Vieli Andreas

Multitemporale Untersuchung und Analyse von Schuttfeldern im Schweizerischen Nationalpark
Multitemporal analysis of talus forms in the Swiss National Park (SNP)

Project Number: CH-5799
Project Type: Master
Project Duration: 04/01/2016 - 05/31/2017 project completed
Funding Source: other ,
Project Leader: Prof. Andreas Vieli
Glaziologie, Geomorphodynamik
Geographisches Institut - Physical Geography
Universität Zürich
Winterthurerstr. 190 - Irchel
8057 Zürich
Phone: +41 (0) 44 635 51 20 ; +41 (0) 44 635 51 21
FAX: +41 (0) 44 635 68 48
e-Mail: andreas.vieli(at)

related to this project.
for which the project has a relevance.

Research Areas:
High Altitude


physical geography, geomorphology, remote sensing

In mountainous regions, glaciers and rock glaciers are landforms which tend to be of high interest for researchers. Research projects investigating other forms of talus or ice-debris mixtures are rather scarce. Nevertheless, talus landforms can raise interesting research questions. How did they evolve and develop over time? What's their composition below the debris cover?
As a result of a mudslide in the valley of Trupchun (SNP) revealing a body of bare ice within a pile of debris, researchers of the Swiss National Park got increasingly interested in the study of these landforms. As a side effect of another research (see Fehr & Reich 2015, FHNW), there was a considerable mass loss detected in another talus above a rock glacier at Macun.
These observations lead to the assumption, that there might be a substantial amount of ice in the body of talus land forms, which hasn't been discovered or examined yet but might have considerable impact on slope stabilities, historical reconstructions or regional hydrology.
A multitemporal analysis of a selection of talus and debris landforms could give further insights in the behaviour and development of such landforms. Thereby, an actual and highly precise digital, drone-derived terrain model (DTM) is used as a reference to base the analysis on, whereas historical swisstopo aereal images are used for the temporal analysis. It is expected, that different slopes might show different developments, and that there might also be a relation to climatic changes over time. If the analysis show substantial loss in height or cave-forms, this can give hints to underlaying ice. A GPR (ground penetrating radar) analysis can thereby give further evidences for ice-stratigraphy.
This research project is seen as a step towards deeper analyses of talus landforms in mountainous regions.

Leading questions:
Uns interessiert, ob und wie sich diese Gebiete über die Zeit verändern, ob es Höhen- und Massenänderungen gibt und ob Hinweise auf Eis in deren Untergrund zu identifizieren sind. Falls sich diese Gebiete verändert haben, interessiert uns, in welchen Zeitintervallen die Veränderungen besonders stark waren und ob sich dabei ein Zusammenhang mit den klimatischen Bedingungen zeigt. Möglicherweise lassen sich dabei auch Perspektiven für die zukünftige Entwicklung solcher Schuttgebiete ableiten.


Millhäusler, A. (2017): Multitemporal geomorphological investigation of a talus slope in the Swiss National Park (SNP). Master thesis. Dempartment of Geography, University of Zürich.

PDF Masterarbeit

Last update: 4/13/18
Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2018)
Update the data of project: CH-5799

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