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Icequake swarms portend some avalanches

Forecasting glacier crack-ups may be possible by keeping an ear to the ice

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5:26pm, December 3, 2010

Unless you’re eating breakfast, hearing snap, crackle, and pop may be an early warning sign of an impending avalanche. Geologists listening in on “icequakes” that rumble through glaciers have developed a model that can predict a collapse up to 15 days before it happens, the team reports in a study posted on arXiv.org.

With that kind of heads up, villages could be evacuated and roads closed in avalanche-prone areas.

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