Quantitative Step-loading Block Test: A Substitute for Loaded-column Test

  • H. S. Gusain Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Manali
  • Chaman Chandel Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Manali
  • Dr. Ashwani Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Manali
  • Ankur Prashar Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Manali
Keywords: Stability test, failure load, failure plane, Great Himalayan range, snowpack stability test, quatitative step-loading block test, QSLTB, unstable snow, shear frame test, loaded-column test

Abstract

A new snowpack stability test, quantitative step-loading block test (QSLBT) has been
developed and used operationally by the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment during the
winter 2004-05 at Patsio Research Station in Great Himalayan range. This test is simple, takes
less time in measurement, and effectively communicates the results. In this test, an isolated snow
column of area 13 cm x 18 cm (0.234 m2 or may be up to 0.30 m2) is cut out of the wall of a snow
pit. A wooden block of known weight (0.21 kg) and of the dimension 13 cm x 18 cm is placed
over the snow block and loaded in steps with iron weights of known quantity. On loading if the
block fails, the height of failure from ground and the load by which the failure of block has taken
place, are noted. While most of the stability tests in snow provide just an estimate of snowpack
instability, this test provides the quantity of load required to fail the snowpack. More than 40
tests were carried out in Great Himalayan range during the winter 2004-05 and were compared
with the shear strength of the failure plane. The results are in good agreement with shear frame
test.

Author Biographies

H. S. Gusain, Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Manali
Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, RDC, Chandigarh
Chaman Chandel, Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Manali
Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, RDC, Chandigarh
Dr. Ashwani, Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Manali
Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, RDC, Chandigarh
Ankur Prashar, Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Manali
Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, RDC, Chandigarh
Published
2006-10-01
How to Cite
GusainH., ChandelC., AshwaniD., & PrasharA. (2006). Quantitative Step-loading Block Test: A Substitute for Loaded-column Test. Defence Science Journal, 56(4), 577-583. https://doi.org/10.14429/dsj.56.1923
Section
Short Communication

Most read articles by the same author(s)