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Baron I.,Karst and Cave Research Group | Plan L.,Karst and Cave Research Group | Grasemann B.,University of Vienna | Mitrovic I.,Karst and Cave Research Group | And 4 more authors.
Geomorphology | Year: 2016

Tectonic elastic strain and ground deformations are documented as the most remarkable environmental phenomena occurring prior to local earthquakes in tectonically active areas. The question arises if such strain would be able to trigger mass movements. We discuss a directly observed fault slip and a subsequent minor activation of a deep-seated gravitational slope deformation prior to the M = 3 Bad Fischau earthquake between end of November and early December 2013 in NE Austria. The data originate from two faults in the Emmerberg and Eisenstein Caves in the transition zone between the Eastern Alps and the Vienna Basin, monitored in the framework of the FWF "Speleotect" project. The fault slips have been observed at the micrometer-level by means of an opto-mechanical 3D crack gauge TM-71. The discussed event started with the fault activation in the Emmerberg Cave on 25 November 2013 recorded by measurements of about 2 μm shortening and 1 μm sinistral parallel slip, which was fully in agreement with the macroscopically documented past fault kinematics.One day later, the mass (micro) movement activated on the opposite side of the mountain ridge in the Eisenstein Cave and it continued on three consecutive days. Further, the fault in the Emmerberg Cave experienced also a subsequent gravitational relaxation on 2/3 December 2013, when the joint opened and the southern block subsided towards the valley, while the original sinistral displacement remained irreversible. The process was followed by the M = 3 earthquake in Bad Fischau on 11 December 2013.Our data suggest that tectonic strain could play a higher role on the activation of slow mass movements in the area than expected. Although we cannot fully exclude the co-activation of the mass movement in the Eisenstein Cave by water saturation, the presented data bring new insight into recent geodynamics of the Eastern Alps and the Vienna Basin. For better interpretations and conclusions however, we need a much longer period of observations. © 2016 The Authors.

Baron I.,Karst and Cave Research Group | Supper R.,Geological Survey of Austria | Winkler E.,Geological Survey of Austria | Motschka K.,Geological Survey of Austria | And 3 more authors.
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2013

Airborne geophysics is a promising method for investigating landslides. Here we present a case study of multisensor airborne geophysical survey at the catastrophic landslide Stoẑe near Log pod Mangrtom in Slovenia, which was conducted in the framework of the European FP7th Project "SafeLand". Based on the survey itself and achieved results, we discuss applicability, limits, and benefits and costs of the method for investigating landslides in steep alpine terrains. Despite of several operational constraints, the airborne electromagnetic survey of the area well presented the lithological pattern and water saturation. The high resistivity regions mostly indicated drained slope scree and landslide mass, drained and loosened material of the moraine deposit in the tension zone of the landslide with present cracks and cavities. The minima of the resistivity pattern were attributed to the outcrop of marls rich in clay, to water-saturated moraine deposit above impermeable marls in the tension zone, and to water-saturated porous alluvial gravel and landslide scree along the Koritnica River. The magnetic survey proved to be inapplicable for such a small and rough area. The Potassium and Thorium maps, on the other hand, both well identified the regions of tension inside the landslide zone, outcrops of marls and dolomite, clay-rich colluvium, weathered zones along a regional tectonic fault, and alluvial deposits and deposits of debris flows, and the minima of the 137Cs clearly revealed the zones of material removal due to recent mass movements. © Author(s) 2013.

Baron I.,Karst and Cave Research Group | Bil M.,Transport Research Center | Babek O.,Palacky University | Smolkova V.,University of Ostrava | And 2 more authors.
Geomorphology | Year: 2014

Landslides are important geomorphic agents in various mountainous settings. We document here a case of river piracy from the upper part of the Malá Brodská Valley in the Vsetínské Mts., Czech Republic (Rača Unit of the flysch Magura Group of Nappes, flysch belt of the Outer Western Carpathians) controlled by mass movement processes. Based on the field geological, geomorphological and geophysical data, we found out that the landslide accumulations pushed the more active river of out of two subparallel river channels with different erosion activity westwards and forced intensive lateral erosion towards the recently abandoned valley. Apart from the landslide processes, the presence of the N-striking fault, accentuated by higher flow rates of the eastern channel as a result of its larger catchment area, were the most critical factors of the river piracy. As a consequence of the river piracy, intensive retrograde erosion in the elbow of capture and also within the upper portion of the western catchment occurred. Deposits of two landslide dams document recent minimum erosion rates to be 18.8mm.ky-1 in the western (captured) catchment, and 3.6mm.ky-1 in the eastern catchment respectively. The maximum age of the river piracy is estimated to be of the late Glacial and/or the early Holocene. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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