Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
The Cryosphere, 10, 2865–2886, 2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Special issue: The evolution of permafrost in mountain regions
Research article 23 Nov 2016
Research article | 23 Nov 2016
Rock glaciers on the run – understanding rock glacier landform evolution and recent changes from numerical flow modeling
Johann Müller et al.
No articles found.
Isabelle Gärtner-Roer, Nina Brunner, Reynald Delaloye, Wilfried Haeberli, Andreas Kääb, and Patrick Thee
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Preprint under review for TCShort summary
We intensely investigated the Gruben site in the Swiss Alps, where glaciers and permafrost landforms closely interact, to better understand cold-climate environments. By the interpretation of air photos from five decades, we describe long-term developments of the existing landforms. In combination with high-resolution positioning measurements and ground-surface temperatures, we were able to link these also to short-term changes and describe different landform responses to climate forcing.
James C. Ferguson and Andreas Vieli
The Cryosphere, 15, 3377–3399,Short summary
Debris-covered glaciers have a greater extent than their debris-free counterparts due to insulation from the debris cover. However, the transient response to climate change remains poorly understood. We use a numerical model that couples ice dynamics and debris transport and varies the climate signal. We find that debris cover delays the transient response, especially for the extent. However, adding cryokarst features near the terminus greatly enhances the response.
Jan Beutel, Andreas Biri, Ben Buchli, Alessandro Cicoira, Reynald Delaloye, Reto Da Forno, Isabelle Gaertner-Roer, Stephan Gruber, Tonio Gsell, Andreas Hasler, Roman Lim, Phillipe Limpach, Raphael Mayoraz, Matthias Meyer, Jeannette Noetzli, Marcia Phillips, Eric Pointner, Hugo Raetzo, Cristian Scapoza, Tazio Strozzi, Lothar Thiele, Andreas Vieli, Daniel Vonder Mühll, Samuel Weber, and Vanessa Wirz
Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss.,
Preprint under review for ESSDShort summary
Using standard GPS receivers it is possible to track terrain movements at the sub centimeter scale. This paper documents experiments using this technique monitoring different cryosphere-related mass movement in high-alpine terrain: rock glaciers, landslides as well as steep bedrock. The data serves basic research but also decision making and mitigation of natural hazard as well as adaptation to climate change. It is the largest data set of it’s kind comprising over 209’000 daily positions.
Adrien Wehrlé, Martin P. Lüthi, Andrea Walter, Guillaume Jouvet, and Andreas Vieli
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Preprint under review for TCShort summary
We developed a novel automated method for the detection and the quantification of ocean waves generated by glacier calving. This method was applied to data recorded with a terrestrial radar interferometer at Eqip Sermia, Greenland. Results show a high calving activity at the glacier front sector ending in deep water linked with more frequent meltwater plumes. This suggests that rising subglacial meltwater plumes strongly affect glacier calving in deep water, but weakly in shallow water.
Ethan Welty, Michael Zemp, Francisco Navarro, Matthias Huss, Johannes J. Fürst, Isabelle Gärtner-Roer, Johannes Landmann, Horst Machguth, Kathrin Naegeli, Liss M. Andreassen, Daniel Farinotti, Huilin Li, and GlaThiDa Contributors
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 12, 3039–3055,Short summary
Knowing the thickness of glacier ice is critical for predicting the rate of glacier loss and the myriad downstream impacts. To facilitate forecasts of future change, we have added 3 million measurements to our worldwide database of glacier thickness: 14 % of global glacier area is now within 1 km of a thickness measurement (up from 6 %). To make it easier to update and monitor the quality of our database, we have used automated tools to check and track changes to the data over time.
Isabelle Gärtner-Roer and Christoph Graf
Geogr. Helv., 75, 135–137,
Andrea Walter, Martin P. Lüthi, and Andreas Vieli
The Cryosphere, 14, 1051–1066,Short summary
Glacier calving plays a key role in the dynamic mass loss of ocean-terminating glaciers in Greenland. Source areas and volumes of 900 individual calving events were analysed for size and timing related to environmental forcings. We found that calving volume distribution and style vary along the calving front and are controlled by the water depth and front geometry. We suggest that in deep water both oceanic melt and subaquatic calving contribute substantially to the frontal mass loss.
