ROCK AVALANCHES IN THE FJORDS

ROCK AVALANCHES AND OTHER MASS MOVEMENTS IN WESTERN NORWEGIAN FJORD AREAS

By Geologist Christer Hoel, M.Sc.

The fjord areas of Western Norway are well known for their many rock avalanches and other mass movements which have happened fairly regularly since the last Ice Age. In the following articles, a number of them are presented.

The Loen accidents in 1905 and 1936

Ramnfjellet and Lake Lovatnet
Ramnefjellet and Lake Lovatn.

In the inner of the Nordfjord region in the northern part of the Sogn and Fjordane County the settlement Loen is situated, a small settlement by the fjord. In 1905 a large rock avalanche in the southern part of the near-by idyllic Lake Lovatn created waves killing 61 people. In 1936 a much larger avalanche created even bigger waves which caused the death of 74 people. Continue reading…

 

 

 


The Tafjord accident in 1934

Tafjord in our time. The slide scar can be seen in the background
Tafjord in our time. The slide scar can be seen in the background.

Tafjord is a small settlement in the inner of Tafjorden, one of the fjord parts in the inner areas of the Sunnmøre district. On the 7. of April 1934 a large rock avalanche took place by the fjord on its northeastern side, creating tsunamis which caused the death of 23 people in Tafjord and 17 people in Fjørå, another small settlement, longer out by the fjord. Continue reading…

 

 

 

 


The Bergfallet Rock Avalanche in Inner Hardanger

Bergfallet Avalanche
Bagnsnes at the outlet of Osafjorden.

In the inner parts of the Hardangerfjord, at the outlet of the Osafjorden tributary fjord, on the Bagnsnes side, a large part of the fjord side has once fallen out. This has even given basis for a legend. But is there any truth in the legend? One thing is clear: With tremendous force has the block which fell out penetrated the fjord bottom. Continue reading…

 

 

 

 


The Tjelle Rock Avalanche in 1756

The Tjelle rock avalanche took place in this area in 1756
The Tjelle Rock Avalanche took place in this area in 1756.

On the 22. of February 1756 the largest rock avalanche ever recorded in Norway in historic time resulted in some 12-15 million cubic meters of rock ending in the fjord Langfjorden, a tributary fjord of the Romsdalsfjord,  near the settlement Tjelle. This gave tsunamis and waves as high as 40 meters or more as result. The consequences were devastating. Continue reading…

 

 

 

 


The Skafjell Rock Avalanche in 1731

Skafjell by Stranda with the slide scar
Skafjell by Stranda with the slide scar.

The settlement Stranda is situated by the fjord Storfjorden in the inner Sunnmøre district of the Møre and Romsdal County. On the 8. of January 1731 several million cubic meters of rock entered the fjord from the mountain Skafjell on the opposite side of the fjord, creating waves up to 30 meters high, causing at least 17 casualties and large material damages in Stranda. Continue reading…

 

 

 


The Åkerneset Rock Avalanche

Åkerneset Rock Avalanche
Åkerneset by Sunnylvsfjorden.

In the inner of the Sunnmøre district in the Møre and Romsdal County, by the fjord Sunnylvsfjorden, the mountain side Åkerneset is situated. One day a gigantic rock avalanche, unparalled in historic time in Norway, will be released from the area. Possibly this will be as large as 54 million cubic meters. This will lead to tsunamis of epic dimensions and annihilation of large parts of Sunnmøre. Continue reading…

 

 

 


Mass movements along the roads in Western Norway

Landslide by Bolstadfjorden
Landslide by Bolstadfjorden.

Along most of the roads in the fjord areas and valleys in Western Norway, a number of mass movements take place every year. They may include all kinds of mass movement, such as rock falls, rock slides, landslides, debris flows, mud flows, snow avalanches and rock avalanches. In the following several examples are presented. Continue reading…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let these lines be a tribute to the everyday heroes of the fjord areas and valleys of Western Norway, who live their lives and keep up the local communities under often challenging, difficult and dangerous conditions.
Let these lines be a tribute to the everyday heroes of the fjord areas and valleys of Western Norway, who live their lives and keep up the local communities under often challenging, difficult and dangerous conditions. Photo: kosmos.no

 

References

FJORDS – Useful Links:

Fjord Tours: Norway in a Nutshell
Fjord Tours: Plan and book fjord travel, accommodation and activities
Go Fjords: Big and Small Fjord Experiences
Fjord Pass: Great Discounts on Activities and Attractions in the Fjords
Visit Norway: Official page for Norway
Fjord Norway: Official page for Fjord Norway