Articles | Volume 15, issue 7
Research article
30 Jul 2021
Research article |  | 30 Jul 2021

Dynamic crack propagation in weak snowpack layers: insights from high-resolution, high-speed photography

Bastian Bergfeld, Alec van Herwijnen, Benjamin Reuter, Grégoire Bobillier, Jürg Dual, and Jürg Schweizer

Related authors

Supershear crack propagation in snow slab avalanche release: new insights from numerical simulations and field measurements
Grégoire Bobillier, Bertil Trottet, Bastian Bergfeld, Ron Simenhois, Alec van Herwijnen, Jürg Schweizer, and Johan Gaume
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,,, 2024
Preprint under review for NHESS
Short summary
The effect of propagation saw test geometries on critical cut length
Bastian Bergfeld, Karl W. Birkeland, Valentin Adam, Philipp L. Rosendahl, and Alec van Herwijnen
EGUsphere,,, 2024
Short summary
Temporal evolution of crack propagation characteristics in a weak snowpack layer: conditions of crack arrest and sustained propagation
Bastian Bergfeld, Alec van Herwijnen, Grégoire Bobillier, Philipp L. Rosendahl, Philipp Weißgraeber, Valentin Adam, Jürg Dual, and Jürg Schweizer
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 293–315,,, 2023
Short summary

Related subject area

Discipline: Snow | Subject: Natural Hazards
Snow mechanical property variability at the slope scale – implication for snow mechanical modelling
Francis Meloche, Francis Gauthier, and Alexandre Langlois
The Cryosphere, 18, 1359–1380,,, 2024
Short summary
Interactive Snow Avalanche Segmentation from Webcam Imagery: results, potential and limitations
Elisabeth Doris Hafner, Theodora Kontogianni, Rodrigo Caye Daudt, Lucien Oberson, Jan Dirk Wegner, Konrad Schindler, and Yves Bühler
EGUsphere,,, 2024
Short summary
Combining modelled snowpack stability with machine learning to predict avalanche activity
Léo Viallon-Galinier, Pascal Hagenmuller, and Nicolas Eckert
The Cryosphere, 17, 2245–2260,,, 2023
Short summary
Can Saharan dust deposition impact snowpack stability in the French Alps?
Oscar Dick, Léo Viallon-Galinier, François Tuzet, Pascal Hagenmuller, Mathieu Fructus, Benjamin Reuter, Matthieu Lafaysse, and Marie Dumont
The Cryosphere, 17, 1755–1773,,, 2023
Short summary
A closed-form model for layered snow slabs
Philipp Weißgraeber and Philipp L. Rosendahl
The Cryosphere, 17, 1475–1496,,, 2023
Short summary

Cited articles

Alfarah, B., López-Almansa, F., and Oller, S.: New methodology for calculating damage variables evolution in Plastic Damage Model for RC structures, Eng. Struct., 132, 70–86,, 2017. 
Bair, E. H., Simenhois, R., van Herwijnen, A., and Birkeland, K.: The influence of edge effects on crack propagation in snow stability tests, The Cryosphere, 8, 1407–1418,, 2014. 
Bergfeld, B., van Herwijnen, A., Bobillier, G., and Schweizer, J.: Measuring slope-scale crack propagation in weak snowpack layers, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8369,, 2020. 
Bergfeld, B., van Herwijnen, A., Reuter, B., Bobillier, G., Dual, J., and Schweizer, J.: Dataset for “Dynamic crack propagation in weak snowpack layers: Insights from high-resolution, high-speed photography”, EnviDat,, 2021. 
Birkeland, K. W., van Herwijnen, A., Reuter, B., and Bergfeld, B.: Temporal changes in the mechanical properties of snow related to crack propagation after loading, Cold Reg. Sci. Technol., 159, 142–152,, 2019. 
Short summary
The modern picture of the snow slab avalanche release process involves a dynamic crack propagation phase in which a whole slope becomes detached. The present work contains the first field methodology which provides the temporal and spatial resolution necessary to study this phase. We demonstrate the versatile capabilities and accuracy of our method by revealing intricate dynamics and present how to determine relevant characteristics of crack propagation such as crack speed.