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Project description summary

Glacial hazards (including debris flows, rockfalls, glacier avalanches, rock avalanches, glacial-lake outbursts), are an important threat to security in mountain areas worldwide. These processes act in response to the inherent instability of glacial environments and to the rapid change in these environments, manifested in dramatic glacial ice loss, resulting from global climatic change. Natural disasters caused by glacial hazards were some of the most destructive in the last 100 years; over 50,000 people have lost their lives in these events. Moreover, glacial hazards have impacted infrastructure downstream from glaciers in the mountainous regions of the world.

We focus on the analysis of glacial hazards in the Caucasus Mountains of the Russian Federation, typified by the 2002 Kolka Glacier disaster. In which 125 people perished. Enhanced risk management of glacial hazards will contribute to the saving of lives in this region and to enhanced peace and security.

In the project we develop and utilise state-of-the-art science and technology in the fields of remote sensing, glaciology, geomorphology, geotechnical engineering, geohazard assessment and risk management. We strive to integrate the existing methodology in these separate subjects into a novel multi-disciplinary approach to the assessment of glacial hazards for enhanced risk management. In this endeavour we will use existing tools and software, as well as extensive field data already gathered in the Caucasus.

We will also further improve tools and methodologies currently under development by project participants. Briefly these are geographic information systems, satellite image analysis, dynamic modelling of catastrophic events, database development, field geomorphological, glaciological, hydrological, geological and meteorological methods.

Further information is available at the project website at



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