Modelling rock avalanches and their relation to permafrost degradation in glacial environments

  • Bottino G
  • Chiarle M
  • Joly A
 et al. 
  • 44


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 41


    Citations of this article.


High runout distances characterize landslides falling on glaciers because of (1) low friction offered by ice to sliding and (2) complex rock-ice interactions that take place during mass motion. Block-fall models (two (2D) and three dimensional (3D)) were tested on the 1936 Felik landslide (Mount Rosa Massif). Geotechnical parameters were assessed through a back-analysis aided by field surveys, aerial photo and historical data analysis. Outcomes are verified for two rock-ice avalanches which ran along the Brenva Glacier (Mount Blanc Massif) in 1920 and 1997. Empirical models show poor precision (75%). 3D numerical models are too complex but 2D ones gave results that pointed out that real runouts exceed predicted ones by 30%, possibly due to fluidization processes. Rock-ice avalanches require attention because they originate in areas likely destined to experience permafrost degradation and glacier retreat. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Modelling
  • Mountain permafrost
  • Rock-ice avalanche
  • Western Italian Alps

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Giannantonio Bottino

  • Marta Chiarle

  • André Joly

  • Giovanni Mortara

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free