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Observations and considerations on destabilizing active rock glaciers in the European Alps


Roer, I; Haeberli, W; Avian, M; Kaufmann, V; Delaloye, R; Lambiel, C; Kääb, A (2008). Observations and considerations on destabilizing active rock glaciers in the European Alps. In: 9th International Conference on Permafrost, Fairbanks, Alaska, 29 June 2008 - 3 July 2008, 1505-1510.

Abstract

In many high mountain regions, warming of perennially frozen ground in both coarse debris and rock walls has a major influence on slope stability. In this context, indications of destabilizing active rock glaciers, such as high horizontal velocities (up to 4 ma-1), front advance rates of up to 4 ma-1, and development of crevasse-like cracks (up to 14 m deep), have been documented and monitored in the Alps for a few years. Beside the limited knowledge of rock glacier dynamics, our principle hypothesis is that the primary factors controlling the development of cracks and the destabilization of rock glacier tongues are the rheological properties of warming ice. In addition, we postulate that hydrological effects of unfrozen water within the active layer, the permafrost body, or at its base may contribute to the initiation of the slide-like mass wasting.

Abstract

In many high mountain regions, warming of perennially frozen ground in both coarse debris and rock walls has a major influence on slope stability. In this context, indications of destabilizing active rock glaciers, such as high horizontal velocities (up to 4 ma-1), front advance rates of up to 4 ma-1, and development of crevasse-like cracks (up to 14 m deep), have been documented and monitored in the Alps for a few years. Beside the limited knowledge of rock glacier dynamics, our principle hypothesis is that the primary factors controlling the development of cracks and the destabilization of rock glacier tongues are the rheological properties of warming ice. In addition, we postulate that hydrological effects of unfrozen water within the active layer, the permafrost body, or at its base may contribute to the initiation of the slide-like mass wasting.

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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
Language:English
Event End Date:3 July 2008
Deposited On:22 Jan 2009 16:42
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 15:18
ISBN:978-0-9800179-3-9
Official URL:http://www.blue-europa.org/nicop_proceedings/6%20Vol%202%20(1281-1530).pdf
Related URLs:http://www.nicop.org/index.html

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