Mountain Cryosphere


Our main activities focus on the investigation of glacier dynamics and climate-glacier interactions. Of specific interest are glaciers covered by supra-glacial debris and creeping mountain permafrost (rock glaciers) whose occurrence and characteristics are strongly influenced by topography and geomorphological processes. Further research includes consequences of the cryospheric change to society such as glacial hazards and changes in run-off. Our analyses are based on a holistic approach which includes field work, remote sensing, statistical analysis, and simplified physical-based modelling. We focus our research on the high mountains of Asia and the Swiss Alps, but include further study regions such as the Western Canadian Cordillera, the Andes and peripheral Greenland.

Group leader

Tobias Bolch is now Lecturer in Remote Sensing 
at the University of St. Andrews, Schottland (since February 2019).

Group members

Dr. Simon Allen (Research Associate, SNF-funding)

Dr. Philipp Rastner (PostDoc, ESA-funding)

Dr. Guoqing Zhang (Guest Scientist, external funding)

Dr. Xu Wang (Guest Scientist, external funding)

Nico Mölg (PhD candidate, SNF-funding)

Sonam Wangchuck (PhD candidate, Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship)

Juliane Peters (external PhD candidate, TU Dresden, Germany)

Main international partners

Yao Tandong, Institute for Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP), Beijing/China

Liu Shiyin, Cold and Arid Regions Research Institute (CARERRI), Lanzhou, China

Bolot Moldobekov, Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG), Bishkek, Bishkek/Krygyzstan

Igor Severskiy, Victor Blagoveshchensky, Institute of Geography, Almaty, Kazakhstan

David Moldon, Arun Shreshta, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal