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Data Set ID:
GGD290

Rock glaciers, Entremont, Valais, Switzerland, Version 1

The Entremont area is 300 square km wide and located in the western part of the Swiss Alps between the Mont-Blanc Massif and the Valaisian Alps, slightly north of the main crest of the alpine range. Altitude varies between 4313 m above see level (asl) at the top of the Grand-Combin and 714 m asl for the outlet of the valleys system. The geological composition is essentially dominated by metamorphic rocks (gneiss, shale, quartzite), however some sedimentary layers (limestone, dolomite) are inserted. The mean annual air temperature is about 0 C at 2300 m asl and annual precipitation among ranges between 1000 and 1500 mm at 2000 m asl with a maximum value of about 2000 mm on the alpine crest (Grand-St-Bernard pass). Equilibrium line of glaciers is over 3000 m asl in the north-facing slopes, the timberline is at about 2100 m asl and permafrost creeping features exist between 2000 and 3000 m asl, what results in a great variety of mountain and morphological landscapes.

Aerial photographs analyses and field morphological observations have been performed during summer 1995 in order to inventory and map (1 to 25000) 321 well-developed to embryonic rock glaciers and protalus lobes (coexisting features have been separated) of total area 10.4 square. km. Rock glacier activity classification results from interpretation of both geomorphological and environmental signs. Some geophysics (BTS measurements and DC resistivity soundings) have been performed between 1995 and 1997 on a few rock glaciers in order to confirm the initial interpretation. Data described in this file on the CAPS Version 1.0 CD-ROM, June 1998, are--
1. Location (X, Y)-- Swiss coordinates near the center of the feature.
2. Front elevation (Z)-- Elevation (m a.s.l.) at the foot of the front (accuracy: 10 m).
3. Length-- Maximal distance (m) between front and roots (accuracy: 10 - 20%).
4. Width-- Mean width (m) of the feature (accuracy: 10%).
5. Orientation-- Global exposition of the rock glacier.
6. Activity-- Interpretation by field indicators observation, only in a few cases by geophysics.
7. Surface (ha)-- Calculated by 1 to 25,000 numerical mapping (accuracy: 5 - 10%).
8. Origin-- Talus or moraine (debris) derived rock glacier ?

Other information such as lithology, spring temperature, vegetation cover, inclination, roots elevation are partly available, but not described in the present data set.

Geographic Coverage

Parameter(s):
  • Frozen Ground > Permafrost
  • Frozen Ground > Rock Glaciers
  • Snow/Ice > Snow/Ice Temperature
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 46.083, S: 45.85, E: 7.317, W: 7.083

Spatial Resolution: Not Specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1995 to 31 December 1997
Temporal Resolution: Not specified
Data Format(s):
  • ASCII Text
Platform(s) Not specified
Sensor(s): Not specified
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Reynald Delaloye, Sonia Morand
Data Citation

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Delaloye, R, E. Reynard, and L.Wenker 1998. Rock glaciers, Entremont, Valais, Switzerland, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. [Date Accessed].

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Notice: 

This data set was first published on the 1998 CAPS CD.
The text for this document was taken unchanged from that CD.

Detailed Data Description

Coverage of Dataset

1. Study location

Central/Western Alps, Valais, Switzerland

2. Geographic extent - Describe the corners of the box representing data coverage

Northwestern latitude : 46- 05' N
Northwestern longitude : 7- 05' E
Southeastern latitude: 45- 51' N
Southeastern longitude: 7- 19' E

3. Period of investigation - Years covered

Inventory of rock glaciers 1995
Geophysics 1995 - 1997

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Summary Description

The Entremont area is 300 square-km wide and located in the western part of the Swiss Alps between the Mont-Blanc Massif and the Valaisian Alps, slightly north of the main crest of the alpine range. Altitude varies between 4313 m above see level (a.s.l.) at the top of the Grand-Combin and 714 m a.s.l for the outlet of the valleys system. The geological composition is essentially dominated by metamorphic rocks (gneiss, shale, quartzite), however some sedimentary layers (limestone, dolomite) are inserted.

The mean annual air temperature is about 0-C at 2300 m a.s.l. and annual precipitation among ranges between 1000 and 1500 mm at 2000 m a.s.l. with a maximum value of about 2000 mm on the alpine crest (Grand-St-Bernard pass). Equilibrium line of glaciers is over 3000 m a.s.l. in the north-facing slopes, the timberline is at about 2100 m a.s.l. and permafrost creeping features exist between 2000 and 3000 m a.s.l, what results in a great variety of mountain and morphological landscapes.

Aerial photographs analyses and field morphological observations have been performed during summer 1995 in order to inventory and map (1:25000) 321 well-developed to embryonic rock glaciers and protalus lobes (coexisting features have been separated) of total area 10.4 sq. km. Rock glacier activity classification results from interpretation of both geomorphological and environmental signs. Some geophysics (BTS measurements and DC resistivity soundings) have been performed between 1995 and 1997 on a few rock glaciers in order to confirm the initial interpretation.

Are described in this file:

  1. Location (X, Y): Swiss coordinates near the center of the feature.
  2. Front elevation (Z): Elevation (m a.s.l.) at the foot of the front (accuracy: 10 m).
  3. Length: Maximal distance (m) between front and roots (accuracy: 10 - 20%).
  4. Width: Mean width (m) of the feature (accuracy: 10%).
  5. Orientation: Global exposition of the rock glacier.
  6. Activity: Interpretation by field indicators observation, only in a few cases by geophysics.
  7. Surface (ha): Calculated by 1:25'000 numerical mapping (accuracy: 5 - 10%).
  8. Origin: Talus or moraine (debris) derived rock glacier
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Current storage of data
Hardware :          Diskette
Paper
Software :          GIS - System
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Datacenter

Institute of Geography
University of Fribourg
Pârolles
1700 Fribourg, Switzerland

Are your data at risk of being lost? No

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Software and Tools

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Data Acquisition and Processing

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Reynald Delaloye
Institute of Geography
University of Fribourg Pârolles
1700 Fribourg, Switzerland

Sonia Morand
arcalpin
Av. de la Gare 17
CH-1700 Sion, Switzerland

Document Information

Please cite these data as follows:

Delaloye, R. and Morand, S. 1998. Rock glaciers, Entremont, Valais, Switzerland. In: International Permafrost Association, Data and Information Working Group, comp. Circumpolar Active-Layer Permafrost System (CAPS), version 1.0. CD-ROM available from National Snow and Ice Data Center, nsidc@kryos.colorado.edu. Boulder, Colorado: NSIDC, University of Colorado at Boulder.

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