Melting glaciers leading to more tsunamis along coastlines, warn scientists

In October 2015, scientists recorded the highest tsunamis ever – a wave of 193 metres.

Melting glaciers leading to more tsunamis along coastlines, warn scientists
Image courtesy: Pixabay

In October 2015, scientists recorded the highest tsunamis ever – a wave of 193 metres.

The tsunami was recorded a few kilometres near the Tyndall Glacier landslide in Alaska that reportedly sent nearly 180 million tonnes of rock into a water body Taan Fiord.

Now, scientists have concluded that the tsunami was triggered due to the retreating glacier.

The phenomena of melting glaciers across the globe can trigger a 'ripple effect of natural disasters' that can lead to tsunamis, say report published by Scientific Reports.

“As climate warms and glaciers shrink and retreat, they can no longer support rock slopes, and fractures expand as stresses are released. This slope conditioning leads to rock falls, deep-seated gravitational slope deformation, and occasionally catastrophic rock avalanches.

“A further effect of glacial retreat is the creation or extension of bodies of deep water, fresh or marine11,12, where tsunamis can be generated efficiently,” adds the study.

The glacially sculpted coastlines of Alaska, Patagonia, Norway, and Greenland are prone to such tsunamis.

Such events pose a threat that extends far beyond the normal range of a mere landslide.

The tsunami, triggered by Tyndall landslide, that had initially covered an area of a mile. A recent study reveals that the effects actually stretched more than 12 miles.

“The landslide and tsunami predicated by glacial retreat at Taan Fiord represents a hazard occasioned by climate change. More such landslides are likely to occur as mountain glaciers continue to shrink and alpine permafrost thaws,” writes the study.

“These landslides can more often be expected to produce tsunamis as water bodies grow and extend landward, closer to steep mountain slopes.”

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link

Close