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Spaceborne InSAR mapping of landslides and subsidence in rapidly deglaciating...

Kim, J. W., J. A. Coe, Z. Lu, N. N. Avdievitch, and C. P. Hults (2022), Spaceborne InSAR mapping of landslides and subsidence in rapidly deglaciating terrain, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and vicinity, Alaska and British Columbia, Remote Sensing of Environment, 281, 113231, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2022.113231.

PSInSAR Landslide Fan delta Subsidence Glacier Bay Deglaciation Glacier retreat tsunami The Glacier Bay area in southeastern Alaska and British Columbia, encompassing Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, has experienced rapid glacier retreat since the end of the Little Ice Age in the mid-1800s. The impact that rapid deglaciation has had on the slope stability of valley walls and on the sedimentation of fans and deltas adjacent to fjords and inlets is an ongoing research topic. Using 3-year (2018–2020) Sentinel-1 datasets, and an automated time-series persistent scatterer interferometric synthetic aperture radar (PSInSAR) processing method, we detected landslides or delta subsidence at 27 sites within a vast 180 × 180 km remote region encompassing Glacier Bay proper. Most of the sites that we identified had not been previously identified. We categorized the hazard source areas that we identified into three general types:1) slow-moving landslides on steep rocky slopes not near (> 2 km away from) present-day glacier termini (e.g., Tidal Inlet landslide), 2) slowmoving landslides directly adjacent to (< 2 km away from), and associated with glacier thinning and retreat, and 3) subsidence of glacial outwash fan deltas. In categories 1 and 2, we observed 22 landslides moving at velocities ranging from 0.5 to 4 cm/yr. In category 3, we detected five fan deltas subsiding at velocities ranging from 0.5 to 6 cm/yr. Within our measurement error, these velocities were consistent during the monitoring period. Because acceleration was not observed, the issuance of warnings of imminent rapid failure is not warranted, however, continued remote monitoring is warranted. Our interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) results could be combined with other data sets including field observations, subaerial and submarine landslide inventories, bedrock fabric mapping from newly available light detection and ranging (lidar) data, and geologic maps to produce an inherent susceptibility map for landslides in bedrock and fan deltas. This map could be used to forecast susceptibility for both earthquake and climatically induced landslides.

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