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Glossary Index

Avalanche Institute


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Also: Shear Failure, Shear Stress, Shear Test, Shear Strength, Shear Frame

Shear Stress - The downward force, gravity, acting parallel to the under surface on a slab layer.

Shear Strength - Breaking strength. Bond or anchorage of a snow layer to its adjacent surfaces, under surface, and sides.

Shear Failure - Fracturing of snow in response to shear stress. In snow this can occur between ice grains within and between snow layers and at the flanks walls of a slab avalanche.

Shear Test - Any test or experiment designed to measure the shear strength in snow or between snow layers.

Shear Frame - A device to estimate shear strength of natural snow layers. A rectangular shape frame which is placed within the snow parallel to the snow layering, then pulled across the layering with a dynomometer.

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