Articles | Volume 2, issue 3/4
31 Dec 2002
31 Dec 2002

Snow fences on slopes at high wind speed: physical modelling in the CSTB cold wind tunnel

F. Naaim-Bouvet, M. Naaim, and J.-L. Michaux

Abstract. In order to determine the effect of steep slopes on snowdrift generated by snow fences, we have conducted physical modeling experiments in the CSTB (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment) cold wind tunnel as part of the European project "Access to Large Facilities". After an overview of previous studies and an accurate description of the drifting snow process inside the experimental chamber,  we present the main results obtained. (1) On flat areas, even for high wind speed, the acknowledged results for moderate wind are still valid: the porous snow fence (50%) is the most efficacious and the bottom gap increases the efficacy of the dense snow fence. (2) The steeper the slope is, the less effective all tested snow fences are. Their effectiveness decreases considerably: the snow catch is approximately divided by two for a slope of 10°. (3) Contrary to flat areas, on steep slopes, the "efficacy" is greater for a dense snow fence.