stress-driven

Geohazard information for the masses

Category: Blog posts (page 1 of 3)

Do glaciers really do all the work? Perhaps not. Check out our new paper to find out why.

Recently, my co-authors and I published a rather controversial article entitled ‘Signatures of Late Pleistocene fluvial incision in an Alpine landscape‘ in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (Volume 483, Leith et al., 2018). In this post we summarize the main outcomes, and look into a part of the backstory that never made it to print. […]

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An uncommon look at frost wedging in the lab under ‘autumn’, ‘winter’, and ‘spring’ conditions

Frost wedging describes the process by which pressure from the expansion of freezing water in pre-exising fractures generates sufficient tensile stress to propagate the crack further into intact rock. Although this seems like a reasonably common sense interpretation (given the transition from water to ice involves a 9% expansion that’s often associated with the bursting […]

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A new SFM model for our Finland field site

Before the winter set in and a long twilight fell on the Finnish archipelago a group of us from ETH Zurich and Aalto University ventured out to Langören island to winterize the measuring equipment and gather data for numerical and structural analyses of the fracturing events. Following from a recent paper from Gonçalves et al. […]

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How different are the New Zealand and European Alps?

The answer is very, and it’s all down to climate, vegetation, and tectonics. Early winter in the central Swiss Alps (Saas Fee, Switzerland) Below are equally scaled Google Earth images of the Arolla Valley in the central Swiss Alps (left), and the Callery Valley on the western side of the New Zealand Alps (right). Of […]

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Erosion rate estimates indicate fluvial gorge formation in a catchment on the southern side of the Alps outpaced glacial erosion at the same location for the last ~400 kyr.

Fox, M., Leith, K., Bodin, T., Balco, G., Shuster, D.L., 2015. Rate of fluvial incision in the Central Alps constrained through joint inversion of detrital 10Be and thermochronometric data. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 411, 27-36.

 

Clues for former instability at the site of the Koslanda landslide, Sri Lanka

Monsoon rains triggered a large earth flow near the town of Koslanda yesterday. The landslide struck early in the morning, and according to the Disaster Management Center destroyed more than 120 homes, with current estimates suggesting there could be more than 100 casualties. New video from the site gives the first really good impression of the […]

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Stress-driven has found a new digital home

Hi all, After a long weekend of coding I’ve moved stress-driven.blogspot.de to a new home in the open source WordPress.org environment. This should make a big difference to the usability and scalability of the site, while keeping the effort required for me to add new content to a minimum. At the moment there may still […]

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Fracturing of ancient bedrock surfaces during an extremely hot summer

Long periods of exceptionally high temperatures in California and Finland this summer have been associated with the formation of large ‘exfoliation’ or ‘sheeting’ fractures in bedrock surfaces that may have remained largely unchanged since the last ice age.

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Randa rockfall update: One of those rare cases

In the case of the 29/08/14 failure, members of the ETH Zurich had captured images of the rock slope two weeks prior to the event, and as the SLF was working in the region at the time, images immediately (approx. 30 min) after the event are also available. This is a rare case for such a large alpine rockfall, and in addition to the video I posted earlier could offer opportunities to investigate the driving mechanism and failure process with more detail than is usually possible.

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Ongoing instability of the Randa rock slope (Switzerland)

A large Alpine rockfall caught on video

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