Articles | Volume 11, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 11, 1311–1325, 2017

Special issue: The evolution of permafrost in mountain regions

The Cryosphere, 11, 1311–1325, 2017

Research article 06 Jun 2017

Research article | 06 Jun 2017

Numerical modelling of convective heat transport by air flow in permafrost talus slopes

Jonas Wicky and Christian Hauck

Data sets

PERMOS Database PERMOS, Swiss Permafrost Monitoring Network

Short summary
Talus slopes are a widespread geomorphic feature, which may show permafrost conditions even at low elevation due to cold microclimates induced by a gravity-driven internal air circulation. We show for the first time a numerical simulation of this internal air circulation of a field-scale talus slope. Results indicate that convective heat transfer leads to a pronounced ground cooling in the lower part of the talus slope favoring the persistence of permafrost.