Minor Hans-Erwin

Effects of Climatic Fluctuations on Runoff Production and Water Resources Management in HighlyGlacerized Alpine Basins: Haut Glacier d'Arolla, Switzerland

Project Number: ETHZ 6242
Project Type: Research_Project
Project Duration: 03/29/2002 - ?
Funding Source: ETH ,
Project Leader: Prof. em. Hans-Erwin Minor

related to this project.

Research Areas:
Atmosphere (Processes)
Hydrosphere (Processes)
Structures and Institutions
Cryosphere (Processes)
Hydrosphere (Impacts)
Structures and Institutions
Natural science
Local scale
High Altitude

Several approaches characterised by different level of complexity have been developed to simulate the dynamics of snow accumulation and ablation phenomena. Similarly, attention has been devoted to the analysis and simulation of runoff produced by melting in high-glacierised areas. Most of the recent studies introduced distributed approaches for modelling ablation, so achieving fair advances in forecast reliability, although they are still affected by a number of limitations, mainly the lack of observations and parameterisation problems. Our aim is to develop and test an ice- and snowmelt model and a routing model, which allow simulating at the basin scale runoff generation from alpine catchments, for predicting the effects of a potential climate change on water resources originating from glacierised areas.
The melting model is based on a degree-day approach and tries to improve the basic formulation including spatial variability, by means of a spatially variable the degree factor and/or an additional index besides temperature. A suitable approach to route the melt water through the glacier internal drainage system up to the outlet will be explored. The ice- and snowmelt model will be used coupled to a glacier evolution model to produce a realistic scenario of the mass evolution of a glacier developed at the Section of Glaciology at VAW. Both models will be driven by climatic scenarios that describe present and future climate - as historically observed and as predicted by the last generation of Global Circulation Models (GCMs) - in order to estimate the impact of climatic variability on water resources availability. Stochastic downscaling techniques will be used to derive basin scale climatic scenarios from the large-scale predictions of GCMs.
The glacier investigated is Haut Glacier d'Arolla, in Valais, Switzerland, a small alpine glacier with an area of approximately 7 km2. The data necessary for the development of the models are provided by extensive field campaigns,
started last September. A meteo station has been installed November 2000 in the proximity of the snout of the glacier, and measures temperature and relative humidity, wind speed and direction, short and long wave, incoming and outgoing, radiation, albedo and precipitation. Two field campaigns will be carried out in May and summer 2001. For models calibration and validation satellite images of the last generation obtained from the international global glacier monitoring project GLIMS, currently run under the chair but still in its early stages, could also be used.

URL: https://www.rdb.ethz.ch/projects/project.php?proj_id=6242&type=search&z_detailed=1&z_popular=1&z_keywords=1

Last update: 3/28/17
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2019)
Update the data of project: CH-2651

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