A Hazard Triggered by Climate Change Suggests More to Come

The Director pro tem for the School of Environmental Science, Jeremy Venditti, was part of a team that studied one of the largest North American landslides in the past 30 years. Their findings were published in Nature Scientific Reports entitled: The 2015 landslide and tsunami in Taan Fiord, Alaska. This fiord was created when Tyndall Glacier began melting and retreating between 1961 and 1991. The landslide in 2015 was triggered by more glacial melting and sent 180 million tonnes of rock into the Taan Fiord affecting two square kilometres of land. It also triggered a massive tsunami that reached 193 metres high and affected more than 20 square kilometres. The field observations in this study provide an important benchmark for modelling landslide and tsunami hazards, and call attention to the indirect effect of climate change that may be increasing the frequency and magnitude of natural hazards near glaciated mountains.