Michael Zemp, Matthias Huss, Nicolas Eckert, Emmanuel Thibert, Frank Paul, Samuel U. Nussbaumer, and Isabelle Gärtner-Roer
The Cryosphere, 14, 1043–1050,Short summary
Comprehensive assessments of global glacier mass changes have been published at multi-annual intervals, typically in IPCC reports. For the years in between, we present an approach to infer timely but preliminary estimates of global-scale glacier mass changes from glaciological observations. These ad hoc estimates for 2017/18 indicate that annual glacier contributions to sea-level rise exceeded 1 mm sea-level equivalent, which corresponds to more than a quarter of the currently observed rise.
Guillaume Jouvet, Eef van Dongen, Martin P. Lüthi, and Andreas Vieli
Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., 9, 1–10,Short summary
We report the first-ever in situ measurements of ice flow motion using a remotely controlled drone. We used a quadcopter to land on a highly crevassed area of Eqip Sermia Glacier, Greenland. The drone measured 70 cm of ice displacement over more than 4 h thanks to an accurate onboard GPS. Our study demonstrates that drones have great potential for geoscientists, especially to deploy sensors in hostile environments such as glaciers.
Christoph Rohner, David Small, Jan Beutel, Daniel Henke, Martin P. Lüthi, and Andreas Vieli
The Cryosphere, 13, 2953–2975,Short summary
The recent increase in ice flow and calving rates of ocean–terminating glaciers contributes substantially to the mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Using in situ reference observations, we validate the satellite–based method of iterative offset tracking of Sentinel–1A data for deriving flow speeds. Our investigations highlight the importance of spatial resolution near the fast–flowing calving front, resulting in significantly higher ice velocities compared to large–scale operational products.
Samuel Weber, Jan Beutel, Reto Da Forno, Alain Geiger, Stephan Gruber, Tonio Gsell, Andreas Hasler, Matthias Keller, Roman Lim, Philippe Limpach, Matthias Meyer, Igor Talzi, Lothar Thiele, Christian Tschudin, Andreas Vieli, Daniel Vonder Mühll, and Mustafa Yücel
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 11, 1203–1237,Short summary
In this paper, we describe a unique 10-year or more data record obtained from in situ measurements in steep bedrock permafrost in an Alpine environment on the Matterhorn Hörnligrat, Zermatt, Switzerland, at 3500 m a.s.l. By documenting and sharing these data in this form, we contribute to facilitating future research based on them, e.g., in the area of analysis methodology, comparative studies, assessment of change in the environment, natural hazard warning and the development of process models.
Jérome Faillettaz, Martin Funk, Jan Beutel, and Andreas Vieli
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1399–1413,Short summary
We developed a new strategy for real-time early warning of gravity-driven slope failures (such as landslides, rockfalls, glacier break-off, etc.). This method enables us to investigate natural slope stability based on continuous monitoring and interpretation of seismic waves generated by the potential instability. Thanks to a pilot experiment, we detected typical patterns of precursory events prior to slide events, demonstrating the potential of this method for real-word applications.
Nico Mölg, Tobias Bolch, Andrea Walter, and Andreas Vieli
The Cryosphere, 13, 1889–1909,Short summary
Debris can partly protect glaciers from melting. But many debris-covered glaciers change similar to debris-free glaciers. To better understand the debris influence we investigated 150 years of evolution of Zmutt Glacier in Switzerland. We found an increase in debris extent over time and a link to glacier flow velocity changes. We also found an influence of debris on the melt locally, but only a small volume change reduction over the whole glacier, also because of the influence of ice cliffs.
Alessandro Cicoira, Jan Beutel, Jérome Faillettaz, Isabelle Gärtner-Roer, and Andreas Vieli
The Cryosphere, 13, 927–942,Short summary
Rock glacier flow varies on multiple timescales. The variations have been linked to climatic forcing, but a quantitative understanding is still missing. We use a 1-D numerical modelling approach coupling heat conduction to a creep model in order to study the influence of temperature variations on rock glacier flow. Our results show that heat conduction alone cannot explain the observed variations. Other processes, likely linked to water, must dominate the short-term velocity signal.
Rémy Mercenier, Martin P. Lüthi, and Andreas Vieli
The Cryosphere, 12, 721–739,Short summary
This study investigates the effect of geometrical properties on the stress state and flow regime in the vicinity of the calving front of grounded tidewater glaciers. Our analysis shows that the stress state for simple geometries can be determined solely by the water depth relative to ice thickness. This scaled relationship allows for a simple parametrization to predict calving rates of grounded tidewater glaciers that is simple, physics-based and in good agreement with observations.
