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Massive collapse of two glaciers in western Tibet in 2016 after surge-like instability
Kaab, A (Kaab, Andreas)1; Leinss, S (Leinss, Silvan)2; Gilbert, A (Gilbert, Adrien)1; Buhler, Y (Buhler, Yves)3; Gascoin, S (Gascoin, Simon)4; Evans, SG (Evans, Stephen G.)5; Bartelt, P (Bartelt, Perry)3; Berthier, E (Berthier, Etienne)6; Brun, F (Brun, Fanny)6,7; Chao, WA (Chao, Wei-An)8; Farinotti, D (Farinotti, Daniel)9,10; Gimbert, F (Gimbert, Florent)7; Guo, WQ (Guo, Wanqin)11; Huggel, C (Huggel, Christian)12; Kargel, JS (Kargel, Jeffrey S.)13,14; Leonard, GJ (Leonard, Gregory J.)15; Tian, LD (Tian, Lide)16; Treichler, D (Treichler, Desiree)1; Yao, TD (Yao, Tandong)16
AbstractSurges and glacier avalanches are expressions of glacier instability, and among the most dramatic phenomena in the mountain cryosphere. Until now, the catastrophic collapse of a glacier, combining the large volume of surges and mobility of ice avalanches, has been reported only for the 2002 130 x 10(6) m(3) detachment of Kolka Glacier (Caucasus Mountains), which has been considered a globally singular event. Here, we report on the similar detachment of the entire lower parts of two adjacent glaciers in western Tibet in July and September 2016, leading to an unprecedented pair of giant low-angle ice avalanches with volumes of 68 +/- 2 x 10(6) m(3) and 83 +/- 2 x 10(6) m(3). On the basis of satellite remote sensing, numerical modelling and field investigations, we find that the twin collapses were caused by climate-and weather-driven external forcing, acting on specific polythermal and soft-bed glacier properties. These factors converged to produce surge-like enhancement of driving stresses and massively reduced basal friction connected to subglacial water and fine-grained bed lithology, to eventually exceed collapse thresholds in resisting forces of the tongues frozen to their bed. Our findings show that large catastrophic instabilities of low-angle glaciers can happen under rare circumstances without historical precedent.
WOS IDWOS:000423843600009
Indexed BySCIE
WOS Research AreaGeology
WOS SubjectGeosciences, Multidisciplinary
Cooperation Status国际
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Affiliation1.Univ Oslo, Dept Geosci, Oslo, Norway;
2.ETH, Inst Environm Engn, Zurich, Switzerland;
3.WSL Inst Snow & Avalanche Res SLF, Davos, Switzerland;
4.Univ Toulouse, CNRS, CESBIO, CNES,IRD,UPS, Toulouse, France;
5.[Evans, Stephen G.] Univ Waterloo, Dept Earth & Environm Sci, Waterloo, ON, Canada;
6.Univ Toulouse, CNRS, LEGOS, CNES,IRD,UPS, Toulouse, France;
7.Univ Grenoble Alpes, IRD, CNRS, Grenoble INP,IGE, Grenoble, France;
8.Natl Chiao Tung Univ, Dept Civil Engn, Hsinchu, Taiwan;
9.ETH, Lab Hydraul Hydrol & Glaciol, Zurich, Switzerland;
10.Swiss Fed Inst Forest Snow & Landscape Res WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland;
11.Chinese Acad Sci, Northwest Inst Ecoenvironm & Resources, Lanzhou, Gansu, Peoples R China;
12.Univ Zurich, Dept Geog, Zurich, Switzerland;
13.[Kargel, Jeffrey S.] Univ Arizona, Dept Hydrol & Atmospher Sci, Tucson, AZ USA;
14.[Kargel, Jeffrey S.] Univ Arizona, Planetary Sci Inst, Tucson, AZ USA;
15.[Leonard, Gregory J.] Univ Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Lab, Tucson, AZ 85721 USA;
16.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Tibetan Res, Beijing, Peoples R China.
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Kaab, A ,Leinss, S ,Gilbert, A ,et al. Massive collapse of two glaciers in western Tibet in 2016 after surge-like instability[J]. NATURE GEOSCIENCE,2018,11(2):114-120.
APA Kaab, A .,Leinss, S .,Gilbert, A .,Buhler, Y .,Gascoin, S .,...&Yao, TD .(2018).Massive collapse of two glaciers in western Tibet in 2016 after surge-like instability.NATURE GEOSCIENCE,11(2),114-120.
MLA Kaab, A ,et al."Massive collapse of two glaciers in western Tibet in 2016 after surge-like instability".NATURE GEOSCIENCE 11.2(2018):114-120.
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