Slushflows are gravity driven mass flows consisting of a mixture of water and snow. They are observed globally in areas where a seasonal snow cover does occur. In maritime climate rain and snowmelt both contribute to the water needed to release slushflows, while intensive melting in springtime dominates in continental climates. Both processes may lead to a rapid increase of the water content in the snow cover. The bonds between individual snow crystals are weakened by the free water and the entire snowpack may become an unstable mixture of snow and water.

Slush flow release

Slushflows are destructive natural phenomena. Once a slushflow is released it often destroys everything in its path due to its high velocities and densities. Slushflow can erode and entrain significant amounts of sediments and rocks on their way. Therefore, they are often misclassified as debris flows or torrents, since their depositions may show similar features, once the snow and ice has melted.

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The Circum - Arctic Slushflow Network wants to provide you on these pages with information on new slushflow events, observation guidelines for the documentation of slush flows and an updated literature list of publications relevant for slushflows. Everyone interested in the work of the network is encouraged to contact us by sending us an e-mail to casn@ngi.no.

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