1 April 2012

Two interesting recent landslides in the Alps

Posted by Dave Petley

There has been a number of landslide events in the last few days, one of which I have already reported, but here are two more:

1. A bizarre rock avalanche from Austria

Thanks to Klemens Pürmayr for the heads-up on this one.  A little over a week ago a large slab detached from the Meiminger above the Alpbactal Valley in Austria.  According to this news report (in German), the slide occurred early on 23rd March.  Whilst I have little information about the event the images are dramatic:

Source area and upper track:




Lower track:


This was clearly a highly mobile landslide, but note that mass has not spread and that very little debris has been left along the path.  It is also interesting to see the super-elevation (riding up the valley wall) as the mass has gone around the bend in the lower image.

2. A fatal rockfall in Switzerland

Meanwhile, (and thanks to a small number of people who pointed this out to me), a rockfall in the Engadine Valley of Switzerland between Martina and Vinadi killed a coach driver on Friday (30th March).  The ccoach was fortunately empty but for the driver, if this had not been the case then the loss of life would undoubtedly have been much more serious:



Does anyone have any more information about either event?