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Glacial Outburst Floods

Glacier Outburst Flood Modeling

ACRC supports ongoing work in Suicide Basin near Juneau to develop new methods to understand and predict glacial outburst floods.

Since 2011, the glacier-dammed lake at Suicide Basin has released annual flood events impacting homes and infrastructure in Mendenhall Valley, Juneau’s most heavily populated neighborhood.  ACRC supports work to create a model to forecast the timing and size of outburst flood events at a glacier-dammed lake on the Mendenhall Glacier, in collaboration with the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center, the City and Borough of Juneau, the USGS Alaska Science Center, NOAA, and University of Alaska Southeast. Using monitoring equipment such as time-lapse cameras, drone imagery, and water level gages that provide real-time information on the status of the basin, researchers will develop an outburst flood forecasting tool to improve the ability of city managers to prepare for outburst floods, as well as provide guidance to other Alaska communities that experience glacier lake outburst floods. 

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