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Glossary Index

Avalanche Institute

 

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Creep

Also: Creep Tension

The slow viscous deformation within a sloping snow-cover due to gravity. Not to be confused with glide.

Creep This figure shows the effects of gravity on an inclined snowpack. The red arrows show creep. The difference in motion between the surface and the base introduces tension, particularly over convex features.

The black arrows show glide, which is the motion that results if the entire snowpack slips at the base. There is no difference in motion through the snowpack with glide.

The blue arrow shows settlement.


Tensile stress in the snow caused by creep is sometimes called creep tension. Convex features are prone to increased creep tension.

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