Completed projects

CRYOSUB: Mountain Cryosphere Subgrid Parameterization and Computation

Funding:

SNF [2009–2012]

GIUZ PI:

S. Gruber

Project PIs:

S. Gruber & W. Haeberli (UZH), M. Hoelzle (UniFR)

GIUZ Staff

J. Fiddes

Keywords:

Land surface modeling, sub-grid methods, cryosphere, permafrost, snow, mass balance

links:

Research database

Geographic focus:

Testing in Switzerland, aimed at application worldwide

In this project, we develop and test a sub-grid method to run physics-based mountain cryosphere models efficiently over large regions to provide scenarios of future environments. This is important to leverage advances in process-based modeling for heterogeneous phenomena such as permafrost – especially in mountain areas.

 

NELAK: New Lakes in Deglaciating High-Mountain Regions – Climate-Related Development and Cahllenges for Sustainable Use

Funding:

SNF [2010-2011]

GIUZ PI:

W. Haeberli

Project PIs:

 

GIUZ Staff

C. Huggel, M. Künzler

Keywords:

glaciers, lakes, climate change, natural hazards, tourism, hydropower, high mountains

links:

Research database
Project website

Geographic focus:

Entire Swiss Alps

New lakes forming as a consequence of anticipated atmospheric warming and glacier vanishing scenarios are modeled and assessed with respect to aspects of natural hazards, hydropower production, tourism, landscape protection and related legal questions.

 

PERMASENSE: Wireless sensing in high Alpine environments

Funding:

NCCR MICS and FOEN [2006–2013]

GIUZ PI:

S. Gruber

Project PIs:

L. Thiele & J. Beutel (ETHZ), S. Gruber (UZH), C. Tschudin (UBasel)

GIUZ Staff

A. Hasler, S. Gubler, S. Gruber

Keywords:

Permafrost, rock instability, advective heat flux, measurement, wireless sensor networks, electronic engineering, modeling, cryosphere, acoustic emission

links:

Research database
Project website

Geographic focus:

Matterhorn and Jungraujoch

Permasense is a consortium of several individual projects linking electronic engineering and high-mountain research. In this project, wireless sensing infrastructure suitable for autonomous long-term operation in high-mountain environments is developed, tested, deployed and operated. Geo-science research addresses cryogenice rock movement, temperature and moisture dynamics in rock, weathering and fracturing of rock and its spatio-temporal patterns, and the understanding of snow cover variability.

 

PermaNET consulting

Funding:

Sub-contracting for diverse German, Austrian, Italian and Swiss public institutions [2008–2012]

GIUZ PI:

S. Gruber & J. Nötzli

Project PIs:

 

GIUZ Staff

L. Böckli, J. Nötzli, C. Gschwend, S. Gruber

Keywords:

Permafrost map, permafrost monitoring, permafrost modeling, stakeholder involvement

links:

Research database

Geographic focus:

The entire Alps; additionally local sites at Zugspitze (D), National Park Berchtesgaden (D), Hoher Sonnblick (AT), and the regions of Alto Adige and Veneto (I).

In this project, research results concerning permafrost are leveraged for stakeholders and government agencies. On one hand, a coherent permafrost map for the entire Alps is developed and produced based on an inventory of evidences, statistical modeling and remote sensing products. On the other hand, detailed two- and three-dimensional transient model experiments are carried out for focus areas. Investigations are related with the Interreg AlpieSpace Project PermaNET.

 

PERMOS: Swiss Permafrost Monitoring Network

Funding:

MeteoSwiss through its Swiss GCOS Office, FOEN, SCNAT [2007–2010]

GIUZ PI:

J. Nötzli

Project PIs:

 

GIUZ Staff

I. Gärtner-Roer, S. Gruber, C. Hilbich, J. Nötzli

Keywords:

mountain permafrost monitoring, borehole temperatures, ground surface temperatures, ERT, kinematics

links:

Research database
Project website

Geographic focus:

Swiss Alps, 14 borehole sites, 13 rock glaciers

The PERMOS Network aims at documenting the state and changes of mountain permafrost in the Swiss Alps on a long-term basis using measurements of ground temperatures, electrical resistivities and kinematics. The GIUZ hosts the coordination office of the PERMOS Network, and is at the same time one of the six partner institutes from academia, which maintain the observation sites and are responsible for data acquisition and processing.

