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  • 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.