Kenai Conversation: Scientists moving mountains to gain Barry Arm landslide data

Mar 24, 2021

Scientists have been scrambling for the last year and a half to wrap their heads around the risk posed by a potentially massive landslide on the steep slopes of Barry Arm in Prince William Sound. In a worst-case scenario a full slope failure could pummel Whittier with a tsunami wave as big as 30 feet.

State and federal researchers are working to get a better understanding of the size and factors that might cause the slope to fail, to help tsunami forecasters give boaters and coastal communities in the sound as much advance warning as possible.

Here to give us an update on that research and modeling work is Ronny Donnen, geohydrologist with Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, and Dave Snider, tsunami warning coordinator with NOAA’s National Tsunami Warning Center.

More information on the Barry Arm landslide risk can be found on DNR’s geological hazards webpage.