Pressure of Snow Avalanches against Buildings


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The paper aims to analyse the e ects of topography and building position on themagnitude of pressure exerted by snow avalanches against buildings, through a structural backanalysis and numerical uid-dynamics. Studying a real snow avalanche impact occurred in2008 which destroyed a village in Valsavarenche (Aosta Valley - IT), the attention is focused onthe avalanche ow deviation caused by the destructive interaction with a rst building, whichprotected part of a second building beyond it. By means of photographical and in situ survey,a detailed description of avalanche geometrical, dynamical and physical properties is outlined.A structural investigation, based both on debris arrangement and on measurements on theundamaged parts of buildings is also carried out.Thus, a back analysis is carried out in order to de ne collapse dynamics and to estimate theupper and the lower bound of impact pressure. Afterwards, numerical uid-dynamical analysesare performed to simulate di erent impact scenarios and to understand the e ects of obstacleson avalanche behavior: a qualitative measure of the interactions among buildings, which maymutually protect one another, is obtained.



Edited by:

Ezio Cadoni and Marco di Prisco






E. Bovet et al., "Pressure of Snow Avalanches against Buildings", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 82, pp. 392-397, 2011

Online since:

July 2011




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