, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 753–765 | Cite as

A new model for snow avalanche dynamics based on non-Newtonian fluids

  • Eloïse BovetEmail author
  • Bernardino Chiaia
  • Luigi Preziosi


The purpose of this paper is to develop a model to describe the snow avalanche dynamics emphasizing the phenomenon of entrainment, the shape variation and the velocity profile thanks to the peculiar features of non-Newtonian fluids, in particular those showing shear thinning and Bingham-like constitutive behaviours. Two different approaches are proposed to simulate the avalanches numerically. The first considers the transformation of the avalanche domain into a simple shape domain that does not change in time. The second is based on the level set method, which is suitable for free boundary problems. Finally, the characteristics of the variation of the interface between avalanche and snowcover under a similarity hypothesis is put forward. The model is validated through the comparison with some experimental data.

Snow avalanches Bingham fluid Shear thinning Level set 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eloïse Bovet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bernardino Chiaia
    • 1
  • Luigi Preziosi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Structural and Geotechnical EngineeringPolitecnico di TorinoTorinoItaly
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsPolitecnico di TorinoTorinoItaly

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