The Level Set Method Applied to Avalanches

E. Bovet, L. Preziosi, B. Chiaia, and F. Barpi
Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy

In this paper, the level set method, suitable for free boundary problems, is applied to snow avalanches.

To this aim, the system constituted by air and avalanche is considered as a domain composed of two fluids having different densities and viscosities. In particular, a shear thinning fluid-like constitutive behavior, as well as a Newtonian one, are both assumed for the snow.

Simulations show, for instance, the transport of avalanche mass towards the head of the avalanche, and that the head is faster than the tail, as confirmed by experimental observations.