Russia Russia Russia Russia

Avalanches, Landslides and Rock fall Russia


Landslides affect over 725 Russian cities. Among them are such major cities as Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Volgograd, Cheboksary, Saratov, Saransk, Perm, Sochi, Rostov-on-Don, Tomsk and Barnaul (6). 

Under present tendencies towards climate warming, duration of the period of mudflow danger on the northern slope of the Great Caucasus in the 21st century will increase by 47–50 days on average. The size of mudflows will become greater by 20–30% and amounts of matter forming them will also increase. The period of avalanche danger will decrease on the northern slope of the Great Caucasus in the 21st century, and the area of avalanche danger will decline at 1500–2000 m altitudes. The frequency of large catastrophic avalanches at heights more than 3000 m will increase (1).

IPCC conclusions in 2012

In 2012 the IPCC concluded that there is high confidence that changes in heat waves, glacial retreat, and/or permafrost degradation will affect high mountain phenomena such as slope instabilities, mass movements, and glacial lake outburst floods, and medium confidence that temperature-related changes will influence bedrock stability. There is also high confidence that changes in heavy precipitation will affect landslides in some regions (2). There has been an apparent increase in large rock slides during the past two decades, and especially during the first years of the 21st century in the European Alps (3) in combination with temperature increases, glacier shrinkage, and permafrost degradation.

There is medium confidence that high-mountain debris flows will begin earlier in the year because of earlier snowmelt, and that continued mountain permafrost degradation and glacier retreat will further decrease the stability of rock slopes. There is  low confidence regarding future locations and timing of large rock avalanches, as these depend on local geological conditions and other non-climatic factors (2). Research has not yet provided any clear indication of a change in the frequency of debris flows due to recent deglaciation. In the French Alps, for instance, no significant change in debris flow frequency has been observed since the 1950s in terrain above elevations of 2,200 m (4). Processes not, or not directly, driven by climate, such as sediment yield, can also be important for changes in the magnitude or frequency of alpine debris flows (5).


The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Russia.

  1. Roshydromet (2008)
  2. IPCC (2012)
  3. Ravanel and Deline (2011), in: IPCC (2012)
  4. Jomelli et al. (2004), in: IPCC (2012)
  5. Lugon and Stoffel (2010), in: IPCC (2012)
  6. Kazeev and Postoev (2017)