Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface

Cover image for Vol. 120 Issue 12

Impact Factor: 3.426

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 19/175 (Geosciences Multidisciplinary)

Online ISSN: 2169-9011

Associated Title(s): Journal of Geophysical Research

Earthquake-triggered avalanche altered glacier flow

Landslides are common in areas with mountain glaciers and could affect the movement of glaciers. Shugar et al. (2012) used satellite radar imagery and numerical modeling to investigate the effects of earthquake-triggered avalanches on the Black Rapids Glacier in central Alaska. Three avalanches were triggered there by the 2002 magnitude 7.9 Denali earthquake. The researchers compared prelandslide and postlandslide ice velocities. They found that after the avalanches, ice velocity initially increased by up to 14% in the area above the debris-covered area and by 44% in the debris-covered area. The lower margin of the debris sheet sped up by more than 100%. After several years the ice velocities gradually decreased to their prelandslide values, and the debris-covered part of the glacier moved with a uniform velocity. The authors' numerical model supports their interpretation that the changes in velocity were caused by the landslides.

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