HomeOutdoorsViralWATCH: Officials Trigger Huge Rockfall Down Incredibly High Cliff

WATCH: Officials Trigger Huge Rockfall Down Incredibly High Cliff

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)

In this incredible footage from Norway, rock scalers released a slew of loose rocks from fjord cliffs in Lofoten, Norway, triggering a massive rockfall.

A nature account on Instagram posted the video showing a group releasing a huge chunk of rock. The scalers remove these rocks themselves so they don’t fall at some other juncture, potentially causing catastrophic harm. So, they ensure they clear the area below before performing one of these removals.

In the video, we see the enormous rock seem to peel off the cliff and free-fall to the depths below. The fall takes forever, as first the rock collides with another part of the cliff and explodes.

After shattering into a cloud of dust, more of the rock pieces splinter off and spray the ocean line with a barrage of falling chunks. These pieces spray the water, and it’s amazing to see how white dots appear where each of these rocks lands.

Check out the jaw-dropping footage below.

“Rock scaling is generally defined as the removal of loose rock from a slope using hand tools, small explosive charges, pry bars, and other mechanical methods,” the account writes in their caption.

“It may be done as an isolated task to prevent small rocks and debris that have been loosened by weather from falling on roadways.”

Natural Rockfalls Can Be Incredibly Scary and Dangerous

Some people in the comment section complained that no one shouted people below to warn them, but others were quick to point out that the section would’ve been blocked off.

“Awesome shot! This is what I do for a living in California. We use drones to survey slopes then determine the next steps for Rockfall Mitigation,” one commenter wrote. They also explained that roads are always blocked off during these removals.

Rockfalls are considered a group of rocks free-falling from a cliff. It’s a term also used for the collapse of rock in mine workings.

However, this occurs when a fragment of rock becomes detached one of three methods: sliding, toppling, or falling.

The rock then falls along a vertical cliff, and continues to proceed down the slope. It bounces and sprays other rock trajectories along its path as it makes contact with other rocks.

Geology and climate serve as the two main causes for rockfalls. Some of these factors include the condition of the rock mass, and discontinuities within the rock mass. Also, its vulnerability to weather, and ground and surface water. Additionally, external stresses cause rockfalls, such as root-wedging.

Root wedging occurs in the following way: a tree could be blown by the wind and cause stress on its roots. This could in turn loosen rocks and trigger a fall. Then, pieces of rock collect at the bottom, and rocks then tumble from the cliff, dislodging rocks in other ways.