Rapid ASTER imaging facilitates timely assessment of glacier hazards and disasters


  • Andy Kääb,

    1. Department of Geography, University of Zurich ,Switzerland
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  • Rick Wessels,

  • Wilfried Haeberli,

  • Christian Huggel,

  • Jeffrey S. Kargel,

  • Siri Jodha Singh Khalsa


Glacier- and permafrost-related hazards increasingly threaten human lives, settlements, and infrastructure in high-mountain regions. Present atmospheric warming particularly affects terrestrial systems where surface and sub-surface ice are involved. Changes in glacier and permafrost equilibrium are shifting beyond historical knowledge. Human settlement and activities are extending toward danger zones in the cryospheric system. A number of recent glacier hazards and disasters underscore these trends. Difficult site access and the need for fast data acquisition make satellite remote sensing of crucial importance in high-mountain hazard management and disaster mapping.