Date of Original Version

11-2010

Type

Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Table of Contents

Yosemite Valley has experienced over 600 rock falls since 1850, but determining the exact source areas, volumes, and failure
mechanisms for these rock falls has previously been difficult because of a lack of comprehensive imagery of the cliff faces.
We obtained high-resolution imagery, acquired before and after large rock falls in Yosemite Valley, California, by combining
of gigapixel panoramic photography and terrestrial laser scanning (LiDAR). Following comprehensive baseline image
acquisition of Glacier Point in eastern Yosemite Valley, two large rock falls occurred from within the imaged area in October
of 2008. We used repeat gigapixel photography acquired with GigaPans to characterize the rock-fall detachment surface and
adjacent cliff area in high resolution. Coupled with LiDAR analyses, these photos reveal that the rock falls consisted of a near
planar, vertically oriented rock slab with a detachment surface area of 2,409 m2 and a volume of 5,663 m3. These data inform
hazard assessment for this and other rock-fall events in Yosemite. Our results demonstrate the utility of high-resolution
imaging techniques for quantifying rock falls from the large vertical rock faces of Yosemite Valley.

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