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Glossary Index

Avalanche Institute


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Also: elasticity, elastic deformation

Deformation without fracture. Capable of returning, to some limited extent, to its original shape after being deformed. Elasticity refers to how much deformation can occur before it becomes irreversible. Elastic deformation refers to any deformation which is elastic (within the limits of the materials elasticity).

Snow is visco-elastic and has a certain amount of elasticity. It has been found that after an avalanche release the remaining crown line "rebounds" a small amount, like one half of a rubber band which has snapped. (However, the amount of elasticity in snow is much less than in a rubber band!)

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