Florian Frank, Brian W. McArdell, Nicole Oggier, Patrick Baer, Marc Christen, and Andreas Vieli
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 801–815,Short summary
This study describes a sensitivity analysis of the RAMMS debris-flow entrainment model, which is intended to help solve problems related to predicting the runout of debris flows. The results indicate that the entrainment model predicts plausible erosion volumes in comparison with field data. These eroded volumes are sensitive to the initial landslide volume, suggesting that this tool may be useful for both reconstruction of historical events and modeling of debris flow scenarios.
Samuel Weber, Jan Beutel, Jérome Faillettaz, Andreas Hasler, Michael Krautblatter, and Andreas Vieli
The Cryosphere, 11, 567–583,Short summary
We present a 8-year continuous time series of measured fracture kinematics and thermal conditions on steep permafrost bedrock at Hörnligrat, Matterhorn. Based on this unique dataset and a conceptual model for strong fractured bedrock, we develop a novel quantitative approach that allows to separate reversible from irreversible fracture kinematics and assign the dominant forcing. A new index of irreversibility provides useful indication for the occurrence and timing of irreversible displacements.
Martin P. Lüthi and Andreas Vieli
The Cryosphere, 10, 995–1002,Short summary
Glaciers flowing into the ocean sometimes release huge pieces of ice and cause violent tsunami waves which, upon landfall, can cause severe destruction. During an exceptionally well-documented event at Eqip Sermia, west Greenland, the collapse of a 200 m high ice cliff caused a tsunami wave of 50 m height, traveling at a speed exceeding 100 km h−1. This tsunami wave was filmed from a tour boat, and was simultaneously observed with several instruments, as was the run-up of 15 m on the shore.
V. Wirz, S. Gruber, R. S. Purves, J. Beutel, I. Gärtner-Roer, S. Gubler, and A. Vieli
Earth Surf. Dynam., 4, 103–123,
F. Frank, B. W. McArdell, C. Huggel, and A. Vieli
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 2569–2583,Short summary
The sudden onset of large and erosive debris flows has been observed recently in different catchments in Switzerland, implicating the importance of erosion for debris flow modelling. Therefore, an erosion model was established based on field data (relationship between maximum shear stress and erosion depth and rate) of several debris flows measured at the Illgraben. Erosion model tests at the Spreitgraben showed considerable improvements in runout pattern as well as hydrograph propagation.
E. M. Enderlin, I. M. Howat, and A. Vieli
The Cryosphere, 7, 1579–1590,
E. M. Enderlin, I. M. Howat, and A. Vieli
The Cryosphere, 7, 1007–1015,
Related subject area
GeomorphologyHigh-resolution inventory to capture glacier disintegration in the Austrian SilvrettaRecent degradation of interior Alaska permafrost mapped with ground surveys, geophysics, deep drilling, and repeat airborne lidarThaw-driven mass wasting couples slopes with downstream systems, and effects propagate through Arctic drainage networksFormation of ribbed bedforms below shear margins and lobes of palaeo-ice streamsIce content and interannual water storage changes of an active rock glacier in the dry Andes of ArgentinaInsights into a remote cryosphere: a multi-method approach to assess permafrost occurrence at the Qugaqie basin, western Nyainqêntanglha Range, Tibetan PlateauA quasi-annual record of time-transgressive esker formation: implications for ice-sheet reconstruction and subglacial hydrologyPermafrost distribution and conditions at the headwalls of two receding glaciers (Schladming and Hallstatt glaciers) in the Dachstein Massif, Northern Calcareous Alps, AustriaRock glacier characteristics serve as an indirect record of multiple alpine glacier advances in Taylor Valley, AntarcticaIce-stream flow switching by up-ice propagation of instabilities along glacial marginal troughsEvaluating the destabilization susceptibility of active rock glaciers in the French AlpsGlacial and geomorphic effects of a supraglacial lake drainage and outburst event, Everest region, Nepal HimalayaBasal control of supraglacial meltwater catchments on the Greenland Ice SheetHow dynamic are ice-stream beds?Subglacial drainage patterns of Devon Island, Canada: detailed comparison of rivers and subglacial meltwater channelsSub-seasonal thaw slump mass wasting is not consistently energy limited at the landscape scaleDetermining the terrain characteristics related to the surface expression of subsurface water pressurization in permafrost landscapes using susceptibility modellingPermafrost distribution modelling in the semi-arid Chilean AndesInternal structure of two alpine rock glaciers investigated by quasi-3-D electrical resistivity imagingModeling debris-covered glaciers: response to steady debris depositionThe geomorphological effect of cornice fall avalanches in the Longyeardalen valley, SvalbardAn improved bathymetry compilation for the Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica, to inform ice-sheet and ocean models
Andrea Fischer, Gabriele Schwaizer, Bernd Seiser, Kay Helfricht, and Martin Stocker-Waldhuber
The Cryosphere, 15, 4637–4654,Short summary
Eastern Alpine glaciers have been receding since the Little Ice Age maximum, but until now the majority of glacier margins could be delineated unambiguously. Today the outlines of totally debris-covered glacier ice are fuzzy and raise the discussion if these features are still glaciers. We investigated the fate of glacier remnants with high-resolution elevation models, analyzing also thickness changes in buried ice. In the past 13 years, the 46 glaciers of Silvretta lost one-third of their area.
