Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhessd-3-2883-2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhessd-3-2883-2015
30 Apr 2015
 | 30 Apr 2015
Status: this discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Point release wet snow avalanches

C. Vera Valero, Y. Bühler, and P. Bartelt

Abstract. Wet snow avalanches can initiate from large fracture slabs or small point releases. Point release wet snow avalanches can reach dangerous proportions when they (1) initiate on steep and long avalanche paths and (2) entrain warm moist snow. In this paper we investigate the dynamics of point release wet snow avalanches by applying a numerical model to simulate documented case studies on high altitude slopes in the Chilean Andes (33° S). The model predicts avalanche flow temperature as well as meltwater production, given the thermal initial conditions of the release mass and snowcover entrainment. As the release mass is small, avalanche velocity and runout are primarily controlled by snowcover temperature and moisture content. We demonstrate how the interaction between terrain and entrainment processes influence the production of meltwater and therefore lubrication processes leading to longer runout. This information is useful to avalanche forecasters. An understanding of wet snow avalanche dynamics is important to study how climate change scenarios will influence land usage in mountain regions in the near future.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
C. Vera Valero, Y. Bühler, and P. Bartelt
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
C. Vera Valero, Y. Bühler, and P. Bartelt
C. Vera Valero, Y. Bühler, and P. Bartelt

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Short summary
Wet snow avalanches can initiate from large fracture slabs or small point releases. Point release wet snow avalanches can reach dangerous proportions when they initiate on steep and long avalanche paths and entrain warm moist snow. In this paper we investigate the dynamics of point release wet snow avalanches by applying a numerical model to simulate documented case studies on high altitude slopes in the Chilean Andes. The model simulated correctly flow height, velocity and avalanche run out.
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