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Using stereo satellite imagery to account for ablation, entrainment, and compaction in volume calculations for rock avalanches on Glaciers: Application to the 2016 Lamplugh Rock Avalanche in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth

By:
ORCID iD , ORCID iD , and
https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JF004512

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Abstract

The use of preevent and postevent digital elevation models (DEMs) to estimate the volume of rock avalanches on glaciers is complicated by ablation of ice before and after the rock avalanche, scour of material during rock avalanche emplacement, and postevent ablation and compaction of the rock avalanche deposit. We present a model to account for these processes in volume estimates of rock avalanches on glaciers. We applied our model by calculating the volume of the 28 June 2016 Lamplugh rock avalanche in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. We derived preevent and postevent 2‐m resolution DEMs from WorldView satellite stereo imagery. Using data from DEM differencing, we reconstructed the rock avalanche and adjacent surfaces at the time of occurrence by accounting for elevation changes due to ablation and scour of the ice surface, and postevent deposit changes. We accounted for uncertainties in our DEMs through precise coregistration and an assessment of relative elevation accuracy in bedrock control areas. The rock avalanche initially displaced 51.7 ± 1.5 Mm3 of intact rock and then scoured and entrained 13.2 ± 2.2 Mm3 of snow and ice during emplacement. We calculated the total deposit volume to be 69.9 ± 7.9 Mm3. Volume estimates that did not account for topographic changes due to ablation, scour, and compaction underestimated the deposit volume by 31.0–46.8 Mm3. Our model provides an improved framework for estimating uncertainties affecting rock avalanche volume measurements in glacial environments. These improvements can contribute to advances in the understanding of rock avalanche hazards and dynamics.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Using stereo satellite imagery to account for ablation, entrainment, and compaction in volume calculations for rock avalanches on Glaciers: Application to the 2016 Lamplugh Rock Avalanche in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Series title:
Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
DOI:
10.1002/2017JF004512
Volume:
123
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2018
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley
Contributing office(s):
Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description:
20 p.
First page:
622
Last page:
641
Country:
United States
State:
Alaska
Other Geospatial:
Glacier Bay National Park