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The April 2024 Piz Scerscen Bergsturz (Photo: SAC Bernina)

On Sunday 14 April 2024, a Bergsturz with more than 1 million m3 occurred on the north face of Piz Scerscen (Switzerland). Although this event occurred spontaneously after several days with high temperatures, nobody got hurt. Since a lot of water has been observed in the failure zone, melting of snow and ice very probably played an important role. The runout distance was 5.4 km, which coressponds to a energy line angle of 15° (following the travel path) and 16° (following a straight line) - typical values for such events. An impressive movie showing the release, transit and deposit area can be found here (commented in the beautiful Rumantsch - the fourth Swiss national language).

With our new rockfall runout simulation tool named RockavELA, we try to predict the propagation of such events.