Thomas A. Douglas, Christopher A. Hiemstra, John E. Anderson, Robyn A. Barbato, Kevin L. Bjella, Elias J. Deeb, Arthur B. Gelvin, Patricia E. Nelsen, Stephen D. Newman, Stephanie P. Saari, and Anna M. Wagner
The Cryosphere, 15, 3555–3575,Short summary
Permafrost is actively degrading across high latitudes due to climate warming. We combined thousands of end-of-summer active layer measurements, permafrost temperatures, geophysical surveys, deep borehole drilling, and repeat airborne lidar to quantify permafrost warming and thawing at sites across central Alaska. We calculate the mass of permafrost soil carbon potentially exposed to thaw over the past 7 years (0.44 Pg) is similar to the yearly carbon dioxide emissions of Australia.
Steven V. Kokelj, Justin Kokoszka, Jurjen van der Sluijs, Ashley C. A. Rudy, Jon Tunnicliffe, Sarah Shakil, Suzanne E. Tank, and Scott Zolkos
The Cryosphere, 15, 3059–3081,Short summary
Climate-driven landslides are transforming glacially conditioned permafrost terrain, coupling slopes with aquatic systems, and triggering a cascade of downstream effects. Nonlinear intensification of thawing slopes is primarily affecting headwater systems where slope sediment yields overwhelm stream transport capacity. The propagation of effects across watershed scales indicates that western Arctic Canada will be an interconnected hotspot of thaw-driven change through the coming millennia.
Jean Vérité, Édouard Ravier, Olivier Bourgeois, Stéphane Pochat, Thomas Lelandais, Régis Mourgues, Christopher D. Clark, Paul Bessin, David Peigné, and Nigel Atkinson
The Cryosphere, 15, 2889–2916,Short summary
Subglacial bedforms are commonly used to reconstruct past glacial dynamics and investigate processes occuring at the ice–bed interface. Using analogue modelling and geomorphological mapping, we demonstrate that ridges with undulating crests, known as subglacial ribbed bedforms, are ubiquitous features along ice stream corridors. These bedforms provide a tantalizing glimpse into (1) the former positions of ice stream margins, (2) the ice lobe dynamics and (3) the meltwater drainage efficiency.
Christian Halla, Jan Henrik Blöthe, Carla Tapia Baldis, Dario Trombotto Liaudat, Christin Hilbich, Christian Hauck, and Lothar Schrott
The Cryosphere, 15, 1187–1213,Short summary
In the semi-arid to arid Andes of Argentina, rock glaciers contain invisible and unknown amounts of ground ice that could become more important in future for the water availability during the dry season. The study shows that the investigated rock glacier represents an important long-term ice reservoir in the dry mountain catchment and that interannual changes of ground ice can store and release significant amounts of annual precipitation.
