Overview

Despite the societal relevance of the topic, very little is known about how sediment transport (including both suspended and bedload fractions) has responded to recent glacier retreat and to increased glacier meltwater fluxes. This lack of information stems from the dearth of monitoring sites for these processes so that even the expected sign (positive or negative) of future sediment yield variation remains unknown, thus affecting the associated capacity to anticipate morphological changes in river systems.

Rockglaciers are a cryospheric feature not fully understood yet, and in particular their contributions to sediment transport and process cascades has seen very little investigation so far. Rockglaciers are also reacting to the ongoing climate

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The lower glacier tongue of clean ice Matscher Ferner in August 2013
The meteorological station on the debris-covered Suldenferner glacier run by the University of Innsbruck.

Aims and Activities

Relevant benefits for the researchers and for the involved local stakeholders are expected due to the sharing of competences and capacities with the other project partners thanks to the strong interdisciplinary nature of GLORI.

Finally, the project includes the employment and further development of relatively new monitoring techniques, such as structure from motion photogrammetry, isotopic measurements in glacial environments, and vibrational sensors for continuous sediment flux monitoring.

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Rif. Città di Milano near the debris-covered Suldenferner.

Significance for the territory

A quantitative knowledge of ice related sediment production and transfer, occurring both as instantaneous and as cyclic processes, as well as of their morphological consequences along the channel network is key for the Province of Bozen-Bolzano.

Finally, the project includes the employment and further development of relatively new monitoring techniques, such as structure from motion photogrammetry, isotopic measurements in glacial environments, and vibrational sensors for continuous sediment flux monitoring.

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