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Geologist Witnesses Massive Rockfall

Oct 24, 2015 By Jake Brannon

Rockfall is a fascinating natural event that, for obvious reasons, you'd never want to observe too closely. Luckily, a geologist studying Mel de la Niva, a 9,049-foot-tall Swiss mountain, observed intense activity in the area and prepared to record what might happen. Don't worry, the entire village beneath the mountain was evacuated in anticipation of this massive rockfall. 

There are a variety of factors that trigger rockfall. Water surrounding the rock could freeze and then thaw, forcing the rock apart. Alternatively, when the wind blows on trees, their roots can shift and break rocks apart. It's incredible how such seemingly minor factors like tree roots and thawed ice can lead to 2,000 cubic meters of rock tumbling down a mountain.

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