, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 1097–1106 | Cite as

Reconstruction of the history of the Palliser Rockslide based on 36Cl terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating and debris volume estimations

  • Matthieu SturzeneggerEmail author
  • Doug Stead
  • John Gosse
  • Brent Ward
  • Corey Froese
Original Paper


This paper presents the results of a combined study, using cosmogenic 36Cl exposure dating and terrestrial digital photogrammetry of the Palliser Rockslide located in the southeastern Canadian Rocky Mountains. This site is particularly well-suited to demonstrate how this multi-disciplinary approach can be used to differentiate distinct rocksliding events, estimate their volume, and establish their chronology and recurrence interval. Observations suggest that rocksliding has been ongoing since the late Pleistocene deglaciation. Two major rockslide events have been dated at 10.0 ± 1.2 kyr and 7.7 ± 0.8 kyr before present, with failure volumes of 40 and 8 Mm3, respectively. The results have important implications concerning our understanding of the temporal distribution of paraglacial rockslides and rock avalanches; they provide a better understanding of the volumes and failure mechanisms of recurrent failure events; and they represent the first absolute ages of a prehistoric high-magnitude event in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.


Palliser Rockslide Canadian Rocky Mountains 36Cl terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide dating Paraglacial rock failure Debris volume 



Funding for the research was provided by the Alberta Geological Survey. The authors thank Véronique Duc, Sylvian Braibant, Roger Studerus, and Song Yan-Hui for their assistance in the field; Guang Yang at DGC and Marc Caffee at PRIME Lab for target preparation and AMS analysis; and two anonymous reviewers for their excellent comments on the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10346_2014_527_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (20 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 20 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthieu Sturzenegger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Doug Stead
    • 2
  • John Gosse
    • 3
  • Brent Ward
    • 2
  • Corey Froese
    • 4
  1. 1.Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd.EdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  4. 4.Alberta Geological Survey/Energy Resources Conservation BoardEdmontonCanada

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