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Cold Region Hazards and Risks

ISBN: 978-0-470-02927-5
380 pages
April 2011
Cold Region Hazards and Risks (0470029277) cover image
This is a unique, timely and engaging text with wide ranging geographical coverage. The text brings together, for the first time, information about a vast array of hazards associated with ice and snow, spanning both well known phenomenon (e.g. avalanches) and the less familiar (e.g. river ice jams and ice storms) using, in many cases, material which is rarely seen outside advanced academic research books and journals. The range of ice-related hazards will be introduced and the significance of the current global warming context discussed. Broad physical models of glacial, periglacial and atmospheric cold environments are presented to provide a scientific context for discussion of the human issues of risk, vulnerability impact and mitigation.

Key Features:

  • Wide ranging geographical coverage (the Americas, Asia, Australasia, Antarctic & Europe)
  • Localised hazards (avalanches, life storms, landslides) contrasted to those with wider reaching effects (arctic ice loss, ice sheet retreat and wide spread permafrost decay)
  • Includes the latest developments in the field
  • Each chapter includes hazards overview, summery, conclusions, potential projects exercise and key references
  • Includes a supplementary website with figures from the text and further references
  • Each chapter includes a hazards overview, summary, conclusions, potential projects exercise and key references
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Preface xiii

1 Introduction 1

1.1 Concept and rationale 1

1.2 Scope and classification of the hazards 2

1.3 Hazard awareness 5

1.4 Physical properties of ice 7

1.5 Hazard and risk 8

1.6 Summary 10

2 Arctic Sea Ice 13

2.1 Introduction 13

2.2 The Arctic Ocean 15

2.3 Sea ice 17

2.3.1 Definition and formation 17

2.3.2 Thickness and age 17

2.3.3 Distribution and extent 21

2.4 Impacts 23

2.5 Direct impacts 24

2.5.1 Entrapment 24

2.5.2 Access to Arctic sea ice 24

2.5.3 Shore ice override (ivu) 27

2.6 Indirect impacts 29

2.6.1 Coastal erosion 29

2.6.2 Access to the Arctic Ocean space following ice loss 34

2.6.3 Iceberg severity 35

2.6.4 Ice sheet stability 35

2.6.5 Ecosystems 35

2.6.6 Climate change and the MOC 37

2.7 Mitigation 38

2.7.1 Introduction 38

2.7.2 Sea-ice presence 39

2.7.3 Sea-ice loss 41

2.8 Summary 42

3 Ice Sheets – Antarctica and Greenland 45

3.1 Introduction 45

3.2 Ice sheet systems 47

3.2.1 Ice domes 48

3.2.2 Ice streams and outlet glaciers 49

3.2.3 Ice shelves 49

3.2.4 Sea ice 51

3.3 Greenland 52

3.4 Antarctica 56

3.5 Impacts of ice sheet loss 62

3.5.1 Sea-level rise 62

3.5.2 Iceberg flux 65

3.5.3 Ecosystem change 66

3.5.4 Climate and ocean circulation change 67

3.6 Mitigation 68

3.7 Summary 69

4 Icebergs 71

4.1 Introduction 71

4.2 Iceberg characteristics 72

4.2.1 Composition 72

4.2.2 Size 73

4.2.3 Shape 74

4.2.4 Sources 75

4.2.5 Distribution 76

4.2.6 Life expectancy 79

4.3 Iceberg impact and risk 81

4.3.1 Ship–iceberg collisions 82

4.3.2 Iceberg–fixed installation collisions 86

4.3.3 Sea bed scouring 88

4.3.4 Impact on ecological systems 88

4.3.5 Impacts on global climate 89

4.4 Iceberg mitigation 90

4.4.1 Detection, monitoring, databases and research 91

4.4.2 Threat evaluation and prediction 95

4.4.3 Ice management 96

4.4.4 Avoidance 97

