Unstable Mountain Slope in Barry Arm, Prince William Sound, Chugach National For
Unstable Mountain Slope in Barry Arm, Prince William Sound, Chugach National Forest
Due to potential hazards of a recently discovered unstable mountain slope of Barry Glacier in Barry Arm in Prince William Sound, the Chugach NF recommends the public review safety considerations and risks before recreating or conducting business in the area.
A multi-institute working group of scientists shared preliminary studies showing the unstable mountain slope above the toe of Barry Glacier in Barry Arm that has the potential to fail and generate a tsunami. A minor failure of the slope may not produce significant impacts beyond the inner area of the fiord. The effects of a complete failure of the slope and the resulting tsunami could be severe near where the slide enters the water at the head of Barry Arm and could be destructive throughout Barry Arm, Harriman Fiord, and parts of Port Wells. The working group of scientists suggest a landslide-generated tsunami could happen within the next year, and likely within 20 years. The working group issued a letter with their preliminary study summary.
The Forest Service is working with agency partners including United States Geological Survey, the Alaska State Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Association, and other partners conducting research on the potential slide. Specifically, the Forest Service will likely facilitate the permitting and installation of remote sensing equipment so that researchers can learn more about the geology of the area, slide potential, and possible impacts.