Side Events
Disciplinary Sessions
Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions

Session programme


CR – Cryospheric Sciences

CR4 – Permafrost, rock glaciers, debris-covered glaciers and geomorphology


The Permafrost Open Session is a platform for the presentation and discussion of current research focusing on (a) permafrost and associated natural systems; (b) the interaction of permafrost and climate; (c) the impact of permafrost changes on both, natural and human systems; and (d) the measurement, understanding, modeling, and parameterization of corresponding processes. Contributions are welcome on high-latitude, mountain, and planetary permafrost.

We look forward to a high-quality session with a high number of contributions that reflect diverse scientific fields, approaches, and geographic locations. We would like to especially encourage contributions that (a) present novel measurement and monitoring approaches; (b) present new strategies to improve process understanding; (c) come from or interface with differing fields of science or innovative technologies and methods; (d) investigate model validation, model uncertainty, or spatial and temporal scale/scalability; (e) couple models of diverse processes or scales.

The Permafrost Open Session complements several other sessions with more specific foci (such as natural hazards, geophysics, or geomorphology) and is intended to be the forum for research primarily focusing on permafrost phenomena.

Co-organized as GM9.6
Convener: Michael Krautblatter | Co-conveners: Reginald Muskett, Sebastian Westermann, Ylva Sjöberg, Eric Pohl
| Mon, 08 Apr, 14:00–18:00
Room N2, Tue, 09 Apr, 16:15–18:00
Room 1.85
| Attendance Mon, 08 Apr, 08:30–10:15
Hall X4

Present-day glacial and periglacial processes in cold regions, i.e. arctic and alpine environments, provide modern analogues to processes and climatic changes that took place during the Pleistocene, including gradual retreat or collapse of ice sheets and mountain glaciers, and melting and shrinking of low-land permafrost. Current changes in mid-latitude mountain ranges could also serve as a proxy for future changes in arctic regions within a context of climate change (e.g. speed-up of creeping permafrost features, relictification of rock glaciers).

We invite contributions that either:
1. investigate present-day glacial and/or periglacial landforms, sediments and processes to describe the current state, to reconstruct past environmental conditions and to predict future scenarios in cold regions; or
2. have a Quaternary focus and aim at enhancing our understanding of past glacial, periglacial and paraglacial processes, also through the application of dating techniques.

Case studies that use a multi-disciplinary approach (e.g. field, laboratory and modelling techniques) and/or that highlight the interaction between the glacial, periglacial and paraglacial cryospheric components in cold regions are particularly welcome.

Keynote lecture:
Hanne Hvidtfeldt Christiansen (Svalbard): Permafrost thermal dynamics in periglacial landforms in Svalbard during the last decade
Martin Margold (Prague): The retreat chronology of the western Laurentide Ice Sheet

Co-organized as CL4.34/CR4.4
Convener: Sven Lukas | Co-conveners: Isabelle Gärtner-Roer, Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer
| Fri, 12 Apr, 14:00–15:45, 16:15–18:00
Room G2
| Attendance Thu, 11 Apr, 16:15–18:00
Hall X2

Mountain glaciations provide an invaluable record for past and present climate change. They are vital for any palaeoclimatologic interpretation and many related research questions. The utilization of this potential is, however, not trivial because of the wide diversity of formerly and currently glaciated mountain ranges. Apart from their specific complex and interacting geomorphological process-systems different climatic and glaciological conditions cause any subsequent global or intra-hemispheric correlations to become incredible challenging. This problem is further enhanced by ongoing specialisation within the scientific community. Working groups primarily focusing on either individual aspects of related research or selected mountain regions often remain somewhat disconnected. As a consequence of the challenges imposed on mountain glaciations, they occasionally seem to become sidelined in the context of Quaternary environmental reconstructions in comparison with other formerly glaciated regions. This discrepancy constitutes an unfortunate and unsatisfactory consequence that should be conquered.

The primary aim of this session is to evaluate the potential of mountain glaciations records and stimulate further research in this important field of research. Contributions on all relevant aspects of the topic are welcomed, for example: (a) glacial landforms and reconstruction of past glaciers, (b) dating techniques and geochronology compilations, (c) glacier dynamics and palaeoclimatic interpretations, or (d) impacts of ecosystems and human evolution/society. Submissions targeting these connections are specifically encouraged. While we encourage submitting abstracts from all abovementioned topics within the broad field of mountain glaciations, we would like to invite in particular those highlighting the specific conditions of mountain glaciations or addressing the relationship and connections between different of their aspects. To address the diversity of mountain glaciations, contributions from high-, middle-, and low-latitude mountain ranges as well as from continental to maritime regions are all welcomed. The time scale of the session will cover the whole time range from Early Pleistocene glaciations to the LGM and Holocene/modern glaciers.

