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Applicant -- Remote Sensing and Field Observations of Cryospheric Hazard Dynamics in Earth's High Mountains

Thursday, July 6, 2017

With or without climate change, the dynamics of glaciers are such that many hazardous processes would occur on a regular basis.  Add in the fact that climate is changing and glaciers and icy permafrost are thawing, a complex and shifting montage of hazard processes is affecting Earth's high mountain regions.  I will show some remote sensing and field approaches to understanding these processes and describe some engineering solutions to hazard mitigation.  I will draw from real-world examples from the central Himalaya (Nepal),  the Karakoram (Pakistan), the Tibetan Plateau, and the northern Andes (Peru) and show examples of where seismic, volcanic, and cryospheric hazards sometimes find a troublesome Nexus.  Finally, I will describe some predictable evolutionary pathways of 21st century glacier hazards in several parts of the world and how new developments in machine learning and new concepts in satellite observations could revolutionize our understanding of these evolving hazards and also image the real-time progress of natural disasters as they occur.

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