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TitleRecent climatic change and catastrophic geomorphic processes in mountain environments
AuthorEvans, S G; Clague, J J
SourceGeomorphology and natural hazards; by Morisawa, M (ed.); Geomorphology vol. 10, no. 1-4, 1994 p. 107-128,
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 36493
PublisherElsevier BV
Meeting25th Binghamton Symposium in Geomorphology; Binghamton, New York; US; September 24-25, 1994
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Yukon
NTS115A; 115B; 114P; 104A; 104B; 93C; 93D; 93E; 92M; 92N; 92K; 92J; 82N
AreaDonjek Glacier; Haines Junction; Lowell Glacier; Grand Pacific/Melbern Glacier system; Tim Williams Glacier; Tide Lake; Summit Lake; Salmon Glacier; Age Lake; Pandemonium Creek; Klattasine Lake; Nostetuko Lake; Affliction Creek; North Creek; Bain Brook; Cathedral Mountain
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -116.0000 61.0000 50.0000
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; environmental geology; climatic fluctuations; environmental studies; environmental analysis; climate; landforms; erosion; deglaciation; landslides; slope stability; debris flows; glacial deposits; glaciers; Quaternary
Illustrationssketch maps; cross-sections; photographs
AbstractClimatic warming during the last 100-150 years has resulted in a significant glacier ice loss from mountainous areas of the world. Certain natural processes which pose hazards to people and development in these areas have accelerated as a result of this recent deglaciation. These include glacier avalanches, landslides and slope instability caused by glacier debuttressing, and outburst floods from moraine- and glacier-dammed lakes. In addition, changes in sediment and water supply induced by climatic warming and glacier retreat have altered channel and floodplain patterns of rivers draining high mountain ranges. The perturbation of natural processes operating in mountain environments, caused by recent climatic warming, ranges from tens of decades for moraine-dam failures to hundreds of years or more for landslides. The recognition that climatic change as modest as that of the last century can perturb natural alpine processes has important implications for hazard assessment and future development in mountains. Even so, these effects are probably at least an order of magnitude smaller than those associated with late Pleistocene deglaciation ca. 15,000 to 10,000 years ago.

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