Hugentobler Marc, Aaron Jordan, Loew Simon, Roques Clément (2022), Hydro‐mechanical interactions of a rock slope with a retreating temperate valley glacier, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
Oestreicher N., Loew S., Roques C., Aaron J., Gualandi A., Longuevergne L., Limpach P., Hugentobler M. (2021), Controls on Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Slope Deformation in an Alpine Valley, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
, 126(12), 1-24.
Glueer Franziska, Loew Simon, Seifert Reto, Aaron Jordan, Grämiger Lorenz, Conzett Stefan, Limpach Philippe, Wieser Andreas, Manconi Andrea (2021), Robotic Total Station Monitoring in High Alpine Paraglacial Environments: Challenges and Solutions from the Great Aletsch Region (Valais, Switzerland), in Geosciences
, 11(11), 471-471.
Hugentobler Marc, Aaron Jordan, Loew Simon (2021), Rock Slope Temperature Evolution and Micrometer‐Scale Deformation at a Retreating Glacier Margin, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
, 126(11), 1-33.
Storni Enea, Hugentobler Marc, Manconi Andrea, Loew Simon (2020), Monitoring and analysis of active rockslide-glacier interactions (Moosfluh, Switzerland), in Geomorphology
, 371, 107414-107414.
Glueer Franziska, Loew Simon, Manconi Andrea, Aaron Jordan (2019), From Toppling to Sliding: Progressive Evolution of the Moosfluh Landslide, Switzerland, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
, 124(12), 2899-2919.
Glueer Franziska, Loew Simon, Manconi Andrea (2019), Paraglacial history and structure of the Moosfluh Landslide (1850–2016), Switzerland, in Geomorphology
Manconi Andrea, Coviello Velio, Galletti Maud, Seifert Reto (2018), Short Communication: Monitoring rockfalls with the Raspberry Shake, in Earth Surface Dynamics
, 6(4), 1219-1227.
LoewSimon, GischigValentin, GlueerFranziska, SeifertReto, MooreJffrey (2017), Multidisciplinary monitoring of progressive failureprocesses in brittle rock slopes, in Feng Xia-Ting (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, United States, 629-662.
Repeated cycles of interglacial fluvial incision and glacial reoccupation in alpine valleys ensure valley walls in the bedrock landscape are constantly in a transitional state. Landforms in such regions are therefore commonly meta-stable, and as conditions such as glacial ice extent approach long-term limits, relatively minor changes in boundary conditions can elicit a strong response from the surrounding environment. In the case of rock slope instabilities in such environments, the nature of this response will vary with rock type and pre-existing fracture populations, folding and faulting, slope geometry, and local environmental conditions. Although rock slope failures provide the fastest and most dramatic evidence of a paraglacial response to deglaciation, large unknowns remain regarding underlying failure processes, key parameters, and the distribution of associated instabilities. This proposal represents the third phase of an ongoing investigation aimed at shedding light on the response of rock walls to repeated cycles of Quaternary glaciation and deglaciation. The Engineering Geology Group brings a wealth of experience regarding landslide analysis, rock mechanics and rock slope hydraulics, and focusses our attention specifically on complex interactions between valley glaciers, rock slopes, and the local Alpine environment. In two completed, and one ongoing PhD project, our long term research plan has considered time scales ranging from 1) Pleistocene glacial erosion and exfoliation fracturing in massive rocks, to 2) Late Glacial and Holocene rock slope response and long term cyclic THM rock mass damage, and finally 3) Recent and on-going THM rock slope response related to glacial retreat since the Little Ice Age. Results derived in the past 2 project phases were mainly based on detailed geological-geomorphological field mapping (including exfoliation and tectonic fracturing, landslide phenomena and kinematics), regional monitoring of displacements and environmental factors, and THM-coupled numerical modeling. The principal study area selected for this project is the UNESCO World Heritage region of the Great Aletsch glacier in the Central Alps.In the current proposal, which is Phase III of this multi-phase research project, we will collect new borehole, remote sensing and geophysical data in order to constrain key unknowns identified during Phase II of the project. This will allow us to verify critical relationships regarding 1) reversible deformations and irreversible rock slope damage resulting from long term hydraulic loading cycles, and 2) the detailed hydro-mechanical interactions between unstable slopes (landslides) and retreating glacier ice in the terminus area. These investigations require that we complement our existing surface monitoring systems (2 robotic Total Stations, 4 permanent GPS-Stations, temperature sensors , 2 climate stations) with subsurface monitoring systems, satellite and ground-based remote sensing and geophysical investigations. The backbone of the new subsurface investigations will be 6 destructive 40-70 m-deep boreholes in intact, damaged and unstable bedrock close to the current glacier surface, and the installation of high-precision deformation, temperature and pore pressure sensors in each hole. Time-series data relating to local displacements from borehole monitoring systems and Total Stations will be regionalized with displacements from DInSAR measurements. Locally recorded pore pressure variations will be complemented with repeat electrical resistivity measurements. Monitoring of displacements and mechanical conditions at glacier-landslide interfaces in the glacier tongue area (Moosfluh instability and secondary failures), will be complemented with new time-lapse photography, including structure-from-motion analyses and automated photogrammetric modeling.Data analysis and numerical modeling will build from our extensive previous experience of THM-coupled rock slope damage and displacement modeling in a paraglacial framework. In addition we will develop and apply new numerical models coupling glacier ice deformation, slope hydrogeology and landslide creep at the glacier-ice-contact.The project will lead to conclusive new results about the long- and short term physical interactions between stable rock slopes, landslides, temperate valley glaciers, climatic variations and groundwater conditions. This understanding will also enable sound assessments of the impacts of future climate warming and slope instabilities in previously glaciated Alpine valleys.