Advertisement

Landslides

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 91–94 | Cite as

Rockfall hazard in the Daisekkei Valley, the northern Japanese Alps, on 11 August 2005

  • Yoshihiko KariyaEmail author
  • Go Sato
  • Kuniyasu Mokudai
  • Jiro Komori
  • Masaki Ishii
  • Ryoko Nishii
  • Yosuke Miyazawa
  • Noriko Tsumura
Recent Landslides

Abstract

This paper describes a rockfall event in the Daisekkei Valley of Mount Shirouma-dake (2,932 m), the northern Japanese Alps. The rockfall occurred on a steep cliff comprising well-jointed felsites and produced debris of ≥8,000 m3. Most debris was deposited on an elongated snowpatch located immediately beneath the cliff, and it caused casualties among people who were trekking along a trail on the snowpatch. Additionally, a large rock block slipped 1 km on the snowpatch. The rockfall could have been due to the differential retreat of the rockwall, which contains areas of high- and low-density joints. Seasonal and diurnal freeze–thaw activities and snow avalanches and wash appear to be important factors responsible for the retreat. Although some rock blocks that can collapse further remain on the rockwall, the position of the mountain trail in the Daisekkei Valley is fixed. Fundamental reform of tourism systems for climbers, including education on natural hazards, is required.

Keywords

Rockfall Alpine landscape Snowpatch Northern Japanese Alps Japan 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the anonymous couple, Hakuba Village Office, Chubu Regional Forest Office of Forest Agency, Hakuba-kan Co. Ltd., the Association for Alpine Accident of the Northern Japanese Alps, Hiroshi Tsuruoka, and Shuji Iwata for their help in the field and the laboratory. This paper has benefited from the constructive comments from Heather Viles.

References

  1. Ishii M, Koaze T (1999) Failures of moraines and a debris flow due to intense rainstorm in July 1995 in the Shirouma-Daisekkei Valley, the northern Japanese Alps. J Geogr 108:629–637Google Scholar
  2. Iwafune M (1996) Rock avalanches occurred in the snow-melt season at the Karasawa cirque in Mt. Hotaka-dake, the Japanese Alps. J Geogr 105:569–589Google Scholar
  3. Japan Meteorological Agency (2005) Electronic climatic statistics http://www.data.kishou.go.jp/index.htm
  4. Koaze T, Sugihara S, Shimizu F, Utsunomiya Y, Iwata S, Okazawa S (1974) Geomorphological studies of Mt. Shirouma and its surroundings, central Japan. J Historical Assoc Meiji Univ 35:01–086Google Scholar
  5. Maruyama K, Takeshi T, Akiyama K, Kojima S, Sato S (2004) Debris flow which discharged on the Shirouma-daisekkei snow patch, the Northern Japanese Alps. J Jpn Soc Erosion Contr Engin 56:67–71Google Scholar
  6. Matsumoto T, Kawashima K, Izumi K, Nohguchi Y (1998) Large-scale trench on the Shirouma-daisekkei snow patch, the Northern Japanese Alps, formed by debris flow. Seppyo 60:37–46Google Scholar
  7. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Government of Japan (2005) Hydrology and water quality database http://www1.river.go.jp/
  8. Matsuoka N, Sakai H (1999) Rockfall activity from an alpine cliff during thawing period. Geomorphology 28:309–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Nakano S, Takeuchi M, Yoshikawa T, Nagamori H, Kariya Y, Okumura K, Taguchi Y (2002) Geology of the Shirouma-dake district. Quadrangle Ser 1:50000, Geol Surv Japan, AIST, 105pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshihiko Kariya
    • 1
    Email author
  • Go Sato
    • 1
  • Kuniyasu Mokudai
    • 2
  • Jiro Komori
    • 3
  • Masaki Ishii
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ryoko Nishii
    • 6
    • 7
  • Yosuke Miyazawa
    • 4
  • Noriko Tsumura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesChiba UniversityInageJapan
  2. 2.Geological MuseumGeological Survey of JapanTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Natural SciencesNihon UniversitySetagayaTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Hokuyo General Construction Co. Ltd.OmachiJapan
  5. 5.Nagano Prefectural GovernmentNaganoJapan
  6. 6.Graduate School of Tokyo Gakugei UniversityKoganeiJapan
  7. 7.Graduate School of University of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

Personalised recommendations