Flexible Retaining Barriers for Prevention of Avalanches on National Highway NH-1A

  • Vinay Chaudhary Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Chandigarh
  • Gursharan Singh Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Chandigarh
  • Arun Chaudhary Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Chandigarh
  • Gurpreet Singh Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Chandigarh
Keywords: Avalanche danger, snowcover, avalanche hazard, avalanche control structures, flexible retaining baniem, avalanche prevention, snow rakes, snow bridges, snow nets, swivel posts, terrain investigation


"An avalanche hazard Call be reduced by active and passive methods. In an active method, which is a very effective, avalanche control structures are used to mitigate the avalanche danger. These structures can be installed in any of the three zones of an avalanche, viz., formation zone, middle zone and run-out zone. In the formation zone, avalanche can be controlled by supporting structures/retaining barriers, which are installed in the formation zone with a view to prevent formation of an avalanche. Their placement in the formation zone with proper arrangement and layout helps in preventing fracture in the snow mass. The basic concept lies in converting the shear and tensile stresses in snow into compressive stresses which can be conveniently sustained by the snowcover. Such supporting structures/retaining barriers can be categorised into rigid and flexible types of structures. Snow rakes and snow bridges are categorised as rigid structures, whereas wire rope nets are categorised as flexible structures. The Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Chandigarh, had developed snow nets in 1988-89, which were installed at D-10 avalanche site on north portal of Jawahar tunnel, Jammu-Srinagar Highway (NH-1A). These nets were designed considering the snow forces acting in the direction parallel to the slope only. Hence, the movement of the swivel post was restricted in one direction only. However, detailed scientific studies carried out for retaining barriers over the last seven year's have revealed that two types of failures occur in these nets. First, a major failure was noticed in hinge joint of swivel post, and second, a failure was noticed in the foundation of the uphill anchor. To overcome these failures, the swivel post joint has been redesigned as articulated ball and socket joint to cater for omni directional movement to the swivel post, and the uphill anchor foundation has been strengthened by providing the reinforcement. This paper deals with the concept of flexible retaining barriers, including criteria for height of structures, their layout, terrain investigation required and also considers the snow pressure for designing various components of snow nets.
How to Cite
Chaudhary, V., Singh, G., Chaudhary, A., & Singh, G. (2002). Flexible Retaining Barriers for Prevention of Avalanches on National Highway NH-1A. Defence Science Journal, 52(2), 191-200. https://doi.org/10.14429/dsj.52.2174
Computers & Systems Studies

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