Articles | Volume 8, issue 4
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 1021–1038, 2020
Earth Surf. Dynam., 8, 1021–1038, 2020

Research article 08 Dec 2020

Research article | 08 Dec 2020

Evolution of events before and after the 17 June 2017 rock avalanche at Karrat Fjord, West Greenland – a multidisciplinary approach to detecting and locating unstable rock slopes in a remote Arctic area

Kristian Svennevig et al.

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Cited articles

Bessette-Kirton, E., Allstadt, K., Pursley, J., and Godt, J.: Preliminary Analysis of Satellite Imagery and Seismic Observations of the Nuugaatsiaq Landslide and Tsunami, Greenland, available at:, last access: 6 November 2017. 
Böhme, M., Oppikofer, T., Longva, O., Jaboyedoff, M., Hermanns, R. L., and Derron, M.: Analyses of past and present rock slope instabilities in a fjord valley: Implications for hazard estimations, Geomorphology, 248, 464–474,, 2015. 
Cappelen, J., Vinther, B. M., Kern-Hansen, C., Laursen, E. V., and Jørgensen, P. V.: Greenland – DMI Historical Climate Data Collection 1784–2017, available at: (lasat access: 2 May 2020), 2018. 
Carla, T., Intrieri, E., Raspini, F., Bardi, F., Farina, P., Ferretti, A., Colombo, D., Novali, F., and Casagli, N.: Perspectives on the prediction of catastrophic slope failures from satellite InSAR, Sci. Rep., 9, 1–9, 2019. 
Chao, W. A., Wu, T. R., Ma, K. F., Kuo, Y. T., Wu, Y. M., Zhao, L., Chung, M. J., Wu, H., and Tsai, Y. L.: The large Greenland landslide of 2017: Was a Tsunami warning possible?, Seismol. Res. Lett., 89, 1335–1344,, 2018. 
Short summary
The 17 June 2017 Karrat landslide in Greenland caused a tsunami that killed four people. We apply a multidisciplinary workflow to reconstruct a timeline of events and find that three historic landslides occurred in 2009, 2016, and 2017. We also find evidence of much older periods of landslide activity. Three newly discovered active slopes might pose a future hazard. We speculate that the trigger for the recent events is melting permafrost due to a warming climate.