University of Alaska Fairbanks logo bear University of Alaska Fairbanks

Frozen Debris Lobes

Looming over Alaska's most economically important highway

What are Frozen Debris Lobes?

Frozen debris lobes (or FDLs) are slow-moving landslides occurring in permafrost. Made up of soil, rocks, trees, and ice, many are located on the slopes in the southern Brooks Range of Alaska.

Why do we care about FDLs?

FDL-A is approaching the Dalton Highway at an increasing rate.

  • Distance to Dalton Highway on October 22, 2016: 32.3 m
  • Current average rate: 1.5 cm/day
  • Today's distance to Dalton Highway

Cross section of a Frozen Debris Lobe

Drawing: cross-section of a frozen debvris lobe

Illustration by Dan Darrow © 2014.

Press

Source: Frontier Scientists
Source: UAF Cornerstone
“Attack of the Debris Lobes”
Cartoon depicting screaming figures in foreground as frozen debris lobes approach from background
Source: KUAC radio broadcast
“Debris Lobe Threatens Dalton Highway”

View all »

FDL-inspired video productions

The inspiration for the FDL rap above is Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson (Karaoke Instrumental).

The inspiration for the FDL rap above is "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice available on iTunes.

The inspiration for the FDL rap above is "Whole Foods Parking Lot" by DJDave.