Dense Granular Avalanches: Mathematical Description and Experimental Validation

  • Y.-C. Tai
  • K. Hutter
  • J.M.N.T. Gray
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 582)


Snow avalanches, landslides, rock falls and debris flows are extremely dangerous and destructive natural phenomena. The frequency of occurrence and amplitudes of these disastrous events appear to have increased in recent years perhaps due to recent climate warming. The events endanger the personal property and infra-structure in mountainous regions. For example, from the winters 1940/41 to 1987/88 more than 7000 snow avalanches occurred in Switzerland with damaged property leading to a total of 1269 deaths. In February 1999, 36 people were buried by a single avalanche in Galtür, Austria. In August 1996, a very large debris flow in middle Taiwan resulted in 51 deaths, 22 lost and an approximate property damage of more than 19 billion NT dollars (ca. 600 million US dollars) [18]. In Europe, a suddenly released debris flow in North Italy in August 1998 buried 5 German tourists on the Superhighway “Brenner-Autobahn”. The topic has gained so much significance that in 1990 the United Nations declared the International Decade for Natural Disasters Reduction (IDNDR); Germany has its own Deutsches IDNDR-Komitee für Katastrophenvorbeugung e.V. Special conferences are devoted to the theme, e.g., the CALAR conference on Avalanches, Landslides, Rock Falls and Debris Flows (Vienna, January 2000), INTERPRAEVENT, annual conferences on the protection of habitants from floods, debris flows and avalanches, special conferences on debris flow hazard mitigation and those exclusively on Avalanches.


Debris Flow Earth Pressure Incline Plane Internal Friction Angle Reference Surface 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y.-C. Tai
    • 1
  • K. Hutter
    • 1
  • J.M.N.T. Gray
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of MechanicsDarmstadt University of TechnologyDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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