Hazardous processes in the hydrosphere: fundamental and engineering aspects
  • Georgy L. Morozov Chief project engineer, Sochi, Russia
Keywords: Caucasus, Rosa Khutor, avalanche, ground freezing, snow pack, thermal conductivity of snow

Studies of ground freezing on the North-Eastern slope of the Aibga ridge (Western Caucasus) were conducted based on observations of the course of meteorological elements at three automated weather stations. Weather stations are located above the Rosa Khutor plateau at absolute elevations from 2130 to 1580 m. For the territory of the Rosa Khutor ski resort in the village. Krasnaya Polyana problems associated with the freezing of the soil, are not relevant. It is established that there is no ground freezing on the North-Eastern slope of the Aibga ridge. This allows you to significantly reduce the cost of construction of the foundation part of buildings and structures, but does not allow you to carry out early (on calendar dates) snowmaking of ski slopes. Artificial snowmaking of slopes (spraying snow on bare ground) in the fall is very problematic due to the large influx of heat from the soil of the mountain range. It is advisable to carry out snowmaking operations on the slopes after the establishment of a stable snow cover. Its minimum thickness should be 25 cm. Frequent thaws and associated precipitation in the liquid phase can form moisture-saturated layers in the snow cover that form a thermocline. This contributes to the formation of spring avalanches of wet snow. At all snow weather stations during the period of their observation, the average monthly temperature at the contact of the snow pack with the ground surface was always positive throughout the cold period. Studies have shown that before the establishment of a stable snow pack, the ground surface temperature fluctuates in a fairly large range. Since the establishment of a stable snow cover, the ground surface temperature begins to gradually increase, and by January 1 next year it already reaches +0.2°C. In the spring of 2010, snow avalanches descended on the Rosa Khutor ski complex (Krasnaya Polyana), destroying the underlying soil layer. The reason for the destruction of the soil layer was the thawed state of the soil under the snow cover. Such avalanches are random and extremely rare.

GOST 16350-80. Klimat SSSR raionirovanie i statisticheskie parametry klimaticheskikh faktorov dlya tekhnicheskikh tselei [GOST 16350-80. Climate of the USSR. Regionalism and statistical parameters of climatic factors for technical purposes]. Moscow, Publ. of USSR State Committee for Standards, 1981. 150 p. (In Russian).

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How to Cite
Georgy L. Morozov. (2020). THE FREEZING OF THE SOIL AND SPRING AVALANCHES ON THE NORTHERN SLOPES OF THE AIBGA RIDGE. Hydrosphere. Hazard Processes and Phenomena, 2(3), 246-259.


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