21 Apr 2023
 | 21 Apr 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Rockfall monitoring with a Doppler radar on an active rock slide complex in Brienz/Brinzauls (Switzerland)

Marius Schneider, Nicolas Oestreicher, and Simon Loew

Abstract. We present and analyze a rockfall catalog from an active landslide complex in Brienz/Brinzauls of the Swiss Alps, collected with a new Doppler radar system. This radar system provides a complete and continuous time-series of rockfall events with volumes of 1m3 and bigger since 2018 and serves as automatic traffic control for an important cantonal road. In the period between January 2018 and September 2022, 6743 events were detected, which is two orders of magnitude higher activity than in stable continental cliffs. A few percent of all rockfall events reached the shadow zone, which hosts an important road and agricultural area. The Doppler radar data set allows us to investigate the triggering factors quantitatively. We found that the background rockfall activity is controlled by seasonal climatic triggers. In winter, more rockfalls are observed during thawing periods, whereas in summer the rockfall activity increases with hourly rainfall intensity. We also found that due to the geological setting in an active landslide complex, increased rockfall activity occurs clustered in space and time, triggered by local displacement hotspots. Thus, monitoring spatial and temporal variations of slope displacement velocity is crucial for detailed rockfall hazard assessment in similar geological settings.

Marius Schneider et al.

Status: open (until 21 Jun 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-555', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 May 2023 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Simon Loew, 22 May 2023 reply

Marius Schneider et al.

Marius Schneider et al.


Total article views: 305 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
207 89 9 305 5 2
  • HTML: 207
  • PDF: 89
  • XML: 9
  • Total: 305
  • BibTeX: 5
  • EndNote: 2
Views and downloads (calculated since 21 Apr 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 21 Apr 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 319 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 319 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 07 Jun 2023
Short summary
Rockfalls and their hazards are typically treated as statistical events based on rockfall catalogs, but only a few complete rockfall inventories are available today. Here we present new results from a Doppler radar rockfall alarm system, which operates since 2018 at high frequency under all illumination and weather conditions, at a site where frequent rockfall events threaten a village and a road. The new data set is used to investigate rockfall triggers and in an active rockslide complex.