27 October 2011
Spectacular rockfall video on the Franz Josef glacier – a lucky escape for a tour party
Posted by Dave Petley
Summary: A spectacular new video has appeared of a rockfall onto the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand.
Footage has appeared on Youtube of a rockfall on 13th October 2011 from one of the cliffs abutting the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand:
The Greymouth Star has an article that provides some background to the event here. A couple of things to note. First, once again the collapse was preceded by significant precursory rockfall activity. Second, of course, the tour party were mighty lucky. One of the guides appears to hold up a large rock that landed close to them.
Thanks for Jill Davies for drawing my attention to this video.
I wonder, why do these people risk their lives just for the sense of adventure.
Nothing special Rita : this is nothing extraordinary. Thousands of people are walking on glaciers every day! The rockslide is extrordinary, not the people walking on the glacier.
Great website Dave ! and not only for this article!
[…] video was found on The Landslides Blog. A story from the local paper can also be found here. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe […]
I think you just answered your own question there, Rita.
Very interesting to note the covering of fine material on the glacier after the rock fall. The clean white surface has suddenly changed to a dark colour. The coating here is very thin and could lead to increased melting due to the lower albedo, but perhaps the coating is thick enough to insulate the ice elsewhere. Was there enough material to result in an advance of the glacier? I’m sure Tim Davies from the University of Canterbury would be the one to ask, as he spoke of these things recently in Durham.
@Rita Roberts, I don’t think these people were taking unreasonable risks. The glacial environment is very rewarding, and such events are rare and unpredictable.
[…] video of rockfall onto Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand: Lucky escape for tourists. https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2011/10/27/spectacular-rockfall-video-on-the-franz-josef-glacier-… (via […]