IPA Action Group : Rock glacier inventories and kinematics

The IPA Action Group (2018-2020) intends to sustain the first steps toward the organization and the management of a network dedicated to rock glacier mapping (inventorying) and to promote the integration of permafrost creep rate (rock glacier kinematics) as a new associated parameter to Essential Climate Variable (ECV) Permafrost within the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) initiative supported by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), characterizing the evolution of mountain permafrost on the global scale. 

 

 

  • Objectives of the Action Group

    The Action Group intends to sustain the first steps toward the organization and the management of a network dedicated to rock glacier mapping (inventorying) and monitoring all around the world and the definition of the necessary standards.

    More specifically the Action Group aims to coordinate efforts to:

    • define widely accepted standard guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers in mountain permafrost regions, including information on the activity rate,
    • promote the use of satellite SAR interferometry, e.g. Sentinel data, for monitoring the rock glacier activity at a regional scale and define appropriate standards and guidelines,
    • integrate as far as possible local-scale based monitoring data based on aerial and terrestrial geodetic surveys,
    • initiate the development a world-wide rock glacier database, including kinematics,
    • set up standard guidelines for selecting an appropriate number of rock glaciers per region that can be then used to assess temporal trends with decadal to intra-decadal time steps,
    • build up and manage a web platform for visualization and open data access.

    The Action Group is expecting that in the long run rock glacier kinematics could be recognized by the permafrost community (e.g. GTN-P) and later by the WMO as a new associated parameter to the ECV Permafrost and could be integrated in the monitoring strategy of international programs in addition to the observation of permafrost thermal state and active layer trends.

     

  • Organization of the Action Group

    The basic idea of the Action is to federate scientists for coordinating efforts and regrouping knowledge and data on a single place (open access database) and define consensual baselines for inventorying rock glaciers and including kinematics information.

    Co-authors of this abstract have agreed to take part to the scientific core group of the Action in its initial stage.  Everyone is however welcome to participate at the project and encouraged to apply to the mailing list (see below).

    The Action Group is chaired by Reynald Delaloye (University of Fribourg, Switzerland). Since January 2019, Maria Winterberger acts as secretary officer of the Action. Thomas Echelard has been enrolled as a senior scientist for sustaining the Action Group activities, and will act as team leader for the Task 1 (March to October 2019). 

  • Tasks

    During the kick-off meeting (EUCOP 5 Chamonix) attendees supported the proposal of structuring the Action Group activities into 3 main tasks and subsequent sub-tasks as follows (see also minutes) :

    Task 1 : Definition of widely accepted standard guidelines for inventorying (mapping) rock glaciers in mountain permafrost regions, including indications on the activity rate

    1. Agreement of a “working” definition of rock glaciers (what do we want/need to inventory ?)
    2. Standards of inventorying (definition of key attributes), e.g. point location, outlining, etc… -> Inventorying strategy
    3. Practical guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers (e.g. also including the use of InSAR)

     

    Task 2 : Preparation of “products” which could serve for monitoring rock glacier kinematics as an associated parameter of the ECV (Essential Climate Variable) Permafrost

    1. Promoting the use of satellite SAR interferometry, e.g. Sentinel-1 data, but more generally remote sensing data, for monitoring the rock glacier activity at a regional scale and define appropriate standards and guidelines
    2. Integrate as far as possible local-scale monitoring data based on aerial and terrestrial geodetic surveys
    3. Setting up of standard guidelines for selecting an appropriate number of rock glaciers per region that can be then used to assess temporal trends with decadal to intra-decadal time steps (product for ECV Permafrost)

     

    Task 3 : Operational development of a database / web platform

    1. Initiating the development of a world-wide rock glacier database, including kinematics
    2. Build up and manage a web platform for visualization and open data access

     

    The initial efforts must concentrate on achieving task 1, but any initiative for fulfilling tasks 2 and 3 is definitely welcome!

  • Timeline and activities

    The Action Group is active from mid-2018 to mid-2020. It was launched at EUCOP5 in Chamonix.

    Pre-workshop I took place in Chambéry (F) on 20 March 2019. Read more
    Workshop I will be held in the Swiss Alps on 23-27 September 2019. Registration is open until 15 June 2019 (early registration), 15 August (late registration). More details here
    Workshop II is foreseen to be organized in Spring 2020. More info in summer 2019…

    The Action, in its current phase, will be closed at ICOP 2020 in Lanzhou.

    Depending on the results of the Action a 2-year prolongation may be planned.

  • Documents

    Standard guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers

    Baseline document, version 1.0

     

    Action Group Pre-Workshop (Chambery - FR, 20.03.2019)

    Minutes

    Presentation X. Bodin

    Presentation P. Pogliotti

    Presentation R. Scotti & F. Brardinoni

    Presentation F. Brardinoni & al.

     

    Action Group kick-off meeting (EUCOP 5, Chamonix, 28.06.2018)

    Abstract

    Presentation

    Minutes

     

News

Workshop 2 - SAVE THE DATE

The Action Group workshop 2 will take place in Fribourg, Switzerland from 11th to 13th of February 2020.

It will be mainly dedicated to achieving Task 2 (see webpage): the preparation of “products” which could serve for monitoring rock glacier kinematics as an associated parameter of the ECV (Essential Climate Variable) Permafrost. In particular, it will focus on the definition of appropriate standards for monitoring the rock glacier activity at a regional scale to assess temporal trends with decadal to intra-decadal time steps (climate oriented purpose)

More info coming soon…

Workshop 1

Workshop 1 was successfully held in Evolène from 23 to 27 September. It has been an intense, exciting and founding week for the Action Group. Thank you to all participants for their contribution!
The version 3.0 of the baseline document will be the result of discussions that took place during the Workshop and is intended to be released in early November 2019.

The updated version 2.0 of the baseline document towards standard guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers is now available online! 

Find the updated version 2.0 here.

Feedbacks to version 1.0 have been integrated as far as possible or left open for discussion during the Workshop I of the Action Group on 23-27 September 2019.

Version 1.0 of the baseline document towards standard guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers is now available online! 

The document is intending to provide a basis on which standard guidelines could be defined. 

Action Group Workshop 2019 - Task 1

Workshop I :

23 – 27 September 2019 in the Swiss Alps

IPA Action Group Rock glacier inventories and kinematics Workshop I : participate in the development of standard guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers and some fantastic excursions!

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Contact us

IPA Action Group Rock glacier

Geography
Department of Geosciences

University of Fribourg
Chemin du Musée 4

CH–1700 Fribourg

   +41 26 300 90 21

  rockglacier-ipa@unifr.ch