State of Alaska Alaska / Natural Resources DNR / Geological & Geophysical Surveys DGGS / Geologic HazardsHazards / Guide to Geologic HazardsGuide

Glacier hazards

Outside the two ice sheets, glaciers in Alaska (and shared icefields with Canada) represent about 13% of the mountain glaciers and ice caps area on Earth. Glaciers represent an important fresh water reservoir and glacier-related tourism is an important part of the economy in Alaska. Glacier-related processes, however, can become hazards when they threaten public safety and infrastructure. A variety of glacier hazards exist in Alaska (e.g. jökulhlaups, calving, glacier surge) and many glacier-related processes lead to other (indirect) hazards (e.g. flooding and debris flows) that impact people and infrastructure in distant areas. (Echelmeyer, K.A. and others, 2002)

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