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Glacier detachments: A new hazard in a warming world?

On the evening of 5 August 2013, a startling event occurred deep in the remote interior of the United States' largest national park. A half-kilometer-long tongue of Alaska's Flat Creek glacier suddenly broke off, unleashing a torrent of ice and rock that rushed 11 kilometers down a rugged mountain valley into the wilderness encompassed by Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.  After National Park Service geologist Michael Loso documented a similar event in the same location in 2015, he recruited Mylène Jacquemart, a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado Boulder, to investigate. "We were aware of glacier detachments that had happened in Tibet, Russia, and Argentina, but started out thinking we were investigating a regular landslide," says Jacquemart. "Then we noticed that the entire glacier was missing."  Read more....

 

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