Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 9, 837–847, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-837-2015
The Cryosphere, 9, 837–847, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-837-2015

Research article 04 May 2015

Research article | 04 May 2015

A process-based approach to estimate point snow instability

B. Reuter et al.

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Short summary
We present a novel approach to estimate point snow instability based on snow mechanical properties from snow micro-penetrometer measurements. This is the first approach that takes into account the essential processes involved in dry-snow slab avalanche release: failure initiation and crack propagation. Comparison with field observations confirms that the two-step calculation of a stability criterion and a critical crack length is suited to describe point snow instability.