Articles | Volume 9, issue 3
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 665–672, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-9-665-2021
Earth Surf. Dynam., 9, 665–672, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-9-665-2021

Short communication 23 Jun 2021

Short communication | 23 Jun 2021

Short communication: Runout of rock avalanches limited by basal friction but controlled by fragmentation

Øystein T. Haug et al.

Data sets

Laboratory model data from experiments on fragmenting analogue rock avalanches Øystein T. Haug, Matthias Rosenau, Michael Rudolf, Karen Leever, and Onno Oncken https://doi.org/10.5880/GFZ.4.1.2020.004

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Short summary
The runout of rock avalanches scales with their volume but also shows a considerable variation for avalanches with similar volumes. Here we show that besides size-dependent weakening mechanisms, fragmentation can account for the observed variability in runout. We use laboratory-scale experimental avalanches to simulate and analyse the role of fragmentation. We find that fragmentation consumes energy but also increases avalanche mobility. It does so systematically and predictably.