Vol19 No.11: 3037-3050
【Title】Stability of the Hailuogou glacier during the "9.5" Luding Earthquake: a preliminary assessment based on multi-source observations
【Author】LIU Qiao1; ZHANG Bo1*; ZHAO Bo1; ZHONG Yan2; LU Xue-yuan1,4; ZHOU Jian-min3
【Addresses】1 Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610299, China; 2 Climate Change Impacts and Risks in the Anthropocene (C-CIA), Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland; 3 Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China; 4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
【Corresponding author】ZHANG Bo
【Citation】Liu Q, Zhang B, Zhao B, et al. (2022) Stability of the Hailuogou glacier during the "9.5" Luding Earthquake: a preliminary assessment based on multi-source observations. Journal of Mountain Science 19(11). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-022-7730-x
【Abstract】On 5th September 2022, a magnitude Ms-6.8 earthquake occurred nearby Mt. Gongga, western Sichuan. The stability of the glaciers in east Mt. Gongga close to the epicenter was widely concerned due to the strong shake triggered by the earthquake. Using multi-source observations (including in-situ photographs, remote sensing datasets before and after the event), we carried out a preliminary assessment of the stability and hazard risks of the Hailuogou (HLG) glacier. Triggered by the earthquake, a small block of fractured ice at the lowest part of icefall collapsed. The magnitude of the coseismic ice avalanche was relatively small, which is comparable in size to most ice avalanches over the past seven years, but much less than the previous mapped largest one (03 April 2018, runout ~699 m). One most recent large (runout ~608 m) ice avalanche occurred between 01 and 04 September, just before the earthquake, likely unloaded large amount of ice mass and made a larger ice avalanche avoided during the earthquake shake. Nevertheless, the momentum of collapsed snow-ice-rock mass could be safely unloaded over a wide and gentler-slope ice tongue area, limiting its mobility and the risk of a cascading hazard. Glacier-wide surface flow dynamics monitored by Sentinel-1 satellite SAR time series (12 September 2021 – 19 September 2022) show that HLG glacier velocity was generally consistent before and after the earthquake. The entire HLG glacier exhibited more stable than expected, with almost no abnormal features detected in its upper accumulation part, the lower ice tongue, and its lateral paraglacial slopes. Since the glacier valley has experienced remarkable downwasting and the paraglacial environment has been strongly disturbed and destabilized, we suggested that, to efficiently evaluate glacier-related cascading hazard risks, it is also necessary to systematically combine multi-source observations (e.g., high-resolution UAV survey, radar/Lidar scan, ground investigation, monitoring and warning systems) to continuously monitor the regional glacier anomalies in the post-earthquake seismic active areas.
【Keywords】Luding Earthquake; Mt. Gongga; Glacier; ice/snow avalanche; Cryosphere hazards