A rock avalanche deposit was investigated in order to understand the chronological evolution of geological hazards and to evaluate the interaction of the triggering geodynamic processes in the valley Val Viola, Italian Alps. The deposit is situated west of the Alpe Dosde´, in a permafrost area with deep-seated gravitational deformations (DSGD) along a tectonic line. Based on its geomorphologic context, the rock avalanche was first interpreted as a result of slope stress release without exact timing. This hypothesis was tested by measuring the 10Be exposure date of quartz from one boulder from the rock avalanche. The age of 74307460 years places the event in the early Holocene. The timing of the last deglaciation was constrained using the inner late glacial moraine of a moraine doublet in the valley Alpe Dosde´ situated at an altitude between 2140 and 2120m a.s.l. west of the rock avalanche. The 10Be concentrations of quartz yield minimum exposure ages of 11,4807670 and 10,8507820 years. Different proposals for potential triggering factors of the rock avalanche include (a) melting of the local valley glacier and slope stress release in the Val Viola, likely to play a minor role as trigger, because of the time delay between the deglaciation and the rock avalanche event. More likely are (b) enhanced crustal seismicity induced by post-glacial regional isostatic glacial rebound coupled with tectonic stress or/and (c) climate conditions with higher temperatures around 74307460 years, resulting in an upwards movement of the permafrost limit and destabilization of the rock walls.

10-Be exposure ages of a rock avalanche and a late glacial moraine in Alta Valtellina, Italian Alps

MICHETTI, ALESSANDRO MARIA
2008

Abstract

A rock avalanche deposit was investigated in order to understand the chronological evolution of geological hazards and to evaluate the interaction of the triggering geodynamic processes in the valley Val Viola, Italian Alps. The deposit is situated west of the Alpe Dosde´, in a permafrost area with deep-seated gravitational deformations (DSGD) along a tectonic line. Based on its geomorphologic context, the rock avalanche was first interpreted as a result of slope stress release without exact timing. This hypothesis was tested by measuring the 10Be exposure date of quartz from one boulder from the rock avalanche. The age of 74307460 years places the event in the early Holocene. The timing of the last deglaciation was constrained using the inner late glacial moraine of a moraine doublet in the valley Alpe Dosde´ situated at an altitude between 2140 and 2120m a.s.l. west of the rock avalanche. The 10Be concentrations of quartz yield minimum exposure ages of 11,4807670 and 10,8507820 years. Different proposals for potential triggering factors of the rock avalanche include (a) melting of the local valley glacier and slope stress release in the Val Viola, likely to play a minor role as trigger, because of the time delay between the deglaciation and the rock avalanche event. More likely are (b) enhanced crustal seismicity induced by post-glacial regional isostatic glacial rebound coupled with tectonic stress or/and (c) climate conditions with higher temperatures around 74307460 years, resulting in an upwards movement of the permafrost limit and destabilization of the rock walls.
Exposure age; rock avalanche; Holocene; Valtellina
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11383/1677056
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