Landslides

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 327–332 | Cite as

Karrat Fjord (Greenland) tsunamigenic landslide of 17 June 2017: initial 3D observations

  • Dave Gauthier
  • Scott A. Anderson
  • Hermann M. Fritz
  • Thomas Giachetti
Recent Landslides

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Rock avalanche Tsunamigenic landslide 3D observation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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.

References

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Crosta GB, Imposimato S, Roddeman D (2016) Landslide spreading, impulse water waves and modelling of the Vajont rockslide. Rock Mech Rock Eng 49(6):2413–2436.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00603-015-0769-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Fritz HM, Mohammed F, Yoo J (2009) Lituya bay landslide impact generated megatsunami 50th anniversary. Pure Appl Geophys 166(1-2):153–175.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024–008–0435–4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ganerød GV, Grøneng G, Rønning JS, Dalsegg E, Elvebakk H, Tønnesen JF, Kveldsvik V, Eiken T, Blikra LH, Braathen A (2008) Geological model of the Åknes rockslide, western Norway. Eng Geol 102(1):1–18.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2008.01.018 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Girardeau-Montaut, D. 2016. CloudCompare. Version 2.8 [computer software]. Available from http://cloudcompare.org/
  10. Grocott J, McCaffrey KJ (2017) Basin evolution and destruction in an Early Proterozoic continental margin: the Rinkian fold–thrust belt of central West Greenland. J Geol Soc 174(3):453–467.  https://doi.org/10.1144/jgs2016-109 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hungr O, Leroueil S, Picarelli L (2014) The Varnes classification of landslide types, an update. Landslides 11(2):167–194.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10346-013-0436-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kalenchuk KS, Hutchinson DJ, Diederichs MS (2013) Geomechanical interpretation of the Downie Slide considering field data and three-dimensional numerical modelling. Landslides 10(6):737–756.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10346-012-0363-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kazhdan M, Hoppe H (2013) Screened poisson surface reconstruction. ACM Trans Graph(TOG) 32(3):29Google Scholar
  14. 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
  15. Lato MJ, Gauthier D, Hutchinson DJ (2015) Rock slopes asset management: selecting the optimal three-dimensional remote sensing technology. Transp Res Rec: J Transp Res Board 2510:7–14.  https://doi.org/10.3141/2510-02 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Miller, D.J. (1960). Giant waves in Lituya Bay, Alaska. Geological Survey Professional Paper 354-C Google Scholar
  17. Mott AV, Bird DK, Grove M, Rose N, Bernstein S, Mackay H, Krebs J (2013) Karrat Isfjord: a newly discovered Paleoproterozoic carbonatite-sourced REE deposit, central West Greenland. Econ Geol 108(6):1471–1488.  https://doi.org/10.2113/econgeo.108.6.1471 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Müller L (1964) The rock slide in the Vajont valley. Rock Mech Eng Geol 2:148–212Google Scholar
  19. 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
  20. Westoby MJ, Brasington J, Glasser NF, Hambrey MJ, Reynolds JM (2012) ‘Structure-from-Motion’ photogrammetry: a low-cost, effective tool for geoscience applications. Geomorphology 179:300–314.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.08.021 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BGC Engineering Inc.KingstonCanada
  2. 2.BGC Engineering Inc.GoldenUSA
  3. 3.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

Personalised recommendations