During the past years, precursors of this session have steadily become more popular and attracted contributions from a wide range of research topics and study areas, both with a high diversity of methodological approaches. Their common target was to allow a better understanding of how glacial landforms should be interpreted in a (palaeo)climatic and/or chronological context. The session ultimately aims to facilitate a closer connection between different topological, methodological, and regional working groups related to various aspects of mountain glaciations in space and time. It is further designed to give everyone interested in the emerging collaborative research network “The Legacy of Mountain Glaciations” an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and expertise.

We are pleased that Benjamin Chandler has accepted our invitation and will present a solicited talk about "Mapping the legacy of mountain glaciations".

Please note that the session conveners organized a public splinter meeting on Tuesday (April 9th) between 12.45 and 13.45 in room 0.51 (SMP 6) to meet all colleagues involved with the new application for a COST Action “Legacy of Mountain Glaciations” and those interested in the topic, We will use the opportunity to make this initiative more public and to discuss possible future directions.

Co-organized as CL4.04/CR4.6
Convener: Stefan Winkler | Co-conveners: Lasafam Iturrizaga, Lauren Knight, Giovanni Monegato, Jürgen Reitner
| Fri, 12 Apr, 10:45–12:30
Room G2
| Attendance Thu, 11 Apr, 16:15–18:00
Hall X2

Geochronological frameworks are essential for the study of landscape evolution. Over the last decades, geochronological techniques such as cosmogenic nuclides, thermochronology, radiocarbon and luminescence dating have improved in accuracy, precision, and temporal range. Recently, the development of new approaches, new isotopic/mineral systems, and the increasing combination of these techniques are expanding their range of applications. This session explores these advances and novel applications, which include the study of erosional rates and processes, sediment provenance, burial and transport times, bedrock exposure or cooling histories, landscape dynamics, and the examination of potential biases and discordances in geochronological data. We welcome contributions that use dating tools which are established or in development, particularly those that quantify geomorphological processes with novel approaches and/or generic implications. We encourage studies that combine different techniques (e.g. CRN, luminescence, thermochronology, etc.) or data sets (e.g. field, remote sensing, numerical modelling), and/or highlight the latest developments and open questions in the application of geochronometers to landscape evolution questions.

Invited speakers: Prof. Kristina Hippe and Prof. Todd Ehlers.

Co-organized as CL5.15/CR4.7/SSP1.4
Convener: Duna Roda-Boluda | Co-conveners: Christoph Schmidt, Stefanie Tofelde, Renee van Dongen, Tony Reimann
| Thu, 11 Apr, 08:30–10:15
Room D3
| Attendance Wed, 10 Apr, 14:00–15:45
Hall X2

Mountain environments host highly dynamical and widespread erosion, sedimentation, and weathering processes. These processes cover a wide range of temporal and spatial scales, from glacial & periglacial erosion, mechanical & chemical weathering, rock fall, debris flows, landslides, to river aggradation & incision. These processes react to a wide spectrum of external and internal forcings, including permafrost retreat, strong precipitation events, climate change, earthquakes or sudden internal failure. Measuring the dynamical interplay of erosion, sedimentation as well as quantifying their rates and fluxes is an important part of source to sink research but it is highly challenging and often limited by difficult terrain. Furthermore, these dynamical processes can threaten important mountain infrastructures and need to be understood and quantified for a better societal and engineering preparation to the natural hazards they pose.

We welcome contributions investigating:
- sediment mobilization and deposition
- links between erosion, weathering, and the carbon cycle
- concepts of dynamics and connectivity of sediments and solutes
- quantification of erosion, sedimentation, and weathering fluxes in space and time
- sediment travel times and transport processes
- interaction of stabilizing and destabilizing processes on the slopes
We invite presentations that focus on conceptual, methodological, or modelling approaches or a combination of those in mountain environments and particularly encourage early career scientists to apply for this session.

Co-organized as CR4.8/HS9.2.4/NH3.19/SSS2.20
Convener: Luca C Malatesta | Co-conveners: Jan Henrik Blöthe, Aaron Bufe, Kristen Cook, Sabine Kraushaar
| Wed, 10 Apr, 08:30–12:30, 14:00–15:45
Room D3
| Attendance Thu, 11 Apr, 08:30–10:15
Hall X2