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Climate change and hazardous processes in high mountains


Clague, John J; Huggel, Christian; Korup, Oliver; McGuire, Bill (2012). Climate change and hazardous processes in high mountains. Revista de la Asociación Geológica Argentina, 69(3):328-338.

Abstract

The recent and continuing reduction in glacier ice cover in high mountains and thaw of alpine permafrost may have an impact on many potentially hazardous processes. As glaciers thin and retreat, existing ice- and moraine-dammed lakes can catastrophically empty, generating large and destructive downstream floods and debris flows. New ice-dammed lakes will form higher in mountain catchments, posing additional hazards in the future. The magnitude or frequency of shallow landslides and debris flows in some areas will increase because of the greater availability of unconsolidated sediment in new deglaciated terrain. Continued permafrost degradation and glacier retreat probably will decrease the stability of rock slopes. Cambio Climático y peligros naturales en altas montañas. La reciente y continua reducción de la cobertura glaciaria en alta montaña y el deshielo del permafrost pueden tener un impacto negativo en muchos procesos potencialmente peligrosos. A medida que los glaciares reducen su espesor y retroceden, los lagos formados por diques de hielo o morenas pueden vaciarse catastróficamente, resultando en grandes y destructivas inundaciones o flujos detríticos río abajo. Nuevos diques de hielo van a formarse en zonas más altas de las cuencas montañosas, generando peligros adicionales en el futuro. La magnitud o frecuencia de movimientos en masa superficiales y flujos detríticos va a aumentar en algunas áreas debido a la mayor disponibilidad de materiales no consolidados en nuevos terrenos desglasados. La degradación continua del permafrost y el retiro de glaciares probablemente va a disminuir la estabilidad de laderas rocosas.

Abstract

The recent and continuing reduction in glacier ice cover in high mountains and thaw of alpine permafrost may have an impact on many potentially hazardous processes. As glaciers thin and retreat, existing ice- and moraine-dammed lakes can catastrophically empty, generating large and destructive downstream floods and debris flows. New ice-dammed lakes will form higher in mountain catchments, posing additional hazards in the future. The magnitude or frequency of shallow landslides and debris flows in some areas will increase because of the greater availability of unconsolidated sediment in new deglaciated terrain. Continued permafrost degradation and glacier retreat probably will decrease the stability of rock slopes. Cambio Climático y peligros naturales en altas montañas. La reciente y continua reducción de la cobertura glaciaria en alta montaña y el deshielo del permafrost pueden tener un impacto negativo en muchos procesos potencialmente peligrosos. A medida que los glaciares reducen su espesor y retroceden, los lagos formados por diques de hielo o morenas pueden vaciarse catastróficamente, resultando en grandes y destructivas inundaciones o flujos detríticos río abajo. Nuevos diques de hielo van a formarse en zonas más altas de las cuencas montañosas, generando peligros adicionales en el futuro. La magnitud o frecuencia de movimientos en masa superficiales y flujos detríticos va a aumentar en algunas áreas debido a la mayor disponibilidad de materiales no consolidados en nuevos terrenos desglasados. La degradación continua del permafrost y el retiro de glaciares probablemente va a disminuir la estabilidad de laderas rocosas.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:08 May 2013 12:22
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:46
Publisher:Asociación Geológica Argentina
ISSN:1851-8249
Official URL:http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0004-48222012000300002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en

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