EGU24-17951, updated on 11 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Combining ERT and an orthophoto time series to investigate thaw-related landslides in the Canadian Arctic

Saskia Eppinger1, Konrad Heidler2, Hugues Lantuit3,4, and Michael Krautblatter1
Saskia Eppinger et al.
  • 1Technical University of Munich, Chair of Landslide Research, Munich, Germany (
  • 2Technical University of Munich, Chair of Data Science in Earth Observation, Munich, Germany
  • 3Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany
  • 4Institute of Geoscience, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

Retrogressive thaw slumps (RTS) are a common permafrost related landslide type in the Arctic and provide a large amount of material to coastal nearshore zone, lakes and rivers. RTS are characterized by highly dynamic changes and rapid internal processes. Along the Canadian coastline there is an increasing number of RTS documented over the last century, acting sensitive to a warming climate.

The occurrence and behaviour of these landslides is strongly dependent on the presence of ground ice, including their likelihood for polycyclicity and reactivation. To detect and evaluate the ground ice content in different activity- and stabilization stages we used electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) on several RTS on Herschel Island in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. We combined ERT profiles remeasured 10 years apart, with orthophotos since 1952 to gain a detailed insight in their long-term behaviour, the availability of ground ice and the factors controlling polycyclicity.

This study demonstrates the capacity of ERT for detecting massive ice bodies and internal changes. Combining this with a time component and orthophoto analysis, provides a unique insight into the behaviour of retrogressive thaw slumps, but also shows the need to use complimentary techniques to correctly interpret geophysical measurements.

How to cite: Eppinger, S., Heidler, K., Lantuit, H., and Krautblatter, M.: Combining ERT and an orthophoto time series to investigate thaw-related landslides in the Canadian Arctic, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-17951,, 2024.