Acceleration and interannual variability of creep rates in mountain permafrost landforms (rock glacier velocities) in the European Alps in 1995–2022 - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Environmental Research Letters Year : 2024

Acceleration and interannual variability of creep rates in mountain permafrost landforms (rock glacier velocities) in the European Alps in 1995–2022

Bodo Damm
Julia Eulenstein
Lea Hartl
Atsushi Ikeda
Viktor Kaufmann
Martin Stocker-Waldhuber
Matteo Zumiani
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Cryospheric long-term timeseries get increasingly important. To document climate-related effects on long-term viscous creep of ice-rich mountain permafrost, we investigated timeseries (1995–2022) of geodetically-derived Rock Glacier Velocity (RGV), i.e. spatially averaged interannual velocity timeseries related to a rock glacier (RG) unit or part of it. We considered 50 RGV from 43 RGs spatially covering the entire European Alps. Eight of these RGs are destabilized. Results show that RGV are distinctly variable ranging from 0.04 to 6.23 m a −1 . Acceleration and deceleration at many RGs are highly correlated with similar behaviour over 2.5 decades for 15 timeseries. In addition to a general long-term, warming-induced trend of increasing velocities, three main phases of distinct acceleration (2000–2004, 2008–2015, 2018–2020), interrupted by deceleration or steady state conditions, were identified. The evolution is attributed to climate forcing and underlines the significance of RGV as a product of the Essential Climate Variable (ECV) permafrost. We show that RGV data are valuable as climate indicators, but such data should always be assessed critically considering changing local factors (geomorphic, thermal, hydrologic) and monitoring approaches. To extract a climate signal, larger RGV ensembles should be analysed. Criteria for selecting new RGV-sites are proposed.
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hal-04474759 , version 1 (28-02-2024)

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Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Xavier Bodin, Reynald Delaloye, Christophe Lambiel, Isabelle Gärtner-Roer, et al.. Acceleration and interannual variability of creep rates in mountain permafrost landforms (rock glacier velocities) in the European Alps in 1995–2022. Environmental Research Letters, 2024, 19 (3), pp.034022. ⟨10.1088/1748-9326/ad25a4⟩. ⟨hal-04474759⟩
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