Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

ESOC coffee hour - speaker this week

Wednesday November 1 2023 @ 9:00 am





9:00 am


ESOC coffee hour occurs weekly from 9-10am Wednesdays in the ESOC Reading Room (Ekeley W230). Please email Claire Waugh ( for information.
ESOC researchers, post-docs and graduate students gather for conversation and to discuss research. Occasional guest speakers are invited to give short presentations on topics of interest.
11/1 ESOC welcomes Lauren Schaefer researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey, Landslide Hazard Program, in Golden, Colorado. Lauren will present a talk "Landslide detection, characterization, and evolution in southcentral Alaska". 
As glaciers thin and retreat in response to warming temperatures associated with climate change, subarctic regions are experiencing an increase in potentially unstable slopes adjacent to open water. Subaerial landslides that fail catastrophically have the potential to generate tsunamis that can be highly destructive not only in the immediate vicinity of the landslides, but also over broad regions. One area experiencing rapid glacier retreat is the Prince William Sound region in southcentral Alaska (USA). I will discuss the kinematic evolution of a large paraglacial landslide in the Barry Arm fjord determined using airborne lidar, ground and satellite synthetic aperture radar, and seismic monitoring. This landslide motivated the construction of a more comprehensive inventory of other landslides in this region using persistent scatterer interferometric synthetic aperture radar, along with a preliminary tsunamigenic plausibility assessment. Regional mapping of actively deforming landslides is integral for hazard assessments in paraglacial environments. These inventories are also critical for describing potential impacts that the warming effects of climate change have on slope instability in this and other mountainous and cryospheric terrain.