The Chironico landslide (Valle Leventina, southern Swiss Alps): age and evolution
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseIn Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
In this study, we focus on the postglacial Chironico landslide in Valle Leventina, the valley of the Ticino river immediately south of the Gotthard pass (southern Swiss Alps). At Chironico, 530 million m3 of granite gneiss detached from the eastern wall of Valle Leventina and slid along valley-ward dipping foliation joints and fractures. The slide mass was deposited into the valley bottom and blocked the Ticino river, as well as a tributary, the Ticinetto stream, on the opposite side of the valley. Wood fragments found in lacustrine sediments in the slide-dammed upstream lake were previously dated, yielding a minimum age for the landslide of approximately 13,500 cal years BP. Based on the deposit morphology, the landslide was in the past interpreted as being composed of two events. In order to directly date the landslide, ten boulders were dated using the cosmogenic nuclides 10Be and 36Cl. Mean exposure ages indicate that the landslide occurred at 13.38 ± 1.03 ka BP, during the Bølling-Allerød interstadial. This implies that the Chironico landslide, one of the few pre-Holocene slides known in Alps, is also the oldest in crystalline rock. With runout modelling using DAN3D we could reproduce the hypothesized single-event failure scenario, as well as the character and extent of motion of the landslide mass. Both the ages and the modelling suggest that the landslide was released in one event around 3,000 years following deglaciation. Show more
Journal / seriesSwiss Journal of Geosciences
Pages / Article No.
SubjectSwitzerland; Canton ticino; Surface exposure dating; Cosmogenic nuclides (Be-10, Cl-36); Landslide modelling
Organisational unit08619 - Labor für Ionenstrahlphysik (LIP) / Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics (LIP)
NotesIt was possible to publish this article open access thanks to a Swiss National Licence with the publisher.
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