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2 February 2023

The 15 December 1952 Niiortuut landslide-tsunami in central West Greenland

A paper in Science of the Total Environment (Svennevig et al. 2023) describes the 15 December 1952 Niiortuut landslide in Greenland. It concludes that this was one of the earliest anthropogenic warming-induced landslides identified to date.


28 October 2022

What lives in frozen soil for 25,000 years?

In October 2022, Josephine Galipon visited Alaska to see if she could tease out genetic information from gray cylinders of permafrost — silty soil that has been frozen for at least two years, but in this case thousands.


31 January 2022

Thirty years on semi-solid ground

At the end of this month, Vladimir Romanovsky will retire after 30 years as a professor and permafrost scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute. This comes at a time when people — finally — no longer squint at him with a puzzled look when he mentions what he studies.


17 June 2020

Vulnerable carbon stores twice as high where permafrost subsidence is factored in, new research finds

Sinking terrain caused by the loss of ice and soil mass in permafrost is causing deeper thaw than previously thought and making vulnerable twice as much carbon as estimates that don’t account for this shifting ground.


12 June 2020

When permafrost kills? A moose story

While standing over the festering moose, Douglas points out meat on the animal’s ribs, along with internal organs undamaged, seeming proof that a hungry bear or wolf did not pull it down. There are no large animal tracks nearby in the mud. Did this northern sinkhole kill the moose? Thawing permafrost — ground that has remained frozen through the heat of at least two summers — is usually a slow-motion disaster, resulting in slowly sinking buildings and roller-coaster roads.


8 April 2020

Denali Park Road: fascinating landslides in a subarctic mountain environment

More than 150 landslides have been identified along Denali Park Road in Denali National Park in Alaska, some of which are causing damage to the highway


6 January 2020

A detailed analysis of the Joffre Peak landslides in Canada

A new paper in the journal Landslides (Friele et al. (2020) provides a first detailed analysis of the May 2019 Joffre Peak landslides in Canada


7 March 2019

Arctic change has widespread impacts

As the Arctic warms faster than the rest of the globe, permafrost, land ice and sea ice are disappearing at unprecedented rates. And these changes not only affect the infrastructure, economies and cultures of the Arctic, they have significant impacts elsewhere as well.


15 September 2018

A northern sense of place

When I was 12 years old, I didn’t know permafrost was like frozen lasagna. I didn’t know what permafrost was. I grew up in a small town on the Hudson River in New York. But here is my 12-year-old daughter and her classmates, gathered amid fragrant tundra plants.


10 September 2018

Frozen debris lobes: an interesting hazard in Alaska

Frozen debris lobes: an interesting and significant hazard for the Dalton Highway in Alaska. Parts of the road are being realigned to manage the hazard


12 September 2017

Increasing rock avalanche size and mobility in Alaska may be associated with climate change

A new paper (Coe et al. 2017) strongly suggests that the cluster of 24 rock avalanches since 1984 in S. Alaska may be associated with rock permafrost degradation


6 January 2017

Collapsing Arctic coastlines

In a paper just published in Nature Climate Change, Michael Fritz and colleagues have highlighted the environmental impacts of collapsing Arctic coastlines.


22 January 2016

The Punta Tre Amici rockslide in Italy

The Punta Tre Amici rockslide, a landslide of about 200,000 cubic metres, occurred on the flanks of Monte Rosa on 16th December 2015.


14 December 2015

Fort McPherson: a catastrophic mudflow in Canada

In the summer a permafrost mudslide caused the partial breach, caught on video, of a small lake near Fort McPherson in Canada.


7 February 2013

The Mysterious Moving Rocks of Mars

How did the boulders in the picture above end up in clumps and arcs instead of randomly distributed across the surface? That’s the focus of the paper “Possible Mechanism of Boulder Clustering on Mars” by Travis Orloff, Mikhail Kreslavsky, and Eric Asphaug that is currently In Press in the journal Icarus.