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Advances in Geosciences An open-access journal for refereed proceedings and special publications

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Adv. Geosci., 14, 211-218, 2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
10 Apr 2008
Catastrophic glacial multi-phase mass movements: a special type of glacial hazard
D. A. Petrakov1, S. S. Chernomorets2, S. G. Evans3, and O. V. Tutubalina2 1Faculty of Geography, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
2University Centre for Engineering Geodynamics and Monitoring, Moscow, Russia
3Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Abstract. Many glacier-related hazards are well typified and studied, but some events stand out from conventional classifications. The Kolka-Karmadon catastrophic event on 20 September 2002 in North Ossetia, North Caucasus, Russia is used as an example of a complex glacier failure exhibiting characteristics such as high mobility, long runout, ultrarapid movement and multiphase behaviour. We consider terminology protocol for glacier hazard classification and then, using the Kolka-Karmadon event and several other examples from around the world, we propose a new term for this family of events. Catastrophic glacier multi-phase mass movement (CGMM) is described and further illustrated by eight major events from Russia, Georgia, Peru, Chile, and Canada. CGMM have a combination of specific features: extraordinary velocities and long-distance runout despite low path angle; progressive fluidisation along travel path; superelevation and run-up of the moving mass, air blast wave in the avalanche flow phase; entrainment of available materials in its path, and the repeated nature of the event. CGMM events may affect areas remote from glaciers which were previously considered as safe.

Citation: Petrakov, D. A., Chernomorets, S. S., Evans, S. G., and Tutubalina, O. V.: Catastrophic glacial multi-phase mass movements: a special type of glacial hazard, Adv. Geosci., 14, 211-218,, 2008.