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Ice thawing, mountains falling-are alpine rock slope failures increasing?


Huggel, C; Allen, S; Deline, P; Fischer, L; Noetzli, J; Ravanel, L (2012). Ice thawing, mountains falling-are alpine rock slope failures increasing? Geology Today, 28(3):98-104.

Abstract

Many high-mountain environments of the world have seen dramatic changes in the past years and decades. Glaciers are retreating and downwasting, often at a dramatically fast pace, leaving large amounts of potentially unstable debris, moraines and rock slopes behind. Although in the main invisible to the eye of an observer, permafrost, i.e. rock and debris with permanent zero or subzero temperatures, is thawing. Several slopes have become unstable and landslides potentially related to permafrost degradation have received wide-ranging attention from both scientists and the media. A number of those landslides can be related to the effects of recent changes in the cryosphere, which are ultimately driven by changes in climatic parameters, in particular temperature and precipitation.

Abstract

Many high-mountain environments of the world have seen dramatic changes in the past years and decades. Glaciers are retreating and downwasting, often at a dramatically fast pace, leaving large amounts of potentially unstable debris, moraines and rock slopes behind. Although in the main invisible to the eye of an observer, permafrost, i.e. rock and debris with permanent zero or subzero temperatures, is thawing. Several slopes have become unstable and landslides potentially related to permafrost degradation have received wide-ranging attention from both scientists and the media. A number of those landslides can be related to the effects of recent changes in the cryosphere, which are ultimately driven by changes in climatic parameters, in particular temperature and precipitation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:28 Dec 2012 10:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:11
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN:0266-6979
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2451.2012.00836.x

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