Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

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.
Complete list of metadata

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03249142
Contributor : Xavier Bodin Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, June 4, 2021 - 7:22:40 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 8:05:58 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, September 5, 2021 - 6:13:15 PM

File

s43247-021-00150-6.pdf
Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Licence


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Identifiers

Citation

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, Springer Nature, 2021, 2 (1), ⟨10.1038/s43247-021-00150-6⟩. ⟨hal-03249142⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

73

Files downloads

27