Avalanche Retaining Walls (adding impact loads and variable distributed loads to retaining walls above the soil)

I am not sure how common this is for most ClearCalcs users. In the last 2 years we have seen an increasing number of projects that are subject to avalanche forces. I was wondering if it is possible to add a feature to the retaining wall calculator that would include a variable distributed load to the face of the retaining wall above the soil level (similar to adding the water table to a retaining wall) and an impact load. The distributed load feature is more critical than the impact load for us.

The way I see this working in ClearCalcs is allowing the user to input an additional “soil” type above the existing retained soil height and using EFP method to input the necessary values. This would also be very useful when designing hillside retaining walls that carry over 120psf ground snow load.

The avalanche force values are provided by outside consultants, so there is no need for ClearCalcs to involve themselves with that.


Thanks for sharing this Tyler - what a cool use case! While it sounds quite unique I could see this being implemented in conjunction with another request we’ve heard a few times, which is to add wind loads to fences on retaining walls.

Question - you mention using the EFP method. I understand that you’re adding the lateral pressures to the wall face. Are you also adding that extra
weight when calculating lateral pressures from the soil underneath?