Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Note the date: November 6th - Climate change in permafrost regions

Professor Charles Harris, Emeritus Professor of Geology at Cardiff University, will be giving this talk for the Bath Geological Society on Thursday November 6th at 7.15 p.m. at BRLSI, 16 Queen Square, Bath.
'The impact of climate change on slope stability in permafrost regions'

Permafrost is continuously frozen ground, and is widespread in the high arctic, becoming thinner and discontinuous further south. It may also underlie the higher peaks in mountain regions. Thawing of frozen ice-rich soils leads to thaw settlement and major loss of strength, often leading to landslides. On steep bedrock slopes, ice-bonded joints may increase rock mass strength, so that warming and thaw increases the risk of rock falls and rockslides. Thus, permafrost regions are particularly sensitive to climate change, and engineering works must incorporate measures to accommodate this. Evidence for recent warming in permafrost regions will first be presented, and its significance with regard to future trends discussed. Examples of the impact of permafrost degradation on steep bedrock mountain slopes will then be presented, with evidence drawn largely from the Alps. Finally, the response of soil-covered permafrost slopes to climate warming will be considered through field studies in Canada, Svalbard and Norway, and through laboratory modelling experiments.
Everyone is welcome - members are free, £4 for visitors. Do come along and join our very active Society. Details of some of next year's exciting events can be viewed on our website.

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