Rock glaciers, Bernese Alps, western Switzerland

View Catalog Page


Identification Information:

Dataset Identifier:

GGD286

Citation:

Citation Information:

Originator: Imhof, M.
Publication Date: 19980101
Title: Rock glaciers, Bernese Alps, western Switzerland
Publication Information:
Publication Place: Boulder, Colorado USA
Publisher: NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center
Online Linkage: http://nsidc.org/data/ggd286.html

Description:

Abstract:

This inventory has been established from the results of the interpretation of aerial photographs and field work between 1992 and 1994.

The area investigated covers the entire Bernese Alps (western Switzerland), about 4200 km2, and is situated between 46 deg 10' and 46 deg 50' N and 7 deg 10' and 8 deg 30' E. The Bernese Alps are one of the main European watersheds, separating the catchment area of the Aare (draining into the North Sea via the Rhine) from that of the Rhone (which flows into the Mediterranean Sea). The lowest points of the study area are situated in the valley floors of the two rivers at about 500 m asl, whereas several summits exceed 4000 m asl (highest point-- Finsteraarhorn, 4273 m asl). The main structure of the Bernese Alps is the crystalline Aar massif striking WSW-ENE and culminating in the western part of the study area. To the north and the west, the massif is covered by thrust nappes consisting of sedimentary rocks mainly of Mesozoic and early Tertiary age (chiefly marine limestones, shales, and sandstones). Their summits are considerably lower (mostly between 2000 and 3500 m asl).

According to their geographic situation between 46 deg and 47 deg N, the climate of the Bernese Alps is of temperate character typical for the zone of the westerlies. Because of the their horizontal and vertical extension, the Alps themselves have considerable influence on the climate. Based on climatic criteria, two main realms can be distinguished: the moist and quite oceanic part in the north of the main watershed and the slightly more continental part sloping south to the Rhone. The northern part, exposed to the westerlies, shows maximum precipitation during summer, with quite low variability, whereas the south is somewhat dryer, showing no distinct maximum but higher variability. Accordingly, mean cloudiness is higher in the north. This results in an increase in the height of the mean glacier elevation from about 2500 m asl in the northern part of the Bernese Alps to 2900 m asl in the south. Because of the high precipitation (locally exceeding 4000 mm per year) and their external situation, the Bernese Alps show a lower equilibrium line of the glaciers and are the mountain group showing the heaviest glacierization of the Alps, which leaves little space for periglacial phenomena (both the glacier showing the lowermost front and the largest glacier of the Alps are situated within the study site). However, this does not mean that permafrost is rare in the Bernese Alps; above 3300 m asl, permafrost can be considered as continuous. In fact, the bedrock of many of the higher mountains in the Bernese Alps is perennially frozen. The number of rock glaciers found in the Bernese Alps is relatively small compared with other Alpine regions. Furthermore, the objects are quite small. This can be explained with the stronger glacierization. Modelling shows that permafrost ground amounts to roughly half as much as the glacierized area (subglacial permafrost not included). (Imhof, 1996) These data are presented on the CAPS Version 1.0 CD-ROM, June 1998.

Purpose: scientific research

Documentation:

User's Guide:

Citation Information:

Originator: Imhof, M.
Publication Date: 19980101
Title: Rock glaciers, Bernese Alps, western Switzerland
Publication Information:
Publication Place: Boulder, Colorado USA
Publisher: NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center
Online Linkage: http://nsidc.org/data/docs/fgdc/ggd286_rockglac_switzer/index.html

Time Period of Content:

Time Period Information:

Range of Dates/Times:

Beginning Date: 19920101
Ending Date: 19941231

Currentness Reference: publication date

Status:

Progress: Complete
Maintenance and Update Frequency: Unknown

Spatial Domain:

Bounding Coordinates:

 

West Bounding Coordinate: 7.167°
East Bounding Coordinate: 8.5°
North Bounding Coordinate: 46.833°
South Bounding Coordinate: 46.167°

Keywords:

Theme:

Theme Keyword Thesaurus: NASA Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
Theme Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE Cryosphere Frozen Ground Periglacial Processes
Theme Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE Cryosphere Frozen Ground Rock Glaciers
Theme Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE Land Surface Frozen Ground Periglacial Processes
Theme Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE Land Surface Frozen Ground Rock Glaciers

Theme:

Theme Keyword Thesaurus: None
Theme Keyword:

Theme:

Theme Keyword Thesaurus: None
Theme Keyword: Field Investigations
Theme Keyword: Mapping
Theme Keyword: Remote Sensing
Theme Keyword: Rock Glaciers

Place:

Place Keyword Thesaurus: NASA Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
Place Keyword: Continent Europe Western Europe Switzerland Bernese Alps, Western Switzerland

Access Constraints:

None

Use Constraints:

None

Point of Contact:

Contact Information:

Contact Person Primary:

Contact Person: Markus Imhof
Contact Organization: ersit of Bern, Institute of Geography, Group for Applied

Contact Address:

Address Type: mailing
Address:
  • Hallerstrasse 12
City: Bern
State or Province: Unknown
Postal Code: CH-3012
Country: Switzerland

Contact Voice Telephone: 41 31 631 8567
Contact Facsimile Telephone: 41 31 631 8511
Contact Electronic Mail Address: imhof@giub.unibe.ch

Back to Top


Distribution Information:

Distributor:

Contact Information:

Contact Organization Primary:

Contact Organization: National Snow and Ice Data Center
Contact Person: NSIDC User Services

Contact Address:

Address Type: mailing
Address:
  • National Snow and Ice Data Center
  • CIRES, 449 UCB
  • University of Colorado
City: Boulder
State or Province: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA

Contact Voice Telephone: 1 303 492-6199
Contact Facsimile Telephone: 1 303 492-2468
Contact Electronic Mail Address: nsidc@nsidc.org

Resource Description:

GGD286

Distribution Liability:

NSIDC cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NSIDC makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.

Standard Order Process:

Digital Form:

Digital Transfer Information:

Format Name: ASCII Text (.txt)

Digital Transfer Option:

Online Option:

Computer Contact Information:

Network Address:

Network Resource Name: Click here.

Fees: None

Back to Top


Metadata Reference Information:

Metadata Date:

20120829

Metadata Review Date:

20120829

Metadata Contact:

Contact Information:

Contact Person Primary:

Contact Person: NSIDC User Services
Contact Organization: National Snow and Ice Data Center

Contact Address:

Address Type: mailing
Address:
  • National Snow and Ice Data Center
  • CIRES, 449 UCB
  • University of Colorado
City: Boulder
State or Province: CO
Postal Code: 80309-0449
Country: USA

Contact Voice Telephone: 1 303 492-6199
Contact Facsimile Telephone: 1 303 492-2468
Contact Electronic Mail Address: nsidc@nsidc.org

Metadata Standard Name:

FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata: Extensions for Remote Sensing Metadata

Metadata Standard Version:

FGDC-STD-012-2002

Back to Top

Metadata Views

FGDC Text-Only

Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) in plain text

FGDC XML

Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) in Extensible Markup Language (XML)

DIF HTML

NASA Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Directory Interchange Format (DIF)

ISO HTML

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 19115:2003 Geographic Information Metadata