Time forecast of a break-off event from a hanging glacier
- 13G, UZH, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
- 2VAW, ETHZ, Zürich, Switzerland
- 3Fondazione Montagna Sicura, Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy
Abstract. A cold hanging glacier located on the south face of the Grandes Jorasses (Mont Blanc, Italy) broke off on the 23 and 29 September 2014 with a total estimated ice volume of 105 000 m3. Thanks to accurate surface displacement measurements taken up to the final break-off, this event was successfully predicted 10 days in advance, enabling local authorities to take the necessary safety measures. The break-off event also confirmed that surface displacements experienced a power law acceleration along with superimposed log-periodic oscillations prior to the final rupture. This paper describes the methods used to achieve a satisfactory time forecast in real time and demonstrates, using a retrospective analysis, their potential for the development of early-warning systems in real time.