Seismic constraints on rock damaging related to a failing mountain peak

  • Large rock slope failures play a pivotal role in long-term landscape evolution and are a major concern in land use planning and hazard aspects. While the failure phase and the time immediately prior to failure are increasingly well studied, the nature of the preparation phase remains enigmatic. This knowledge gap is due, to a large degree, to difficulties associated with instrumenting high mountain terrain and the local nature of classic monitoring methods, which does not allow integral observation of large rock volumes. Here, we analyse data from a small network of up to seven seismic sensors installed during July-October 2018 (with 43 days of data loss) at the summit of the Hochvogel, a 2592 m high Alpine peak. We develop proxy time series indicative of cyclic and progressive changes of the summit. Modal analysis, horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio data and end-member modelling analysis reveal diurnal cycles of increasing and decreasing coupling stiffness of a 260,000 m(3) large, instable rock volume, due to thermal forcing.Large rock slope failures play a pivotal role in long-term landscape evolution and are a major concern in land use planning and hazard aspects. While the failure phase and the time immediately prior to failure are increasingly well studied, the nature of the preparation phase remains enigmatic. This knowledge gap is due, to a large degree, to difficulties associated with instrumenting high mountain terrain and the local nature of classic monitoring methods, which does not allow integral observation of large rock volumes. Here, we analyse data from a small network of up to seven seismic sensors installed during July-October 2018 (with 43 days of data loss) at the summit of the Hochvogel, a 2592 m high Alpine peak. We develop proxy time series indicative of cyclic and progressive changes of the summit. Modal analysis, horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio data and end-member modelling analysis reveal diurnal cycles of increasing and decreasing coupling stiffness of a 260,000 m(3) large, instable rock volume, due to thermal forcing. Relative seismic wave velocity changes also indicate diurnal accumulation and release of stress within the rock mass. At longer time scales, there is a systematic superimposed pattern of stress increased over multiple days and episodic stress release within a few days, expressed in an increased emission of short seismic pulses indicative of rock cracking. Our data provide essential first order information on the development of large-scale slope instabilities towards catastrophic failure. (c) 2020 The Authors. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms published by John Wiley & Sons Ltdshow moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author details:Michael DietzeORCiD, Michael KrautblatterORCiDGND, Luc IllienORCiDGND, Niels HoviusORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-568787
DOI:https://doi.org/10.25932/publishup-56878
ISSN:1866-8372
Title of parent work (German):Zweitveröffentlichungen der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe
Subtitle (English):The Hochvogel, Allgäu
Publication series (Volume number):Zweitveröffentlichungen der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe (1360)
Publication type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first publication:2021/11/16
Publication year:2021
Publishing institution:Universität Potsdam
Release date:2024/03/28
Tag:HVSR; correlation; environmental seismology; fatigue; fundamental frequency; mass; mountain geomorphology; natural hazard; noise cross; seismic monitoring; slope failure; wasting
Issue:2
Number of pages:15
Source:Earth Surf. Process. Landforms, 46: 417–429. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.5034
Funding institution:Projekt DEAL
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Geowissenschaften
DDC classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Peer review:Referiert
Publishing method:Open Access / Green Open-Access
License (German):License LogoCC-BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International
External remark:Bibliographieeintrag der Originalveröffentlichung/Quelle
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