 

SPCC2 – GO4ICE: Geophysical observation and 4-phase modeling of ice content evolution

Funding:

DFG [2008–2011]

GIUZ PI:

C. Hilbich

Project PIs:

 

GIUZ Staff

C. Hilbich

Keywords:

geophysical monitoring, mountain permafrost, ice content

links:

Research database
SPCC2
Project website

Geographic focus:

Swiss Alps: Schilthorn (Bernese Alps), Stockhorn (Valais), Lapires (Valais), Murtèl (Grison)

The DFG-funded research cluster SPCC aims at analysing the sensitivity of mountain permafrost to climate change by bridging the gap between climate simulations, spatio-temporal surface and subsurface characteristics and the response of landforms to these changes. In the sub-project GO4ICE geophysically based monitoring techniques are developed to quantify the composition of the subsurface material in high alpine permafrost terrain, and in particular the ice content evolution in both spatial and temporal dimension. Within a permanently installed electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and refraction seismic tomography (RST) monitoring network covering different permafrost landforms in the Swiss Alps the sensitivity of different permafrost landforms to extreme temperature and precipitation anomalies is investigated.

 

TEMPS B & C: The evolution of mountain permafrost in Switzerland, Subprojects B & C

Funding:

SNF [2011-2014]

GIUZ PI:

I. Gärtner-Roer (TEMPS C), C. Hilbich (TEMPS B), M. Schaepman (TEMPS C)

Project PI:

C. Hauck (UniFr)

GIUZ Staff

I. Gärtner-Roer, C. Hilbich, M. Schaepman, J. Müller

Keywords:

mountain permafrost, remote sensing, geophysical monitoring, ERT, photogrammetry, kinematics, ground ice, creep

links:

TEMPS
Temps C

Geographic focus:

Entire Swiss Alps

The overall object of the TEMPS project is to improve the understanding of the vulnerability of mountain permafrost to climate change and to assess the potential impact at different field sites in the Swiss Alps.
The TEMPS B project aims at a process-oriented understanding of the landform-specific sensitivity of mountain permafrost (bedrock terrain, talus slopes, rock glaciers and ice-cored moraines) to climate anomalies by performing a joint analysis of a comprehensive set of surface and subsur-face temperature, geophysical, meteorological and kinematic monitoring data from already established permafrost sites in the Swiss Alps.
The TEMPS C project aims to improve the understanding of permafrost creep processes, by implementing a systematic monitoring of the kinematics of rockglaciers and frozen talus slopes using a complementary set of terrestrial and airborne techniques. The spatio-temporal reactions of the permafrost features to temperature changes are assessed by analyzing the kinematics and temperature data. The results of these analyses contribute to a 1D thermo-mechanically coupled model and further to the quantification of sediment transfer rates.

 

X-SENSE: Monitoring Alpine Mass Movements at Multiple Scales

Funding:

nano-tera.ch [2010-2013]

GIUZ PI:

S. Gruber

Project Pls:

L. Thiele & J. Beutel (ETHZ), S. Gruber (UZH), A. Geiger (ETHZ), H. Raetzo (FOEN), T. Strozzi & U. Wegmueller (GAMMA)

GIUZ Staff

S. Endrizzi, V. Wirz, K. Schiess, I. Woodhatch, C. Hilbich, R. Böhlert, L. Böckli, S. Gruber, W. Haeberli

Keywords:

Permafrost, natural hazards, measurement, modeling, climate change, remote sensing, cryosphere, uncertainty

links:

Research database
Project website
www.nano-tera.ch/projects/414.php

Geographic focus:

Valais, Swiss Alps

Development and deployment of low-cost distributed GPS systems and joint analysis of continuous GPS and DInSAR for understanding climate control on slope instability in mountain permafrost areas. Research at GIUZ is focused on statistical analysis and field-based description of phenomena as well as physics-based modeling of candidate processes that link subsurface and atmospheric changes.