Published on 10 September 2021
This image, acquired by one of the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites on 6 September 2021, shows the Denali National Park (Alaska – USA), where a climate change–induced landslide caused the closure of the only road that crosses the park.
The landslide, known as the Pretty Rocks Landslide, has been active for decades, but between 21 July and 25 August 2021, it accelerated to the point that the Denali Park Road became unpassable, forcing park authorities to shut it down. The closure has completely disrupted tourism and has caused multi-million dollar damages to the local economy.
According to National Park Service experts, the cause of the landslide is climate change, which causes the melting of the permafrost on which the road is built.
Data from the Copernicus missions allow monitoring of landslide-related ground movements with millimetre accuracy.