Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-77
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-77

  14 Apr 2021

14 Apr 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Multi-decadal (1953–2017) rock glacier morphodynamics analysed by high-resolution topographic data in the Upper Kauner Valley, Austria

Fabian Fleischer1, Florian Haas1, Livia Piermattei2, Madlene Pfeiffer3, Tobias Heckmann1, Moritz Altmann1, Jakob Rom1, Manuel Stark1, Michael H. Wimmer4, Norbert Pfeifer4, and Michael Becht1 Fabian Fleischer et al.
  • 1Chair of Physical Geography, Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, 95072 Eichstätt, Germany
  • 2Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, 0316 Oslo, Norway
  • 3Institute of Geography, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
  • 4Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, TU Wien, 1040 Vienna, Austria

Abstract. Permafrost is being degraded worldwide due to the change in external forcing caused by climate change. This has also been shown to affect the morphodynamics of active rock glaciers. We studied these changes, depending on the analysis, on nine or eight active rock glaciers with different characteristics in multiple epochs between 1953 and 2017 in Kauner Valley, Austria. A combination of historical aerial photographs and airborne laser scanning data and their derivatives are used to analyse surface movement and 3D displacements. In general, the studied landforms show a significant acceleration of varying magnitude in the epoch 1997–2006 and a volume loss to varying degrees throughout the investigation period. Besides, we detect rock glaciers that show indication of inactivation. By analysing meteorological data (temperature, precipitation and snow cover onset and duration), we are able to identify possible links to these external forcing parameters. The combined investigation of horizontal and vertical 3D displacements shows that these are temporally decoupled on some rock glaciers. The catchment-wide survey further reveals that, despite the general trend, timing, magnitude and temporal peaks of morphodynamic changes indicate a slightly different sensitivity, response or response time of individual rock glaciers to fluctuations and changes in external forcing parameters.

Fabian Fleischer et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-77', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 May 2021
    • RC2: 'Reply on RC1', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 Jun 2021
      • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Fabian Fleischer, 26 Jul 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Fabian Fleischer, 26 Jul 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on tc-2021-77', Anonymous Referee #3, 29 Jun 2021
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Fabian Fleischer, 26 Jul 2021

Fabian Fleischer et al.

Fabian Fleischer et al.

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Short summary
We investigate the long-term (1953–2017) morphodynamic changes of rock glaciers in Kauner Valley, Austria. Using a combination of historical aerial photographs and laser scanning data we derive information on flow velocities and 3D displacements. We observe a loss of volume and an acceleration from the late 1990s onwards. We explain this by changes in the meteorological forcing. Individual rock glaciers react to these changes to varying degrees and with slightly different timing.