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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2807

Haeberli, W; Gruber, S (2008). Research challenges for permafrost in steep and cold terrain: an alpine perspective. In: 9th International Conference on Permafrost, Fairbanks, Alaska, 29 June 2008 - 3 July 2008, 597-605.



The past few decades have seen a rapid development and progress in research on permafrost in mountain areas with complex and rugged topography such as the European Alps. At the same time, it becomes increasingly clear that climate change impacts have the potential to severely affect future living conditions in areas with steep and cold terrain by influencing the chain of surface processes that link debris production via rock fall to talus/moraine formation, creep deformation of frozen deposits, and material evacuation by debris flows and fluvial transport. Key scientific challenges relate to special aspects induced by complex topography. Corresponding aspects are briefly outlined concerning the relation between the atmosphere and the permafrost in areas with highly variable snow cover and potentially strong lateral energy fluxes, permafrost thermal conditions in mountains with pronounced microclimatic asymmetries, the destabilization of steep to near-vertical rock walls and degrading permafrost, the flow and stability of ice-rich frozen debris with increasing subsurface temperature and melt water availability, interactions between glaciers and permafrost under conditions of rapid if not accelerating change, 4D-evolution of permafrost in rugged mountain topography, and hazards from permafrost slopes in densely populated high-mountain chains.



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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Event End Date:3 July 2008
Deposited On:29 Aug 2008 09:18
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:24
ISBN:978-0-9800179-2-2; 978-0-9800179-3-9
Official URL:http://www.nicop.org/index.html

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