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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-376
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-376
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 02 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 02 Jan 2020

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Tsunamis unleashed by rapidly warming Arctic degrade coastal landscapes and communities – case study of Nuugaatsiaq, western Greenland

Mateusz C. Strzelecki1,2 and Marek W. Jaskólski1,3 Mateusz C. Strzelecki and Marek W. Jaskólski
  • 1Institute of Geography and Regional Development, University of Wrocław, pl. Uniwersytecki 1, 50-137 Wrocław, Poland
  • 2Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Permafrost Research, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, Environmental Risks in Urban and Regional Development, Weberplatz 1, 01217 Dresden, Germany

Abstract. On the 17th of June 2017, a massive landslide which mobilized ca. 35–58 million m3 of material entered the Karrat Fjord in western Greenland. It triggered a tsunami wave with a runup height exceeding 90 m close to the landslide, ca. 50 m on the opposite shore of the fjord. The tsunami travelled ca. 32 km across the fjord and reached the settlement of Nuugaatsiaq with ca. 1–1.5 m high waves, which were powerful enough to destroy the community infrastructure, impact fragile coastal tundra landscape, and unfortunately, injure several inhabitants and cause 4 deaths. Here we report the results of the field survey of the surroundings of the settlement focused on the perseverance of infrastructure and landscape damages caused by the tsunami, carried out 25 months after the event.

Mateusz C. Strzelecki and Marek W. Jaskólski
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Mateusz C. Strzelecki and Marek W. Jaskólski
Mateusz C. Strzelecki and Marek W. Jaskólski
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Short summary
To date, the effects of tsunami have been mainly reported from tropical and temperate climatic zones. Rare records of polar tsunamis may partly reflect the very low population densities, the short written history and few coastal geological work focused on the sedimentary record of palaeotsunamis. We report the results of the field survey of post-tsunami damages in Nuugaatsiaq settlement in Greenland which on 17th of June 2017 was hit by three tsunami waves triggered by a landslide.
To date, the effects of tsunami have been mainly reported from tropical and temperate climatic...
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