Seisma, a research vessel belonging to the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), is sweeping Storfjord with seismic and state-of-the-art, side-scanning sonar. Metre by metre, scientists are studying the floor of the fjord.
On the basis of these detailed maps, staff from the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) will construct a precise terrain model of the sea floor. They can use this to calculate how flood waves will build up and sweep over the shores if Nordnesfjellet should one day crash into the sea.
“It’s vital to get as much information as possible about both the mountain and the floor of the fjord. This will enable us to be prepared in case the worst should happen,” Oddvar Longva, a geologist at NGU, tells me. He is the skipper of the Seisma and has a great deal of experience of surveying conditions on the floor of Norwegian fjords.
Large flood waves
The worst scenario here is that several million cubic metres of mountainside will one day sweep over the E6 trunk road and end up in the fjord. This will generate a flood wave that will hit the boroughs of Lyngen, Kåfjord and Storfjord. As many as 6000 people, along with buildings, industrial plants and farmland, may be inundated.
”It’s not very likely that the mountainside will crash into the fjord in the very near future, but if it does the consequences will be enormous. There is therefore a great deal of risk associated with an unstable section of mountainside,” Terje H. Bargel, a geologist at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), stresses.
”When we’ve learnt how an unstable section of mountainside behaves, and mapped the terrain below sea level, it will be easier for local authorities to draw up contingency plans to provide warning and ensure evacuation,” he continues.
Terje Bargel heads the avalanche group at NGU and is very satisfied that the authorities are now putting priority on investigations of major avalanches.
”The Government has allocated an additional five million NOK this year to study the risk of major avalanches. NGU is concentrating particularly on large avalanches involving more than 100 000 cubic metres of rock that may crash right down into fjords and generate tsunamis. We’ve studied 13 sites in the county of Troms in northern Norway that have the potential to develop major avalanches. Lyngen is by far the most important area,” Terje Bargel says.
It is the northern part of Nordnesfjellet that is moving. NGU has studied the mountain on several occasions by both mapping the geology and gathering geophysical data.
The hazardous stretch of mountainside is four hundred metres broad, five hundred metres high and between fifty and one hundred metres deep. New instruments are now being installed to monitor the mountainside.
Laser meters will monitor movements in the mountainside and tension rods will measure the widening of the fissures. Meteorological instruments are also being set up to monitor the wind, temperature and precipitation.
By Gudmund Løvø
Terje Bargel | alfa
Colorado River's connection with the ocean was a punctuated affair
16.11.2017 | University of Oregon
Researchers create largest, longest multiphysics earthquake simulation to date
14.11.2017 | Gauss Centre for Supercomputing
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses