Yosemite National Park, California, is one of the best-documented sites of historical rockfalls and other rock slope failures; however, past work shows that this record does not capture the infrequent largest occurrences, prehistoric events orders of magnitude larger than the largest historic ones. These large prehistoric events are evident as voluminous bouldery landslide deposits, permitting volume and age quantification to better understand local volume–frequency relationships, potential triggering mechanisms, and the hazard such events might pose. The Tiltill rockslide in northern Yosemite is one such example, consisting of 2.1 × 106 m3 ± 1.6 × 106 m3 of talus (1.5 × 106 m3 original volume of rock mass) that slid across the floor of Tiltill Valley, partially damming Tiltill Creek to create a seasonal pond that drains through and around the rockslide mass. This volume and the rockslide's effective coefficient of friction, 0.47, place it near the boundary between long-runout landslides and ordinary Coulomb failure. Although the rockslide superficially appears to consist of two separate lobes, statistically indistinguishable 10Be exposure dates from eight samples indicate a single event that occurred at 13.0 ± 0.8 ka. The age of the Tiltill rockslide and its relatively low elevation compared to equilibrium line altitudes at this place and time make glacial debutressing a highly unlikely triggering mechanism. Seismic shaking associated with fault rupture along the eastern Sierra Nevada is shown to be a plausible but unverified trigger.

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