Definition of rockfall in US English:


(also rock fall)


  • 1A descent of loose rocks.

    • ‘He imagines himself in stressful climbing situations - say, hanging from ice axes a thousand feet off the deck and suddenly getting bombarded by rockfall.’
    • ‘Heavy downpours, hail, rockfalls and strong winds battered the province yesterday and more showers and snow are expected.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, in Australia, some real men were hauled from a mine after being trapped by a rockfall following an earthquake.’
    • ‘Effective techniques of fighting the enemy in the mountains are induced rockfalls, avalanches, glacier movements and mudslides.’
    • ‘The scenic road was closed until further notice after a woman was killed and another seriously injured during a rockfall yesterday.’
    • ‘Digging is not without its hazards - landslides or rockfall are a serious hazard in some cases and may require properly engineered shoring.’
    • ‘No one had been injured in the rockfall the night before, I learned - a huge relief, especially for Barger, who was now zipping around the course in a black helicopter.’
    • ‘Heavy rainfalls and snow across the province resulted in at least one death, forced the closure of several roads and passes, and led to rockfalls and minor car accidents yesterday.’
    • ‘Coaching clients while at the same time tuning in to all the various factors around you - weather, rockfall, other climbers - may be a guide's most important skill.’
    • ‘This is usually attributed to objective dangers - unpredictable acts of God, such as avalanches, icefalls, rockfall, and horrid weather.’
    • ‘The topography is rugged and complex, prone to rockfalls and avalanches.’
    • ‘Intense rainfall in the south Kerry area completely gouged out a section of road between Kilgarvan and Bantry, as well as causing large landslides and rockfall over a mile-long stretch.’
    • ‘In the Crocodile Gorge between Nelspruit and Kaapmuiden only a single lane was open to traffic after rockfalls.’
    • ‘The summit trails are hazardous and difficult - and sometimes closed because of the danger of rockfall.’
    • ‘They were 2,1km below ground when a tremor, measuring 2,9 on the Richter scale, caused the rockfall.’
    • ‘Heavy downpours, gale force winds and rockfalls battered parts of the Eastern Cape throughout the weekend.’
    • ‘There are crevasses to fall into, rockfalls, avalanches, and severe weather, particularly the wind, on such a mountain.’
    • ‘If you're looking for an appropriate site, you'll want it to have sunshine, flat ground, and clean water nearby, plus protection from wind, avalanches, and rockfall.’
    • ‘As the melting ice weakens the mountains, Switzerland is already experiencing more rockfalls, landslides, and mudflows, but things could get much worse.’
    • ‘Its first priority is to identify where permafrost is present and where mudslides and rockfalls are likely as it melts under the effect of global warming.’
    landslip, mudslide, earthslip, earthfall
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A mass of fallen rock.
      • ‘Road workers are currently clearing the streets of debris, with this one closed because of rockfalls.’
      • ‘Floods and landslides have hit many cities and towns across the country since December during this delayed rainy season, leaving dozens of people drowned or buried under mudslides and rockfalls.’
      • ‘In eight groups of rockfalls more than 75,000 years old, broken speleothems are the only record of the prehistoric seismicity.’
      • ‘The Glen Lyon Millennium Event takes the form of a horseshoe route which follows an old peat track past a flowing burn, replete with deep pools, rockfalls and ancient trees.’
      • ‘On first inspection it looked none too promising with the roof of a nice 2m wide by 1m tall shaped passage giving out to a loose rockfall.’
      • ‘She wasn't sleepy and she still wanted to talk to him so she followed him to a small rockfall and watched as he rolled, then lit, a cigarette.’