Podolskiy Evgeniy, Genco R., Sugiyama S., Walter F., Funk M., Minowa S., Tsutaki S., Ripepe M. (2017), Investigating calving front dynamics with a local seismic-infrasound network, in The Greenland Ice Sheet and its Interaction with the Climate System, Low Temperature Science Volume
Podolskiy Evgeniy, Walter Fabian (2016), Cryoseismology, in Reviews of Geophysics
Roeoesli Claudia, Walter Fabian, Ampuero Jean-Paul, Kissling Edi (2016), Seismic Moulin Tremor, in Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth
Podolskiy Evgeny A., Sugiyama Shin, Funk Martin, Walter Fabian, Genco Riccardo, Tsutaki Shun, Minowa Masahiro, Ripepe Maurizio (2016), Tide-modulated ice flow variations drive seismicity near the calving front of Bowdoin Glacier, Greenland, in Geophysical Research Letters
, 43(5), 2036-2044.
Walter Fabian, Das neue Feld der Cryo-Seismologie: Das Beben im Eis, in Physik unserer Zeit
Preiswerk Lukas, Walter Fabian, Anandakrishnan Sridhar, Barfucci Giulia, Beutel Jan, Burkett Peter G., Dalban Canassy Pierre, Funk Martin, Limpach Philippe, Marchetti Emanuele, Meier Lorenz, Neyer Fabian, Monitoring unstable parts in the ice-covered Weissmies northwest face, in Interpraevent 2016
Walter Fabian, Burtin Arnaud, McArdell Brian, Hovius Niels, Weder Bianca, Turowski Jens, Testing seismic amplitude source location for fast debris-flow detection at Illgraben, Switzerland, in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
, 17, 1-17.
Over the last decade, glacier seismology has undergone rapid developmental leaps forward. Advances in seismic instrumentation, numerical modeling and data management have made seismology an indispensible tool in glaciological investigations of basal sliding, crevasse formation, iceberg calving and glacier hydraulics. Seismometers can remotely track changes of a glacier's fracture state at a temporal resolution far superior to conventional glaciological monitoring. This makes seismic monitoring an attractive candidate for early warning and mitigation methods of glacial hazards.Despite the many advances, current seismic monitoring of hazardous glaciers poses critical challenges and limitations. Whereas individual "icequakes" are easily detectable and often locatable, complexities in seismograms can inhibit accurate and unambiguous determination of source mechanisms. Furthermore, background seismicity on a glacier is typically high, especially during the melt season. Naturally occurring icequakes may therefore mask important precursory signals of break-off events, which threaten human lives and infrastructure in the valley.Using innovative seismic noise monitoring, I propose to investigate three important classes of glacial hazards, namely hanging glaciers, unstable steep glacier tongues and glacier-dammed lakes. Focusing on the continuous ambient seismic field and wave propagation of icequakes, I will monitor structural changes within hazardous glaciers to more reliably predict catastrophic failure events. This approach will harness state-of-the-art techniques from passive crustal and engineering seismology and greatly reduce the requirement for active seismic and electromagnetic sources typically used for glacier subsurface imaging. In a pioneering research effort the proposed techniques will be applied to the following mechanisms which play central roles in glacier stability: The evolution of the englacial damage state, the evolution of the subglacial drainage system of a steep glacier tongue and resonant vibrations of prone-to-fall portions of high-altitude hanging glaciers.Most parts of the proposed project will involve month-long to yearlong seismometer deployments on or near each of the three unstable glacier types. In addition, another project component will mine eleven seismic data sets from Alpine glaciers, including three multi-year deployments, to answer the question if earthquakes can remotely trigger catastrophic glacier collapses. This question has been subject to debate for decades, yet no clear quantitative information on earthquake shaking thresholds to induce significant englacial fracturing exists.In this proposal I request financial support for seismometer purchase, fieldwork logistics and the hiring of two PhD students and a part-time technician. This will allow implementing a first-of-its-kind monitoring program of unstable glaciers using only passive seismic techniques. Moreover, the proposed imaging and monitoring approaches will resolve changes of a glacier's subsurface structure at a time resolution far superior to laborious and expensive active source methods. The expected project results will not only be a crucial advance in glacier-related hazard monitoring, they will also provide new means to "look into" a glacier and study glacier ice properties. Compared to the rather heterogeneous Earth's crust, where much of the recent studies of ambient seismic noise have been performed, glacier ice is a highly homogeneous medium. The proposed investigations therefore introduce a new natural laboratory for ambient noise monitoring facilitating new method development and testing.This proposed work as an SNSF professor constitutes the exciting opportunity to continue my interdisciplinary work in glacier seismology in the context of natural hazards. Besides, I can make valuable experiences as a university-level instructor and in the supervision of a research team including two PhD students and a technician. The Laboratory of Hydrology, Hydraulics and Glaciology (VAW) of ETH Zurich is the ideal host institute as it can provide the necessary expertise on glacial hazards and fieldwork as well as additional glaciological instrumentation. The long and successful history of close collaboration between VAW and the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) furthermore makes ETH Zurich second to none in terms of expertise, existing scientific infrastructure and proximity to glacier study sites. The proposed research will thus meet ideal scientific infrastructure and advance glacier hazard monitoring at a time when the importance of seismology in glaciological research is continually growing.