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Multi-method observation and analysis of a tsunami caused by glacier calving


Lüthi, Martin P; Vieli, Andreas (2016). Multi-method observation and analysis of a tsunami caused by glacier calving. The Cryosphere, 10(3):995-1002.

Abstract

Glacier calving can cause violent tsunami waves which, upon landfall, can cause severe destruction. Here we present data acquired during a calving event from Eqip Sermia, an ocean-terminating glacier in west Greenland. Dur- ing an exceptionally well-documented event, the collapse of 9 × 105 m3 ice from a 200 m high ice cliff caused a tsunami wave of 50 m height, traveling at a speed of 25–33 m s−1 . This wave was filmed from a tour boat at 800m distance from the calving face, and simultaneously measured with a terrestrial radar interferometer and a tide gauge. Tsunami wave run-up height on the steep opposite shore at a distance of 4 km was 10–15 m, destroying infrastructure and eroding old vegetation. These observations indicate that such high tsunami waves are a recent phenomenon in the history of this glacier. Analysis of the data shows that only moderately bigger tsunami waves are to be expected in the future, even under rather extreme scenarios.

Abstract

Glacier calving can cause violent tsunami waves which, upon landfall, can cause severe destruction. Here we present data acquired during a calving event from Eqip Sermia, an ocean-terminating glacier in west Greenland. Dur- ing an exceptionally well-documented event, the collapse of 9 × 105 m3 ice from a 200 m high ice cliff caused a tsunami wave of 50 m height, traveling at a speed of 25–33 m s−1 . This wave was filmed from a tour boat at 800m distance from the calving face, and simultaneously measured with a terrestrial radar interferometer and a tide gauge. Tsunami wave run-up height on the steep opposite shore at a distance of 4 km was 10–15 m, destroying infrastructure and eroding old vegetation. These observations indicate that such high tsunami waves are a recent phenomenon in the history of this glacier. Analysis of the data shows that only moderately bigger tsunami waves are to be expected in the future, even under rather extreme scenarios.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Earth-Surface Processes, Water Science and Technology
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:01 Jul 2016 13:30
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 03:34
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
ISSN:1994-0416
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-995-2016

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