Karrat Fjord (Greenland) tsunamigenic landslide of 17 June 2017: initial 3D observations
On 17 June 2017, a landslide-generated tsunami reached the village of Nuugaatsiaq, Greenland, leaving four persons missing and presumed dead. Here, we present a preliminary high-resolution analysis of the tsunamigenic landslide scar based on three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of oblique aerial photographs taken during a post-failure reconnaissance helicopter overflight. Through a 3D quantitative comparison with pre-failure topography, we estimate that approximately 58 million m3 of rock and colluvium (talus) was mobilized during the landslide, 45 million m3 of which reached the fjord, resulting in a destructive tsunami. We classify this event as a “tsunamigenic extremely rapid rock avalanche,” which likely released along a pre-existing metamorphic fabric, bounded laterally by slope-scale faults. Further analysis is required to properly characterize this landslide and adjacent unstable slopes, and to better understand the tsunami generation.
KeywordsRock avalanche Tsunamigenic landslide 3D observation
The survey team was supported by the National Science Foundation through the NSF RAPID award CMMI-1748631. Pre-failure DEMs were provided by the Polar Geospatial Center (https://www.pgc.umn.edu/data/arcticdem/) under NSF OPP awards 1043681, 1559691, and 1542736. The post-failure DEM is available from D.G. We thank Adrián Riquelme for a very constructive review of the manuscript.
- Besl, P.J., and McKay, N.D. (1992). Method for registration of 3-D shapes. Proceedings SPIE, Vol. 1611, Sensor Fusion IV: Control Paradigms and Data Structures, 586. 10.1117/12.57955Google Scholar
- Bessette-Kirton E, Allstadt K, Pursley J, Godt J (2017) Preliminary analysis of satellite imagery and seismic observations of the Nuugaatsiaq landslide and tsunami, Greenland. USGS, Washington, DC https://landslides.usgs.gov/research/featured/2017-nuugaatsiaq/ Google Scholar
- Clinton J, Larsen T, Dahl-Jensen T, Voss P, Nettles M (2017) Special event: Nuugaatsiaq Greenland landslide and tsunami. Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, Washington, DC https://ds.iris.edu/ds/nodes/dmc/specialevents/2017/06/22/nuugaatsiaq-greenland-landslide-and-tsunami/ Google Scholar
- Dowdeswell JA, Hogan KA, Cofaigh CÓ, Fugelli EMG, Evans J, Noormets R (2014) Late Quaternary ice flow in a West Greenland fjord and cross-shelf trough system: submarine landforms from Rink Isbrae to Uummannaq shelf and slope. Quat Sci Rev 92:292–309. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.09.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fritz HM, Hager WH, Minor H-E (2001) Lituya Bay case: rockslide impact and wave run-up. Sci Tsunami Haz 19(1):3–22Google Scholar
- Girardeau-Montaut, D. 2016. CloudCompare. Version 2.8 [computer software]. Available from http://cloudcompare.org/
- Kazhdan M, Hoppe H (2013) Screened poisson surface reconstruction. ACM Trans Graph(TOG) 32(3):29Google Scholar
- Kromer R, Lato MJ, Hutchinson DJ, Gauthier D, Edwards T (2017) Managing rockfall risk through baseline monitoring of precursors with a terrestrial laser scanner. Can Geotech J 54(7):953–967. https://doi.org/10.1139/cgj-2016-0178
- Miller, D.J. (1960). Giant waves in Lituya Bay, Alaska. Geological Survey Professional Paper 354-C Google Scholar
- Müller L (1964) The rock slide in the Vajont valley. Rock Mech Eng Geol 2:148–212Google Scholar
- Rignot E, Fenty I, Xu Y, Cai C, Velicogna I, Cofaigh CÓ, Dowdeswell JA, Weinrebe W, Catania G, Duncan D (2016) Bathymetry data reveal glaciers vulnerable to ice-ocean interaction in Uummannaq and Vaigat glacial fjords, west Greenland. Geophys Res Lett 43(6):2667–2674. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL067832 CrossRefGoogle Scholar