Supraglacial Landslides



Anja Dufresne

Senior Scientist


+49 241 80-96779



Supraglacial landslides

Project term: 2016 to 2020


The 2016 Supraglacial Landslide on Lamplugh Glacier

landslide of the Lamplugh Glacier Copyright: © © LIH Figure 1. On 28 June 2016, a landslide initiated at a north-facing bedrock ridge and fell onto Lamplugh Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The event was detected in seismic data at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.

In June 2016, another event within the park made a media appearance: an estimated 46 million cubic meters of rock, ice and snow dropped approximately 1400 meters onto Lamplugh Glacier and deposited a spectacular rock avalanche of 10 kilometer length (Figure 2). It was first spotted by local pilots and also recorded at the Earth Observatory. Dr. Marten Geertsema of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO), British Columbia, Prof. Dr. Colin Stark from the Earth Observatory, Prof. Dr. Gabriel Wolken from the University of Fairbanks, Alaska, and Dr. Anja Dufresne, LIH (at the time a visiting researcher at FLNRO) flew to Haines, Alaska from where they chartered a small plane to cover the last kilometers to the landslide on Lamplugh Glacier. They spent two days gathering field evidence and performing an airborne photogrammetry survey. The results of their study are now published in the journal Landslides (Dufresne et al., 2019).



  • Dufresne A, Wolken G, Hibert C, Bessette-Kirton E, Coe J, Geertsema M, Ekström G (2019). The 2016 Lamplugh rock avalanche, Alaska: Deposit structures and emplacement dynamics. Landslides 16(12): 2301-2319.