Johannes Buckel, Eike Reinosch, Andreas Hördt, Fan Zhang, Björn Riedel, Markus Gerke, Antje Schwalb, and Roland Mäusbacher
The Cryosphere, 15, 149–168,Short summary
This study presents insights into the remote cryosphere of a mountain range at the Tibetan Plateau. Small-scaled studies and field data about permafrost occurrence are very scarce. A multi-method approach (geomorphological mapping, geophysics, InSAR time series analysis) assesses the lower occurrence of permafrost the range of 5350 and 5500 m above sea level (a.s.l.) in the Qugaqie basin. The highest, multiannual creeping rates up to 150 mm/yr are observed on rock glaciers.
Stephen J. Livingstone, Emma L. M. Lewington, Chris D. Clark, Robert D. Storrar, Andrew J. Sole, Isabelle McMartin, Nico Dewald, and Felix Ng
The Cryosphere, 14, 1989–2004,Short summary
We map series of aligned mounds (esker beads) across central Nunavut, Canada. Mounds are interpreted to have formed roughly annually as sediment carried by subglacial rivers is deposited at the ice margin. Chains of mounds are formed as the ice retreats. This high-resolution (annual) record allows us to constrain the pace of ice retreat, sediment fluxes, and the style of drainage through time. In particular, we suggest that eskers in general record a composite signature of ice-marginal drainage.
Matthias Rode, Oliver Sass, Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Harald Schnepfleitner, and Christoph Gitschthaler
The Cryosphere, 14, 1173–1186,
Kelsey Winsor, Kate M. Swanger, Esther Babcock, Rachel D. Valletta, and James L. Dickson
The Cryosphere, 14, 1–16,Short summary
We studied an ice-cored rock glacier in Taylor Valley, Antarctica, coupling ground-penetrating radar analyses with stable isotope and major ion geochemistry of (a) surface ponds and (b) buried clean ice. These analyses indicate that the rock glacier ice is fed by a nearby alpine glacier, recording multiple Holocene to late Pleistocene glacial advances. We demonstrate the potential to use rock glaciers and buried ice, common throughout Antarctica, to map previous glacial extents.
Etienne Brouard and Patrick Lajeunesse
The Cryosphere, 13, 981–996,Short summary
Modifications in ice-stream networks have major impacts on ice sheet mass balance and global sea level. However, the mechanisms controlling ice-stream switching remain poorly understood. We report a flow switch in an ice-stream system that occurred on the Baffin Island shelf through the erosion of a marginal trough. Up-ice propagation of ice streams through marginal troughs can lead to the piracy of neighboring ice catchments, which induces an adjacent ice-stream switch and shutdown.
Marco Marcer, Charlie Serrano, Alexander Brenning, Xavier Bodin, Jason Goetz, and Philippe Schoeneich
The Cryosphere, 13, 141–155,Short summary
This study aims to assess the occurrence of rock glacier destabilization in the French Alps, a process that causes a landslide-like behaviour of permafrost debris slopes. A significant number of the landforms in the region were found to be experiencing destabilization. Multivariate analysis suggested a link between destabilization occurrence and permafrost thaw induced by climate warming. These results call for a regional characterization of permafrost hazards in the context of climate change.
Evan S. Miles, C. Scott Watson, Fanny Brun, Etienne Berthier, Michel Esteves, Duncan J. Quincey, Katie E. Miles, Bryn Hubbard, and Patrick Wagnon
The Cryosphere, 12, 3891–3905,Short summary
We use high-resolution satellite imagery and field visits to assess the growth and drainage of a lake on Changri Shar Glacier in the Everest region, and its impact. The lake filled and drained within 3 months, which is a shorter interval than would be detected by standard monitoring protocols, but forced re-routing of major trails in several locations. The water appears to have flowed beneath Changri Shar and Khumbu glaciers in an efficient manner, suggesting pre-existing developed flow paths.
Josh Crozier, Leif Karlstrom, and Kang Yang
The Cryosphere, 12, 3383–3407,Short summary
Understanding ice sheet surface meltwater routing is important for modeling and predicting ice sheet evolution. We determined that bed topography underlying the Greenland Ice Sheet is the primary influence on 1–10 km scale ice surface topography, and on drainage-basin-scale surface meltwater routing. We provide a simple means of predicting the response of surface meltwater routing to changing ice flow conditions and explore the implications of this for subglacial hydrology.
