INTRODUCTION There have been numerous studies of rock glaciers for the purpose of defining the responsible processes. S. E. White (1976) and Whalley, (1974) offer excellent literature reviews of rock-glacier research. Nevertheless, there are certain processes which remain poorly understood. J. P. Johnson (1973, p. 84) stated: “in spite of the many descriptions and studies that have been made of rock glaciers during the last 75 years, remarkably little is known about them.” Whalley (1974, p. 1) agreed that “some dispute about their origin, formation and mode of flow still exists”
Due to the relative inaccessibility of rock glaciers and the difficulty of collecting field data from alpine terrain, most of the previous studies have focused on detailed field observations obtained from a very limited population. A few examples are Goldthwait (1970), Ives (1940), Foster and Holmes (1965, R. B. Johnson (1967), Blagbrough and Farkas (1968), Potter (1972), and Birkeland (1973). With the possible exceptions of Wahrhaftig and Cox (1959) and Barsch (1977), there have been no extensive morphometric analyses of rock glaciers.