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Snow loads thoroughly examined

Published: 18 November 2021

What happens in the snow during spring when the sun warms and the snow melts? Researchers in Soil Mechanics at Luleå University of Technology suspect that ice formation and stresses in this ice under melting snow mean that the load on, for example, roofs is not distributed as evenly as one might think.

In the project Snow connectivity , this theory will be thoroughly investigated during the coming winter and spring.

“We will measure the effect of temperature and solar radiation on the heat flux and mechanical properties of both snowpack and the underlying soil over time to see how stresses arise and are distributed under the snow mass.” says Zahra Motamedi, doctoral student in the subject Soil Mechanics at the university.

Measurement data will be collected via sensors that have now been installed in the soil layer under the snow and ice that has already begun to build up on the university campus in Luleå.

"We believe that those who work with avalanches or roof constructions will benefit from the practical benefit of this research. It gives an increased understanding of the snow's mechanical behavior," says Thomas Forsberg, lab technician at the MCE laboratory at Luleå University of Technology.

Research results are expected to be delivered in the autumn of 2022.

Zahra Motamedi

Zahra Motamedi, PhD Student

Phone: +46 (0)920 491322
Organisation: Soil Mechanics, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering