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.

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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.