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Tag: Snow mechanics
  • Extracting Sintered Snow Properties from MicroCT Imagery to Initialize a Discrete Element Method Model

    Abstract: Modeling snow’s mechanical behavior is important for many cold regions engineering problems. Because snow’s microstructure plays a significant role in its mechanical response, it is imperative to initialize models with accurate bond characteristics and realistic snow-grain geometries to precisely capture the microstructure interactions. Previous studies have processed microcomputed tomography scans of snow samples with a watershed method to extract grain geometries. This approach relies on identification of seed points to segment each grain. Our new methodology, called the “moving window method,” does not require prior knowledge of the snow-grain-size distribution to identify seed points. We use the interconnectivity of the segmented grains to identify bond characteristics. We compare the resultant grain-size and bond-size distributions to the known grain sizes of the laboratory-made snow samples. The grain-size distributions from the moving window method closely match the known grain sizes, while both results from the traditional method produce grains that are too large. We propose that the bond net-work identified using the traditional method underestimates the number of bonds and overestimates bond radii. Our method allows us to segment realistic snow grains and their associated bonds, without prior knowledge of the samples, from which we can initialize numerical models of the snow.
  • McMurdo Snow Roads and Transportation: Final Program Summary

    Abstract: The snow roads at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, are the primary transportation corridors for moving personnel and material to and from the airfields servicing intra- and intercontinental air traffic. The majority of the road system is made of snow overlying a snow, firn, and icy subsurface and is particularly susceptible to deterioration during the warmest parts of the austral summer when above-freezing temperatures can occur for several days at a time. Poor snow-road conditions can seriously limit payloads for all types of ground vehicles. The US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) studied the McMurdo snow roads for the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs as part of the Snow Roads and Transportation (SRT) program. The goals of the SRT program was to improve construction, maintenance, and use of the McMurdo’s snow roads, with particular attention on minimizing warm-season deterioration. This is the final report of the SRT program, summarizing the program’s activities and findings and emphasizing those parts of the program not previously documented in CRREL Reports, conference papers, or journal articles.
  • South Pole Station Snowdrift Model

    Abstract: The elevated building at Scott-Amundsen South Pole Station was designed to mitigate the effects of windblown snow on it and the surrounding infrastructure. Because the elevation of the snow surface increases annually, the station is periodically lifted on its support columns to maintain its design height above the snow surface. To assist with planning these lifts, this effort developed a computational model to simulate snowdrift formation around the elevated building. The model uses computational fluid dynamics methods and synthetic wind record generation derived from statistical analysis of meteorological data. Simulations assessed the impact of several options for the lifting operation on drifts surrounding the elevated building. Simulation results indicate that raising the eastern-most building section (Pod A), or the entire station all at once, can reduce drift accumulation rates over the nearby arches structures. Long-term analyses, spanning 5–6 years, determine whether an equilibrium drift condition may be reached after a long period of undisturbed drift development. These simulations showed that after about 6 years, the rate of growth of the upwind drift slows, appearing to approach an equilibrium condition. However, the adjacent drifts were still increasing in depth at a roughly linear rate, indicating that equilibrium for those drifts was still several seasons away.
  • SAGE-PEDD User Manual

    Abstract: SAGE-PEDD is a computational model for estimating snowdrift shapes around buildings. The main inputs to the model are wind speed, wind direction, building geometry and initial ground or snow-surface topography. Though developed mainly for predicting snowdrift shapes, it has the flexibility to accept other soil types, though this manual addresses snow only. This manual provides detailed information for set up, running, and viewing the output of a SAGE-PEDD simulation.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: A Generalized Approach for Modeling Creep of Snow Foundations

    ABSTRACT:  When an external load is applied, snow will continue to deform in time, or creep, until the load is removed. When using snow as a foundation material, one must consider the time-dependent nature of snow mechanics to understand its long-term structural performance. In this work, we develop a general approach for predicting the creep behavior of snow. This new approach spans the primary (nonlinear) to secondary (linear) creep regimes. Our method is based on a uniaxial rheological Burgers model and is extended to three dimensions. We parameterize the model with density- and temperature-dependent constants that we calculate from experimental snow creep data. A finite element implementation of the multiaxial snow creep model is derived, and its inclusion in an ABAQUS user material model is discussed. We verified the user material model against our analytical snow creep model and validated our model against additional experimental data sets. The results show that the model captures the creep behavior of snow over various time scales, temperatures, densities, and external loads. By furthering our ability to more accurately predict snow foundation movement, we can help prevent unexpected failures and extend the useful lifespan of structures that are constructed on snow.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Snow-Road Light-Truck Tire Testing

     Link: Number: ERDC/CRREL TR-20-2Title: Snow-Road Light-Truck Tire TestingBy Terry D. Melendy Jr., Amelia Menke, Daphnie C. Friedman, and Reed R. WinterApproved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited February 2020ABSTRACT:  The United States Antarctic Program (USAP) anticipates replacing the