Rock glaciers throughout the French Alps accelerated and destabilised since 1990 as air temperatures increased - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Communications Earth & Environment Year : 2021

Rock glaciers throughout the French Alps accelerated and destabilised since 1990 as air temperatures increased

Abstract

Abstract Rock glaciers—ice-rich creeping landforms typical of permafrost mountain ranges—can develop an anomalous landslide-like behaviour called destabilisation. This behaviour is characterised by failure mechanisms (including cracks and crevasses) and increases in displacement rates by one to two orders of magnitude. Existing studies of this phenomenon have been limited to a small number of landforms and short time spans. Here, we systematically investigate the evolution of rock glacier kinematics over the past seven decades for the entire French Alps by combining observations of landform features indicative of the onset of destabilisation with data on displacements rates using aerial orthoimagery. We show that rock glacier velocities have significantly increased since the 1990s, concurrent with the development of destabilisation in 18 landforms that represent 5% of the 337 active rock glaciers. This pattern of activity correlates with rising air temperatures in the region, which suggests that a warming climate may play a role in this process.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
s43247-021-00150-6.pdf (2.58 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Dates and versions

hal-03249142 , version 1 (04-06-2021)

Licence

Attribution

Identifiers

Cite

Marco Marcer, Alessandro Cicoira, Diego Cusicanqui, Xavier Bodin, Thomas Echelard, et al.. Rock glaciers throughout the French Alps accelerated and destabilised since 1990 as air temperatures increased. Communications Earth & Environment, 2021, 2 (1), ⟨10.1038/s43247-021-00150-6⟩. ⟨hal-03249142⟩
87 View
38 Download

Altmetric

Share

Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More