregions.2010.04.002
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 65006562