16 Jan 2023
16 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Avaframe com1DFA (version 1.3): a thickness integrated computational avalanche module – Theory, numerics and testing

Matthias Tonnel, Anna Wirbel, Felix Oesterle, and Jan-Thomas Fischer Matthias Tonnel et al.
  • Dep. of Natural Hazards, BFW - Austrian Research Center for Forests, Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract. Simulation tools are important to investigate and predict mobility and the destructive potential of gravitational mass flows (e.g. snow avalanches). AvaFrame – the open avalanche framework – offers well established computational modeling approaches, tools for data handling and analysis as well as ready to use modules for evaluation and testing. This paper presents the theoretical background, derivation and model verification for one of AvaFrame’s core modules, the thickness integrated computational model for dense flow avalanches, named com1DFA. Particular emphasis within the description of the utilized numerical particle grid method is given to the computation of spatial gradients and the accurate implementation of driving and resisting forces. The implemented method allows to provide a time-space criterion connecting the numerical particles, grid and time discretization. The convergence and robustness of the numerical implementation is checked with respect to the spatio-temporal evolution of the flow variables using tests with a known analytical solution. In addition we present a new test for verifying the accuracy of the numerical simulation in terms of runout (angle and distance). This test is derived from the total energy balance along the center of mass path of the avalanche. This manuscript, particularly in combination with the code availability (open-source code repository) and detailed online documentation provides a description of an extendable framework for modeling and verification of avalanche simulation tools.

Matthias Tonnel et al.

Status: open (until 13 Mar 2023)

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Matthias Tonnel et al.

Matthias Tonnel et al.


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Short summary
Avaframe – the open avalanche framework – provides open-source tools to simulate and investigate snow avalanches. It is utilized for multiple purposes, the two main applications being hazard mapping and scientific research of snow processes. We present the theory, conversion to a computer model and testing for one of the core modules used for simulations of a particular type of avalanche, the so-called dense flow avalanches. Tests check and confirm the applicability of the utilized method.