Damon Davies, Robert G. Bingham, Edward C. King, Andrew M. Smith, Alex M. Brisbourne, Matteo Spagnolo, Alastair G. C. Graham, Anna E. Hogg, and David G. Vaughan
The Cryosphere, 12, 1615–1628,Short summary
This paper investigates the dynamics of ice stream beds using repeat geophysical surveys of the bed of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica; 60 km of the bed was surveyed, comprising the most extensive repeat ground-based geophysical surveys of an Antarctic ice stream; 90 % of the surveyed bed shows no significant change despite the glacier increasing in speed by up to 40 % over the last decade. This result suggests that ice stream beds are potentially more stable than previously suggested.
Anna Grau Galofre, A. Mark Jellinek, Gordon R. Osinski, Michael Zanetti, and Antero Kukko
The Cryosphere, 12, 1461–1478,Short summary
Water accumulated at the base of ice sheets is the main driver of glacier acceleration and loss of ice mass in Arctic regions. Previously glaciated landscapes sculpted by this water carry information about how ice sheets collapse and ultimately disappear. The search for these landscapes took us to the high Arctic, to explore channels that formed under kilometers of ice during the last ice age. In this work we describe how subglacial channels look and how they helped to drain an ice sheet.
Simon Zwieback, Steven V. Kokelj, Frank Günther, Julia Boike, Guido Grosse, and Irena Hajnsek
The Cryosphere, 12, 549–564,Short summary
We analyse elevation losses at thaw slumps, at which icy sediments are exposed. As ice requires a large amount of energy to melt, one would expect that mass wasting is governed by the available energy. However, we observe very little mass wasting in June, despite the ample energy supply. Also, in summer, mass wasting is not always energy limited. This highlights the importance of other processes, such as the formation of a protective veneer, in shaping mass wasting at sub-seasonal scales.
Jean E. Holloway, Ashley C. A. Rudy, Scott F. Lamoureux, and Paul M. Treitz
The Cryosphere, 11, 1403–1415,Short summary
Below ground pressurization occurs when there is more moisture in the soil pores than normal, and it can potentially result in landscape degradation. We mapped features that are caused by this overpressurization and generated susceptibility maps to find other areas on the landscape that could be susceptible in the future. The susceptibility maps identified areas that may be sensitive to pressurization and help improve our understanding of potentially hazardous permafrost degradation.
Guillermo F. Azócar, Alexander Brenning, and Xavier Bodin
The Cryosphere, 11, 877–890,Short summary
We present in this work a new statistical permafrost distribution model that provided a more detailed, locally adjusted insights into mountain permafrost distribution in the semi-arid Chilean Andes. The results indicate conditions favorable for permafrost presence, can be present in up to about 6.8 % of the study area (1051 km2), especially in the Elqui and Huasco watersheds. This kind of methodological approach used in this research can be replicable in another parts of the Andes.
Adrian Emmert and Christof Kneisel
The Cryosphere, 11, 841–855,Short summary
We investigated the internal structure of two alpine rock glaciers to derive information on their development. Through a 3-D mapping of the electrical resistivity distribution of the subsurface, we could detect variations of ice content and delimit frozen and unfrozen structures. Our study shows that the development of the investigated rock glaciers is influenced by not only creep processes and remnant ice from past glaciations but also recently buried ice patches and refreezing meltwater.
Leif S. Anderson and Robert S. Anderson
The Cryosphere, 10, 1105–1124,Short summary
Mountains erode and shed rocks down slope. When these rocks (debris) fall on glacier ice they can suppress ice melt. By protecting glaciers from melt, debris can make glaciers extend to lower elevations. Using mathematical models of glaciers and debris deposition, we find that debris can more than double the length of glaciers. The amount of debris deposited on the glacier, which scales with mountain height and steepness, is the most important control on debris-covered glacier length and volume.
M. Eckerstorfer, H. H. Christiansen, L. Rubensdotter, and S. Vogel
The Cryosphere, 7, 1361–1374,
A. G. C. Graham, F. O. Nitsche, and R. D. Larter
The Cryosphere, 5, 95–106,
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Rock glaciers are landforms indicative of permafrost creep and received considerable attention concerning their dynamical and thermal changes. We use a holistic approach to analyze and model the current and long-term dynamical development of two rock glaciers in the Swiss Alps. The modeling results show the impact of variations in temperature and sediment–ice supply on rock glacier evolution and describe proceeding signs of degradation due to climate warming.
Rock glaciers are landforms indicative of permafrost creep and received considerable attention...