4.5 Summary 98

5 Glaciers 101

5.1 Introduction 101

5.2 Inherent glacier hazards 102

5.2.1 Crevasses 102

5.2.2 Seracs 104

5.2.3 Ice avalanches 104

5.2.4 Complex avalanches 113

5.2.5 Ponded lakes 116

5.3 Glacier mass balance changes 116

5.3.1 Advancing glaciers 117

5.3.2 Surging glaciers 118

5.3.3 Retreating glaciers 121

5.4 Mitigation measures 129

5.5 Summary 130

6 Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) 133

6.1 Introduction 133

6.2 The glacial meltwater system 134

6.3 GLOFs 134

6.4 Trigger mechanisms 136

6.5 Risk 142

6.6 Mitigation 150

6.6.1 Hard measures (engineering) 150

6.6.2 Soft measures 151

6.7 Summary 154

7 Permafrost 157

7.1 Introduction 157

7.2 Permafrost distribution and characteristics 159

7.3 Permafrost hazardousness 163

7.4 Lowland permafrost hazards 167

7.4.1 Mitigation measures 173

7.4.2 Climate change 174

7.4.3 Mapping 175

7.4.4 Geotechnical engineering 178

7.5 Mountain permafrost hazards 189

7.5.1 Mitigation strategies 195

7.6 Summary 201

8 Snow Avalanches 203

8.1 Introduction 203

8.2 Definition, classification and motion 204

8.3 Factors promoting avalanches 207

8.3.1 Meteorology 207

8.3.2 Terrain 211

8.4 Impacts of avalanches 212

8.4.1 Damage 214

8.4.2 Fatalities 214

8.5 Mitigation methods 218

8.5.1 Information 219

8.5.2 Modification and control 225

8.5.3 Avoidance 227

8.6 Summary 236

9 River Ice – Ice Jams and Ice Roads 237

9.1 Introduction 237

9.2 Ice jams 238

9.2.1 Introduction 238

9.2.2 Ice formation and freeze-up 241

9.2.3 Ice breakup 246

9.2.4 Ice jam processes and sites 248

9.2.5 Ice jam impacts 250

9.2.6 Ice jam mitigation 253

9.3 Ice roads 259

9.3.1 Introduction 259

9.3.2 Ice-forming processes and ice types 260

9.3.3 Construction 262

9.3.4 Loading 263

9.3.5 Road use 265

9.3.6 Hazards 267

9.4 Summary 272

10 Winter Storms — Ice Storms and Blizzards 273

10.1 Introduction 273

10.2 Definitions 274

10.3 Weather systems and processes 276

10.3.1 Air pressure patterns 276

10.3.2 Air temperature 280

10.4 Impacts 282

10.4.1 Fatalities and injuries 285

10.4.2 Physical damages 286

10.4.3 Economic losses 286

10.4.4 Transport and traffic disruption 287

10.4.5 Power loss 289

10.5 Mitigation 289

10.5.1 Forecasting 290

10.5.2 Forward planning 291

10.5.3 Effective procedures 293

10.5.4 Public response 294

10.5.5 North-east Snowfall Impacts Scale (NESIS) 295

10.5.6 Impact of climate warming 296

10.6 Summary 298

11 Conclusions – The Future 299

References 303

Glossary 335

Acronyms 341

Index 345

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· A timely book that delves into the catastrophic effects of global warming and global development.

· Wide ranging geographical coverage  (the Americas, Asia, Australasia, Antarctic & Europe)

· Localized hazards (avalanches, life storms, landslides) contrasted to those with wider reaching effects (artic ice loss, ice sheet retreat and wide spread permafrost decay)

· Includes the latest developments in the field

· Each chapter includes hazards overview, summery, conclusions, potential projects exercise and key references

· Includes a supplementary website with figures from the book and further references

· Each chapter includes a hazards overview, summary, conclusions, potential projects exercise and key references

· Numerous case studies included throughout the text to introduce concepts of risk and vulnerability

See More
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