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Southcentral communities team up with the State to tackle geologic hazards



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(Fairbanks, AK) – In support of public safety, the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) has entered into partnerships with two Alaska communities to assess and monitor geologic hazards.

Residents of Southcentral Alaska face a host of geologic hazards that in the past have seriously impacted the safety, infrastructure, and economies of their communities. Now the City of Valdez and the Seward/Bear Creek Flood Service Area are providing financial support to expand data collection and monitoring carried out near their communities by DGGS scientists investigating the impacts of changes in glaciers, snow distribution, and alpine permafrost.

High-resolution aerial photographs and topographic data are being collected in and around both communities for hazard identification and change detection studies, and high-elevation weather and climate monitoring stations are being supported in the Valdez area. The City of Valdez is also helping to support monitoring of glacier lake outburst floods from Valdez Glacier, which can cause water levels of Valdez Glacier Lake and Valdez Glacier Stream to rapidly rise and lead to dangerous flooding and destructive erosion.

This community-supported work is being conducted as part of DGGS’s ongoing climate and cryosphere hazards evaluation efforts, which combine field-based observations, remote sensing, and computer-aided modeling to assess, monitor, and predict the impacts of changes in snow, ice, and permafrost on the people, resources, and infrastructure of Alaska. To learn more about cryosphere-related hazards investigations at DGGS, go to www.dggs.alaska.gov/climatehazards.

 

Alaska Department of Natural Resources

 

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