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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle

Constraints on Entrainment and Deposition Models in Avalanche Simulations from High-Resolution Radar Data

by 1,2,3,4,* and 2,3,5,6
1
Department of Natural Hazards, Norwegian Geotechnial Institute, 0806 Oslo, Norway
2
Department of Natural Hazards, Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW), 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
3
Division of Geotechnical and Tunnel Engineering, Institute of Infrastructure, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
4
Department of Mathematics, University of Oslo, 0851 Oslo, Norway
5
WSL-Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, 7260 Davos Dorf, Switzerland
6
OEAW Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain research IGF, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10010009
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 10 December 2019 / Accepted: 17 December 2019 / Published: 25 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snow Avalanche Dynamics)
Depth-integrated simulations of snow avalanches have become a central part of risk analysis and mitigation. However, the common practice of applying different model parameters to mimic different avalanches is unsatisfying. In here, we analyse this issue in terms of two differently sized avalanches from the full-scale avalanche test-site Vallée de la Sionne, Switzerland. We perform depth-integrated simulations with the toolkit OpenFOAM, simulating both events with the same set of model parameters. Simulation results are validated with high-resolution position data from the GEODAR radar. Rather than conducting extensive post-processing to match radar data to the output of the simulations, we generate synthetic flow signatures inside the flow model. The synthetic radar data can be directly compared with the GEODAR measurements. The comparison reveals weaknesses of the model, generally at the tail and specifically by overestimating the runout of the smaller event. Both issues are addressed by explicitly considering deposition processes in the depth-integrated model. The new deposition model significantly improves the simulation of the small avalanche, making it starve in the steep middle part of the slope. Furthermore, the deposition model enables more accurate simulations of deposition patterns and volumes and the simulation of avalanche series that are influenced by previous deposits. View Full-Text
Keywords: snow avalanches; numerical simulation; radar measurement; deposition model; model benchmark; entrainment; simulation chain snow avalanches; numerical simulation; radar measurement; deposition model; model benchmark; entrainment; simulation chain
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rauter, M.; Köhler, A. Constraints on Entrainment and Deposition Models in Avalanche Simulations from High-Resolution Radar Data. Geosciences 2020, 10, 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10010009

AMA Style

Rauter M, Köhler A. Constraints on Entrainment and Deposition Models in Avalanche Simulations from High-Resolution Radar Data. Geosciences. 2020; 10(1):9. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10010009

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rauter, Matthias; Köhler, Anselm. 2020. "Constraints on Entrainment and Deposition Models in Avalanche Simulations from High-Resolution Radar Data" Geosciences 10, no. 1: 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10010009

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