Scientists report uptick in Alpine rockslides


The full article was originally written for SwissInfo

The summer of 2015 brought an “exceptionally large” number of rockslides in the Swiss Alps because of warmer temperatures, according to a report from the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research.

The Davos-based organisation found that most of those rockslides occurred in areas higher than 2,500 metres above sea level. They were caused by above-average air temperatures, with the freezing altitude located above 4,000 metres for a period of about six weeks.

The largest such rockslide occurred on September 2 in the Valais region, where 80,000 cubic metres of rock were dislodged. According to the institute, a volume of 5,000 cubic metres is about equal to five houses.

The video below shows an example of a significant rockslide event in Switzerland in October.

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Scientists report uptick in Alpine rockslides