Climate change and hazardous processes in high mountains

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John Joseph Clague
Christian Huggel
Oliver Korup
Bill McGuire


The recent and continuing reduction in glacier ice cover in high mountains and thaw of alpine permafrost may have an impact on many potentially hazardous processes. As glaciers thin and retreat, existing ice- and moraine-dammed lakes can catastrophically empty, generating large and destructive downstream floods and debris flows. New ice-dammed lakes will form higher in mountain catchments, posing additional hazards in the future. The magnitude or frequency of shallow landslides and debris flows in some areas will increase because of the greater availability of unconsolidated sediment in new deglacierized terrain. Continued permafrost degradation and glacier retreat probably will decrease the stability of rock slopes.

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How to Cite
Clague, J. J. ., Huggel, C. ., Korup, O. ., & McGuire, B. . (2012). Climate change and hazardous processes in high mountains. Revista De La Asociación Geológica Argentina, 69(3), 321-327. Retrieved from