Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky


  • Fausto GuzzettiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_302


Rock fall


A rockfall is a type of fast-moving landslide common in mountain areas worldwide (Cruden and Varnes, 1996).


An individual rockfall is a fragment of rock detached from the bedrock along new or preexisting discontinuities (e.g., bedding, joints, fractures, cleavage, foliation) by creeping, toppling, sliding, or falling, that falls along a cliff, proceeds down slope by bouncing, flying, tumbling, or rolling. A rockfall stops when it has lost enough energy through impacts or by friction (Fig.  1) (Dorren, 2003; Guzzetti and Reichenbach, 2010).
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  1. Cruden, D. M., and Varnes, D. J., 1996. Landslide types and processes. In Turner, A. K., and Schuster, R. L. (eds.), Landslides, Investigation and Mitigation. Special Report 247. Washington DC: Transportation Research Board, pp. 36–75.Google Scholar
  2. Dorren, L. K. A., 2003. A review of rockfall mechanics and modelling approaches. Progress in Physical Geography, 27, 69–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Guzzetti, F., and Reichenbach, P., 2010. Rockfalls and their hazard. In Stoffel, M., Bollschweiler, M., Butler, D. R., and Luckman, B. H. (eds.), Tree Rings and Natural Hazards: A Stare-of-the-Art. Advances in Global Change Research, 41: DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-8736-2_12, Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 129–137.Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNR – IRPIPerugiaItaly