A novel extended cohesive damage element method is used to develop a numerical snowpack model to study the fundamental damage mechanisms of snowpack under external drivers and to investigate multiple mixed mode damage propagation within snowpack. A new mixed mode damage criterion is introduced to account for tensile and shear fractures as well as compressive crushing together with shear crack for approximating the mixed mode damage initiation and propagation in the weak layer in snowpack. A propagation saw test (PST) is considered to understand basic damage involution in snowpack under self-weight related bending. The nonlinear fracture modelling prediction agrees with the PST sample well. This paper provides an alternative approach as a predictive method using the extended cohesive damage element for potentially forecasting slab avalanches in snow terrain according to weather forecast and planned human activities in the future.
- Extended cohesive damage element
- Mixed mode damage criteria
- Multiple fractures propagation
- Propagation saw test
- Snowpack failure mechanisms