Geologic investigation into fatal rock fall in Rockville risk remains high

Residents living within high rock-fall-hazard zones in Rockville, Utah, face the possible consequences of a large rock fall similar to the fatal event that occurred last December.


UGS Rockfall Investigation in the News

Here are several more articles about the UGS rockfall investigation, including our own news release with links to the published report.

UGS News Release
Deseret News article
ABC News article

News on the Latest UGS Rockfall Investigation in the Zion Area

Residents living within high rock-fall-hazard zones in Rockville, Utah, face the possible consequences of a large rock fall similar to the fatal event that occurred last December. That is the principle finding of a geologic investigation into the rock fall that killed two people on December 12, 2013. That afternoon, a huge, joint-controlled rock mass, with an estimated volume of almost 1,400 cubic yards and weighing about 2,700 tons, detached from the cliff face at the top of the Rockville Bench, near Zion National Park. The rock mass fell onto the steep slope below the cliff, and shattered into numerous fragments. The rock fall debris then moved rapidly downslope before striking and destroying a house, detached garage, and a car. The largest boulder to strike the house weighed an estimated 520 tons.


Washington County faces tough balance of growth, geologic hazards

With geologic hazards along State Road 9 clearly mapped in a new report and a population expanding sixfold in the corridor by 2035, community leaders face tough decisions about development in their scenic, but often dangerous, landscape.


"Goblin Topplers" Sentenced to Probation with Restitution

Two Highland men who sang and danced as they toppled an ancient rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park pleaded guilty to charges reduced from felonies to misdemeanors in an Emery County courtroom Tuesday.


New maps point out geological hazards near Zion National Park

Tyler Knudsen, one of our geologists here at Utah Geological Survey, talks about our new publication discussing the geologic hazards of the State Route 9 Corridor.

The state has released a new set of maps designed to tip off developers and homeowners to potential geological hazards in communities near Zion National Park.


LISTEN TO INTERVIEW with Tyler Knudsen

"Significant Geologic Hazards" In Washington County

Some of our geologists are studying the hazards in this area. Take a look at this article at what they have to say about the rock-fall hazards and other geologic hazards present in Washington County.

Communities from La Verkin to Springdale have “significant geologic hazards” along State Route 9, according to a report released on Thursday by the Utah Geological Survey (UGS).


New report: geologic hazards in Zion National Park area

If the thought of a 2,700-ton boulder rolling through your house concerns you, the Utah Geological Survey has a new report you might want to read, particularly if you are considering moving to a community along State Road 9 in Washington County.


Significant Hazards on State Route 9 Near Zion National Park

There are significant geologic hazards present along State Route 9, between La Verkin and Springdale in Washington County, according to the Utah Geological Survey (UGS). Geologists recently released a comprehensive report addressing the numerous geologic hazards that threaten the growing communities of La Verkin, Virgin, Rockville, and Springdale. All of the communities are on State Route 9 which is the main transportation corridor for more than 2.5 million annual visitors to Zion National Park. “Recent damaging and fatal rock falls in Rockville, landslides in Springdale, and floods along the Virgin River demonstrate that many of the geologic processes that have shaped this area’s outstanding scenery also make this area prone to geologic hazards,’ says Tyler Knudsen, UGS geologist.

Police Chief: Looting At Home Destroyed By Rockfall

Five days after a rockslide killed two people inside their home, state geologists Tuesday returned to Rockville and warned the mayor and police chief that more rocks will fall.


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What causes rock slides like the one in Rockville?

The rock slide in Rockville, Utah that killed two people has many wondering how did it happen and could it happen again.