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Rockfalls, rockslides and rock avalanches (co-organized)
Convener: Michael Krautblatter  | Co-Conveners: Axel Volkwein , Anja Dufresne , Stuart Dunning , Samuel McColl , Daniel Draebing 
 / Fri, 28 Apr, 15:30–17:00
 / Attendance Fri, 28 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Rockfalls, rockslides and rock avalanches are fundamental modes of bedrock erosion and among the primary slope hazards in steep terrain. To better understand both the mechanics and dynamics of rockfall, rockslides and rock avalanches, all stages of rock slope degradation, mass movement initiation, and rock mass transport and deposition must be investigated and understood, and the rates of these processes characterized. This session aims to bring together state-of-the-art methods for predicting, assessing, quantifying or protecting against rockfall-, rockslide- and rock avalanche hazards, and to identify future research needs. We seek innovative contributions on mechanisms of rock slope erosion, from weathering to detachment through transport and deposition, spanning scales from individual detachment events to the dynamics of large rock avalanches, as well as simulation methods and protection and mitigation measures. This includes presentation of theoretical, numerical or probabilistic modelling, experimental investigations and experiences in the field or laboratory, and different approaches for structural and natural protection measures and hazard zoning.

In addition to the broad focus of this session, in 2017 we wish to strongly emphasise paraglacial (or alpine & proglacial) slope failure research, and we highly encourage contributions on this theme. Climate warming and the associated glacier retreat, rock mass unloading, thermal stress changes, GIA-induced seismicity, and a host of other processes may enhance paraglacial adjustment of rock slopes, and thus, increase sediment supply and the potential for landslide hazards in mountainous areas. Rock slope response, drivers, and impacts can be investigated through reconstructing past slope activity, monitoring and assessing present slope movement, and by modelling slope and landscape responses. This session will provide an opportunity to bring together researchers tackling paraglacial rock slope failure issues from any and all of these approaches.

Invited keynote speaker: Tomás Pánek (University of Ostrava). Detailed title TBA.