Natural Resources

Rockfalls

Date: May 31, 2010

Location: Hampden

Easting: 510600

Northing: 5488100

Latitude: 49° 33' 00" N

Longitude: 56° 51' 00" W

Fatalities: 0

Injuries: 0

Source: Western Star, May 12, 1955

The rockfall occurred from the eastern slope of Green Hill in the community of Hampden. It impacted the west wall of the Hampden arena, being located less than 5m from the base of the slope. The slope is estimated at about 25 degrees and extends about 40 m vertically from the arena. The slope is largely covered by unconsolidated material, commonly boulders up to 5m diameter (although most are smaller), although bedrock was noted particularly at the upper parts of the slope but also on the lower slopes in the area south of the arena.

The start zone for the rockfall was on the upper part of the slope, within bedrock. The dislodged boulders rolled or slid down slope, some being intercepted by trees on the slope, whereas most moved down slope cutting a narrow swath through the surface vegetation. Several boulders (maximum 180 cm diameter) reached the base of the slope, breaking though the plywood rear wall of the arena and damaging a support beam inside the building. There were no injuries. The rockfall occurred following a period of heavy rain, although a contributing factor may have been the mild winter in the area. The increased frequency of freeze-thaw cycles may have loosened bedrock along joint or fracture surfaces.


Boulders in the Hampden arena as a result of rockfall from the adjacent hill. The rocks are siliclastic sedimentary rocks of the Late Devonian- to Mississippian-age Anguille Group.

 
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