stress-driven

Geohazard information for the masses

Category: Progressive rock slope failure (page 1 of 2)

Just add water: How to break large rock beams with a few drips

(*pun intended) The failure of natural rock slopes, or engineered bedrock structures (e.g. tunnels, caverns, mines, and excavations) is closely tied to the progressive fracturing of intact rock. The physics of this process is, however, complicated – and even in engineered materials such as glass and steel, the interaction of conditions driving the propagation of cracks is […]

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MSc opportunity: Application of a new time-dependent limit-equilibrium model to understand progressive failure on bedrock slopes (local sites in Grimsel Pass, or regional analysis in the Himalaya)

Candidate: Open Supervisors: Kerry Leith, Jordan Aaron, Simon Allen (UZH) Institution: University of Zurich, ETH Zurich Activity: Beginning Fall 2018 Introduction Undercutting of rock slopes by either (river or glacier) erosion or highway construction commonly leaves overhanging unstable blocks that collapse after a period of time, endangering people and property, and changing the local geomorphological environment. When bedding or foliation dips […]

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MSc opportunity: Investigating the effect of high summer temperatures on hazardous rockfall in an Alpine setting (Gelmersee, Grimsel Pass)

Candidate: Open Supervisors: Kerry Leith Institution: ETH Zurich Activity: Beginning Fall 2018 In late August 2017 moderately-sized rockfall occurred on a south-facing rock wall above the popular Gelmersee hiking trail (immediately north of Grimsel Pass), leaving six people injured. Although the occurrence of such rockfalls in alpine regions is unsurprising, the location, geological setting, and timing of this […]

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MSc Marco Zapata Torres: A new time-dependent limit-equilibrium model to understand progressive failure in bedrock slopes on the Grimsel Pass

Candidate: Marco Zapata Torres Supervisors: Kerry Leith, Jordan Aaron, Simon Allen (UZH) Institution: University of Zurich, ETH Zurich Activity: Beginning Spring 2018 Introduction Undercutting of rock slopes by either (river or glacier) erosion or highway construction commonly leaves overhanging unstable blocks that collapse after a period of time, endangering people and property, and changing the local geomorphological environment. When bedding or […]

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A compilation of meteorological observations, pore water pressure measurements, and the model results.

A new paper describing a simplistic model for the evaluation of landslide hydrology (with very limited data): Nie, W., Krautblatter, M., Leith, K., Thuro, K., Festl, J., (2017)  A modified tank model including snowmelt and infiltration time lags for deep-seated landslides in alpine environments (Aggenalm, Germany), Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci.

MSc Jonas von Wartburg: Constraining the age and source area of the Molveno landslide deposits in the Brenta Group, Trentino Dolomites.

Candidate: Jonas von Wartburg Supervisors: Susan Ivy-Ochs, Kerry Leith, Jordan Aaron, Prof. Dr. Silvana Martin (U. Padua) Institution: ETH Zurich, University of Padua Activity: Beginning Fall 2017 Introduction A detailed understanding of prehistoric landslides provides fundamental information on the inherent causes of massive rock slope failures in the Alps. In Trentino, a key issue in assessing hazards […]

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BSc Andrina Vlasek: Assessment of deep-seated landslide distributions in the Alps: Ticino

Candidate: Andrina Vlasek Supervisors: Kerry Leith, Andrea Manconi Institution: ETH zurich Activity: Completed summer 2016 Natural hazards such as landslides happen frequently in Switzerland, more than 6% of Switzerland’s area is prone to slope instability. Not all landscapes are equally prone to landslide instabilities, but depend on various factors, such as geologic (e.g. lithology), topographic (e.g. slope steepness) […]

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BSc Barbara Kessler: Stress changes and fracture development on the Zugspitzplatt as a result of deglaciation.

Candidate: Barbara Kessler Supervisors: Kerry Leith, Michael Krautblatter Institution: Technical University of Munich Activity: Completed summer 2015 The impact of glacier retreat on rock slope instability since the Last Glacial Maximum is the subject of ongoing debate. Rock slope activity since ice retreat is typically attributed to increased kinematic freedom as a result of erosion during glaciation, […]

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BSc Felix Hofmayer: Preconditioning of the Eibsee Bergsturz by deglaciation & development of near-surface critical stress

Candidate: Felix Hofmayer Supervisors: Kerry Leith, Michael Krautblatter Institution: Technical University of Munich Activity: Completed summer 2015 Especially in alpine areas with a high density of population there is a huge risk of heavy rockfalls. Most of all in case there is a touristic dependency for the region. The Zugspitze with Garmisch-Patenkirchen at the bottom is a […]

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MSc Theresa Raab: Geomorphological indicators of slope instabilities in alpine settings

Candidate: Theresa Raab Supervisors: Kerry Leith, Michael Krautblatter Institution: Technical University of Munich Activity: Completed fall 2015 High-magnitude forcing events like earthquakes and severe strorms greatly influence regional landslide activity. Here, we investigate geomorphic factors contributing to slope instability prior to, during, and after four extreme-forcing events: the 2008 MW 7.9 Wenchuan, China, earthquake, the […]

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