Giant, deadly ice slide baffles researchers : Nature News & Comment: One of the world's largest documented ice avalanches is flummoxing researchers. But they suspect that glacier fluctuations caused by a changing climate may be to blame.
About 100 million cubic metres of ice and rocks gushed down a narrow valley in Rutog county in the west of the Tibet Autonomous Region on 17 July, killing nine herders and hundreds of sheep and yaks.
The debris covered nearly 10 square kilometres at a thickness of up to 30 metres, says Zong Jibiao, a glaciologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITPR) in Beijing, who completed a field investigation of the site last week. The only other known incident comparable in scale is the 2002 ice avalanche from the Kolka Glacier1, 2
in the Caucasus Mountains in Russia, says Andreas Kääb, a glaciologist at the University of Oslo in Norway. That catastrophic event killed 140 people.
I hadn't even heard of these, until now...