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TitleBehaviour of retrogressive thaw slumps in northern Canada - three-year monitoring results from 18 sites
AuthorWang, B; Paudel, B; Li, H
SourceLandslides vol. 13, (2016), issue 1, 2015 p. 1-8,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20140195
PublisherSpringer Nature
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories; Yukon
NTS106I; 106J; 106K; 106L; 106M; 106N; 106O; 106P; 107A; 107B; 107C; 107D; 116I; 116J; 116O; 116P; 117A
AreaMackenzie River; Inuvik
Lat/Long WENS-142.0000 -128.0000 70.5000 65.0000
Subjectsengineering geology; geophysics; soils science; sedimentology; hydrogeology; landslides; permafrost; groundwater; freezing ground; ground ice; slope failures; slope stability; slope stability analyses; Retrogressive thaw slump
Illustrationslocation maps; aerial photographs; photographs; tables; graphs; schematic diagrams
ProgramGSC Northern Canada Division, Northern Environment & Hydrogeology
Released2015 01 09
AbstractEighteen (18) landslides or retrogressive thaw slumps in permafrost were monitored for 3 years to investigate the characteristics of their retrogression behaviour. The first year monitoring results from 13 of the sites were released as soon as the data became available, which demonstrated a correlation between thaw retrogression rate and scarp wall height. More data were obtained from the subsequent two-year monitoring. The additional data enhanced the initial findings that the retrogression rate of the thaw slumps increased with increase in height of the scarp wall. An updated correlation between the retrogression rate and scarp wall height is presented. The effect of slope orientation on thaw slump retrogression was further investigated. The data provided strong evidence that retrogressive thaw slumps had no preference over slope orientation.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Permafrost of fine sediments usually contains a significant amount of ice. Landslides often occur when the ice-rich permafrost is exposed to the atmosphere. Such landslides are termed retrogressive thaw slumps. The slump's footprint expands every year as thaw continues around the perimeter. Such expansion destroys the original landscape and nearby infrastructure or facilities such as highways and pipelines. We carried out a 3-year field study at 18 landslide sites to investigate the behavior of such landslides. From the field data, we found a relationship between the landslide expansion rate and the scarp wall height. The data also provided strong evidence that north facing slopes do not necessarily thaw slower than the south facing ones. The data provided in this paper will be useful for infrastructure planning and for developing proper mitigation and remediation measures.