Effects of curvature in avalanche deflecting dams
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Avalanches and other types of slides represent significant danger to people and property in large parts of the world. Deflecting dams, i.e. dams that change the courses of avalanches to prevent impact upon houses or roads, are used as protection from this hazard. A curved deflecting dam can catch the avalanche at a gentle angle of impact. The flow direction is continuously and gently altered along the whole length of the dam, hence avoiding the more abrupt deflection of a straight dam. As will be shown in the article, spreading the deflection over longer time and distance results in significantly lower run-up heights on the deflecting structure or terrain. A direct consequence of this is that curved deflecting dams may be built lower than straight ones—with less impact to the local environment and at lower cost. The purpose of the present study is to achieve quantitative knowledge about the effect of curvature on run-up heights. We compare observed behavior to computational results for naturally curved avalanche tracks, applying three models that are described below. Similar studies have been presented by Irgens, Harbitz and others , . The present study, however, involves the improved NIS simulation procedure, as well as the quasi-static run-up model for curved deflecting dams that have not been previously published.
Mechanics of the 21st Century: Proceedings of the 21st International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Warsaw, Poland, 15-21 August 2004