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Mountain permafrost and recent Alpine rock-fall events: a GIS-based approach to determine critical factors


Noetzli, J; Hoelzle, M; Haeberli, W (2003). Mountain permafrost and recent Alpine rock-fall events: a GIS-based approach to determine critical factors. In: Phillips, M; et al. Permafrost: proceedings of the eighth International Conference on Permafrost. Lisse, The Netherlands: Balkema Publishers, 827-832.

Abstract

Glacier retreat and permafrost changes, as related to climate change, are supposed to affect sta- bility conditions of steep rock walls in cold mountain ranges. Several rock-fall events, which have occurred in the European Alps during the 20th century, are possibly related to warm permafrost. This study undertakes a systematic parameterization of rock-fall events in order to increase information about thermal and topographic conditions under which rock instabilities develop in areas of mountain permafrost. Thermal conditions of historically documented starting zones are parameterized by applying either empirical rules or GIS-based spatial models; slope is derived from DTMs. Despite the relatively small number of events documented so far (around 20), the first results presented clearly indicate that the factor ‘permafrost’ must be considered in con- nection with rock-falls from high mountain slopes.

Glacier retreat and permafrost changes, as related to climate change, are supposed to affect sta- bility conditions of steep rock walls in cold mountain ranges. Several rock-fall events, which have occurred in the European Alps during the 20th century, are possibly related to warm permafrost. This study undertakes a systematic parameterization of rock-fall events in order to increase information about thermal and topographic conditions under which rock instabilities develop in areas of mountain permafrost. Thermal conditions of historically documented starting zones are parameterized by applying either empirical rules or GIS-based spatial models; slope is derived from DTMs. Despite the relatively small number of events documented so far (around 20), the first results presented clearly indicate that the factor ‘permafrost’ must be considered in con- nection with rock-falls from high mountain slopes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2003
Deposited On:16 Apr 2010 11:52
Last Modified:14 Sep 2016 13:42
Publisher:Balkema Publishers
Number:2
ISBN:90-5809-585-1
Related URLs:http://www.recherche-portal.ch/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?fn=search&mode=Advanced&vid=ZAD&vl%28186672378UI0%29=isbn&vl%281UI0%29=contains&vl%28freeText0%29=90-5809-585-1
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-33321

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