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ICE‐AVALANCHE IMPACT LANDFORMS: THE EVENT IN 2003 AT THE GLACIER NÖRDLICHES BOCKKARKEES, HOHE TAUERN RANGE, AUSTRIA

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Abstract:



Kellerer‐Pirklbauer, A., Slupetzky, H. and Avian, M., 2012. Ice‐avalanche impact landforms: the event in 2003 at the glacier Nördliches Bockkarkees, Hohe Tauern Range, Austria. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography, 94, 97–115. doi:10.1111/j.1468‐0459.2011.00446.x
ABSTRACT

The hanging glacier Nördliches Bockkarkees (47° 07′ 21″ N; 12° 44′ 00″ E) represents the only Austrian glacier that formed large and hazardous ice avalanches over the last decades. Only one major ice avalanche was released between August 1993 and July 2011 underlying the rareness of such large ice avalanches in the Austrian Alps. The ice avalanche happened on 26 June 2003 and was very unusual for two reasons: First, the ice avalanche occurred suddenly without major signs of glacier instabilities even a few days before the event. Second, the ice avalanche was released very early in the season. Ice and debris with a volume of 300 000 m3 avalanched over a vertical distance of 1200 m. The main deposits with a volume of 250 000 m3 and a debris content of 10% formed a flat avalanche cone in the Käfer Valley covering 82 000 m2. This paper focuses on geomorphic and glaciological field measurements and observations at and below the ice avalanche deposit and its vicinity after the event. Studies were made (a) at the deposited material itself, (b) at the reshaped land surface below the deposit after ice melt, (c) at the front and margin of the deposit, and (d) outside the deposit. Our study reveals different types of ice‐avalanche impact landforms comparable to landforms caused by snow avalanches. It is shown that ice avalanches charged with debris at the Nördliches Bockkarkees are important in forming and reshaping erosional and depositional landforms along the track. However, the conservation potential of these landforms is low.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0459.2011.00446.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography and Geology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria 2: Institute of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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