Articles | Volume 5, issue 4
Research article
29 Nov 2017
Research article |  | 29 Nov 2017

Spatiotemporal patterns, triggers and anatomies of seismically detected rockfalls

Michael Dietze, Jens M. Turowski, Kristen L. Cook, and Niels Hovius

Related authors

Ideas and perspectives: Sensing energy and matter fluxes in a biota-dominated Patagonian landscape through environmental seismology – introducing the Pumalín Critical Zone Observatory
Christian H. Mohr, Michael Dietze, Violeta Tolorza, Erwin Gonzalez, Benjamin Sotomayor, Andres Iroume, Sten Gilfert, and Frieder Tautz
Biogeosciences, 21, 1583–1599,,, 2024
Short summary
How water, temperature and seismicity control the preparation of massive rock slope failure (Hochvogel, DE/AT)
Johannes Leinauer, Michael Dietze, Sibylle Knapp, Riccardo Scandroglio, Maximilian Jokel, and Michael Krautblatter
EGUsphere,,, 2024
Short summary
Massive sediment pulses triggered by a multi-stage 130 000 m3 alpine cliff fall (Hochvogel, DE–AT)
Natalie Barbosa, Johannes Leinauer, Juilson Jubanski, Michael Dietze, Ulrich Münzer, Florian Siegert, and Michael Krautblatter
Earth Surf. Dynam., 12, 249–269,,, 2024
Short summary
Brief communication: An autonomous UAV for catchment-wide monitoring of a debris flow torrent
Fabian Walter, Elias Hodel, Erik S. Mannerfelt, Kristen Cook, Michael Dietze, Livia Estermann, Michaela Wenner, Daniel Farinotti, Martin Fengler, Lukas Hammerschmidt, Flavia Hänsli, Jacob Hirschberg, Brian McArdell, and Peter Molnar
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 4011–4018,,, 2022
Short summary
sandbox – creating and analysing synthetic sediment sections with R
Michael Dietze, Sebastian Kreutzer, Margret C. Fuchs, and Sascha Meszner
Geochronology, 4, 323–338,,, 2022
Short summary

Related subject area

Physical: Geomorphology (including all aspects of fluvial, coastal, aeolian, hillslope and glacial geomorphology)
Evolution of submarine canyons and hanging-wall fans: insights from geomorphic experiments and morphodynamic models
Steven Y. J. Lai, David Amblas, Aaron Micallef, and Hervé Capart
Earth Surf. Dynam., 12, 621–640,,, 2024
Short summary
Riverine sediment response to deforestation in the Amazon basin
Anuska Narayanan, Sagy Cohen, and John R. Gardner
Earth Surf. Dynam., 12, 581–599,,, 2024
Short summary
Physical modeling of ice-sheet-induced salt movements using the example of northern Germany
Jacob Hardt, Tim P. Dooley, and Michael R. Hudec
Earth Surf. Dynam., 12, 559–579,,, 2024
Short summary
Downstream rounding rate of pebbles in the Himalaya
Prakash Pokhrel, Mikael Attal, Hugh D. Sinclair, Simon M. Mudd, and Mark Naylor
Earth Surf. Dynam., 12, 515–536,,, 2024
Short summary
A physics-based model for fluvial valley width
Jens Martin Turowski, Aaron Bufe, and Stefanie Tofelde
Earth Surf. Dynam., 12, 493–514,,, 2024
Short summary

Cited articles

Adler, D. and Murdoch, D.: rgl: 3D Visualization Using OpenGL, available at: (last access: 27 November 2017), r package version 0.95.1441, 2016.
Allen, R.: Automatic phase pickers: Their present use and future prospects, B. Seismol. Soc. Am., 72, S225–S242, 1982.
Bakun-Mazor, D., Hatzor, Y. H., Glaser, S. D., and Santamarina, J. C.: Thermally vs. seismically induced block displacements in Masada rock slopes, Int. J. Rock Mech. Min., 61, 196–211,, 2013.
BfL: Atlas der Schweiz Version 2.0 (electronic data), Bundesamt für Landestopographie, Berne, 2004.
Bivand, R. S., Pebesma, E. J., and Gomez-Rubio, V.: Applied spatial data analysis with R, Springer, 2013.
Short summary
Rockfall is an essential geomorphic process and a hazard in steep landscapes which is hard to constrain with traditional approaches. Seismic methods allow for the detection, location, characterisation and linking of events to triggers by lag times. This new technique reveals 49 rockfalls in 6 months with seasonally varying locations. Freeze–thaw action accounts for only 5 events, whereas 19 rockfalls were caused by rain with a 1 h peak lag time, and 17 events were due to diurnal thermal forcing.