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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-347
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 01 Nov 2017

Research article | 01 Nov 2017

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Assessing fragility of a reinforced concrete element to snow avalanches using a non-linear mass-spring model

Philomène Favier1, David Bertrand2, Nicolas Eckert3, Isabelle Ousset3, and Mohamed Naaim3 Philomène Favier et al.
  • 1CIGIDEN, National Research Center for Integrated Natural Disaster Management, CONICYT/FONDAP/15110017 and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Edificio Hernán Briones - 3er Piso, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago, Chile
  • 2INSA Lyon, SMS-ID Laboratory, 34 avenue des arts, 69621 Villeurbanne Cedex, France
  • 3UR ETNA, Irstea/Université Grenoble Alpes, 2 rue de la papeterie BP 76, 38402 Saint-Martin-d’Hères Cedex, Université Grenoble Alpes, France

Abstract. This paper presents an assessment of the fragility of a Reinforced Concrete (RC) element subjected to avalanche loads within a reliability framework. In order to obtain accurate numerical results with supportable computation times, we propose a light and efficient Single-Degree-Of-Freedom (SDOF) numerical model for an RC element. The model represents the behavior of an RC wall, summing up the main physics involved. Non-linearity was taken into account by a moment-curvature approach, which describes the overall bending response until collapse. The SDOF model was validated by a finite element as well as yield line theory analyses. It was then embedded within a reliability framework to evaluate the failure probability as a function of avalanche pressure. Several reliability methods were implemented and compared, suggesting that non-parametric methods provide significant results at a moderate level of computational burden. The sensitivity to material properties, such as tensile and compressive strengths, steel reinforcement ratio, and wall geometry was also investigated. Finally, the obtained fragility curves were discussed with respect to the few proposals available in the snow avalanche engineering field. This systematic approach will prove useful in refining formal and practical risk assessments and could be applied to other phenomena that also lack fragility curves.

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