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Geographica Helvetica
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Volume 65, issue 2
Geogr. Helv., 65, 135-145, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-65-135-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Geogr. Helv., 65, 135-145, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-65-135-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  30 Jun 2010

30 Jun 2010

Overview of rock glacier kinematics research in the Swiss Alps

R. Delaloye1, C. Lambiel2, and I. Gärtner-Roer3 R. Delaloye et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, Geography, University of Fribourg, Chemin du Musée 4, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Geography, University of Lausanne, Quartier Dorigny, Bâtiment Anthropole, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 3Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract. The acceleration of rock glacier surface velocities over the two last decades and the destabilization of several landforms show that permafrost creep conditions are changing in the Alps. This article summarizes and presents current understanding of creep behaviour of rock glaciers in the Swiss Alps and emphasises changes that have occurred over the last years and decades. The almost homogeneous interannual behaviour of rock glaciers despite different geometry and activity rates indicates a common dependence on external climatic factors (summer air temperature, seasonal snowcover development) which govern changes observed in rock glacier creep rate. The article highlights ongoing efforts to document interannual variations of rock glacier kinematics for the whole area of the Swiss Alps.

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