Articles | Volume 10, issue 3
Research article
03 Jun 2016
Research article |  | 03 Jun 2016

Time forecast of a break-off event from a hanging glacier

Jérome Faillettaz, Martin Funk, and Marco Vagliasindi

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Cited articles

Christen, M., Kowalski, J., and Bartelt, P.: RAMMS: Numerical simulation of dense snow avalanches in three-dimensional terrain, Cold Reg. Sci. Technol., 63, 1–14, 2010.
Faillettaz, J., Pralong, A., Funk, M., and Deichmann, N.: Evidence of log-periodic oscillations and increasing icequake activity during the breaking-off of large ice masses, J. Glaciol., 54, 725–737,, 2008.
Faillettaz, J., Funk, M., and Sornette, D.: Icequakes coupled with surface displacements for predicting glacier break-off, J. Glaciol., 57, 453–460,, 2011a.
Faillettaz, J., Sornette, D., and Funk, M.: Numerical modeling of a gravity-driven instability of a cold hanging glacier: reanalysis of the 1895 break-off of Altelsgletscher, Switzerland, J. Glaciol., 57, 817–831,, 2011b.
Faillettaz, J., Funk, M., and Sornette, D.: Instabilities on Alpine temperate glaciers: new insights arising from the numerical modelling of Allalingletscher (Valais, Switzerland), Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 2977–2991,, 2012.
Short summary
The break-off of a cold hanging glacier could be successfully predicted 10 days in advance thanks to very accurate surface displacement measurements taken right up to the final event. This break-off event also confirmed that surface displacements experience 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.