Category Archives: The Alps

If you thought tsunamis only happened at sea think again!


An article here in yesterdays Austrian Times reports on calls for lakeside towns and villages in the Alpine region to reassess the risk from tsunamis. The warning comes from Professor Johann Stötter, an expert on Alpine Global Warming, from the University of Innsbruck.

The concerns focus upon new research from the University of Innsbruck which show permafrost is now disappearing at a rate of 5cm to 10cm a year. In Alpine areas above 2500 metres the soil is held in place as a result of being permanently frozen and until recently only the surface layer has been known to thaw.

This deeper thawing of the permafrost increases the risk of significant rock and landslides which can create lake tsunamis. The article gives a few historical examples, as well as highlighting huge rise in lakeside populations and how simulation show that collapses can lead to large tsunamis developing extremely quickly.

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Filed under Climate Change, Green, The Alps, Vienna Life