Articles | Volume 9, issue 5
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-1915-2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-1915-2015
Research article
 | 
08 Oct 2015
Research article |  | 08 Oct 2015

Modeling of crack propagation in weak snowpack layers using the discrete element method

J. Gaume, A. van Herwijnen, G. Chambon, K. W. Birkeland, and J. Schweizer

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Short summary
We proposed a new approach to characterize the dynamic phase of crack propagation in weak snowpack layers as well as fracture arrest propensity by means of numerical "propagation saw test" simulations based on the discrete element method. Crack propagation speed and distance before fracture arrest were derived from the simulations for different snowpack configurations and mechanical properties. Numerical and experimental results were compared and the mechanical processes at play were discussed.