Combining Geomorphological, Historical And Lichenometrical Data For Assessment Of Risk Due To Present-day Slope Processes, A Case Study From The Icelandic Westfjords
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Present-day slope processes are the cause of large damage in fjord areas of Iceland. Among all active slope processes, this paper focuses on snow-avalanche and debris-flow impacts in four places located in the north-western part of the island. Spatial distribution of slope processes close to inhabited areas is obtained from geomorphological investigations while dating data are given with the help of historical records and lichenometrical analysis. The combination of the information reveals spatial and temporal patterns of snow avalanches and debris flows in the studied areas. By so doing, slope process runout distances are compared with inhabited spatial extension, which clearly underlines the risk apparition and then its exacerbation during the last century by an increasing superimposition of both phenomenons. Keywords: Iceland, slopes, inhabited areas, geomorphic and historic study, risk. 1 Introduction The dramatic increase in losses and casualties due to slope processes during the past four decades in Iceland (Johannesson and Arnalds ) has prompted a major scientific initiative. By means of geomorphologic and historic analysis, this study aims to demonstrate the destructive potential of snow avalanches and debris flows in the inhabited areas of north-western part of Iceland, and consequently to assess risk due to these slope processes in the given region through spatial/temporal considerations of both natural and human phenomenon.
Iceland, slopes, inhabited areas, geomorphic and historic study, risk.