EGU24-19517, updated on 11 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A database integrating the electrical resistivity data of Switzerland for mountain permafrost spatio-temporal characterisation

Coline Mollaret1, Christin Hilbich1, Cecile Pellet1, Christian Hauck1, Tomasz Gluzinski1, Eva De Mits1,2, Theresa Maierhofer1,3, Christophe Lambiel4, Alex Bast5,6, Jacopo Boaga7, Adrian Flores Orozco3, Hanne Hendricks8, Christof Kneisel9, Julius Kunz9, Sarah Morard1, Mirko Pavoni7, Sebastian Pfaehler1, Marcia Philips5,6, Riccardo Scandroglio10, Cristian Scapozza11, and the Swiss Electrical Database on Permafrost Team*
Coline Mollaret et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (
  • 2Department of Geography, Ghent University, Belgium
  • 3Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, TU Wien, Austria
  • 4Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 5WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos Dorf, Switzerland
  • 6Climate Change, Extremes and Natural Hazards in Alpine Regions Research Center CERC, Davos Dorf, Switzerland
  • 7Department of Geosciences, University of Padova, Italy
  • 8Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
  • 9University of Wuerzburg, Institute of Geography and Geology, Germany
  • 10Chair of Landslide Research, Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • 11University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), Institute of Earth Sciences, Mendrisio, Switzerland
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

In permafrost research, geoelectrical surveys are increasingly used to detect the presence and extent of permafrost and to characterise the stratigraphy and material composition of permanently frozen terrain. When repeated, the resulting temporal changes in electrical resistivity can be related to changes in ground temperature and ice content, and therefore also to ground ice loss over time. However, for financial and logistical reasons, only a few continuous electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) monitoring installations on permafrost exist worldwide. An alternative approach is manual but regularly repeated ERT measurements, such as - besides other examples - in the context of the Swiss Permafrost Monitoring Network (PERMOS, 2023). In contrast, there are many permafrost sites (estimated to be over 500 in Switzerland) where single ERT measurements have been performed in the past. In the context of atmospheric warming, these historical datasets can serve as a baseline for analysing current changes in ground ice content in permafrost regions and the associated challenges to mountain slope stability.

In this contribution, we present the analysis of the Swiss datasets, which are integrated in the International Database of Geoelectrical Surveys on Permafrost (IDGSP), led by the International Permafrost Association (IPA) Action Group of the same name. Before this initiative, geoelectrical datasets (mainly ERT) were not included in a common and dedicated database. Since the launch of the IPA Action Group in 2021, a database has been designed and set up (using PostgreSQL), numerous metadata and data have been collected and homogenised, and public access via a searchable web map is available ( We present the strategy developed for consistent filtering, processing, and inversion for this extensive dataset. In this contribution, we analyse both spatial and temporal variations in surveys conducted at various Swiss mountain sites.

The overall goal is to establish a complete database of electrical measurements on permafrost in Switzerland, including all historical measurements. The data are re-processed with the newly developed filtering and inversion routines and made available to the public to facilitate the repetition of measurements in the context of permafrost degradation, geotechnical studies of permafrost stability, hydrological studies in the context of natural hazards and water availability from thawing permafrost environments, and to serve as a baseline dataset for permafrost distribution and modelling.

PERMOS 2023. Swiss Permafrost Bulletin 2022. Noetzli, J. and Pellet, C. (eds.) 22 pp,

Swiss Electrical Database on Permafrost Team:

Coline Mollaret 1, Christin Hilbich 1, Cecile Pellet 1, Christian Hauck 1, Tomasz Gluzinski 1, Eva De Mits 1,2, Theresa Maierhofer 1,3, Christophe Lambiel 4, Alex Bast 5,6, Jacopo Boaga 7, Adrian Flores-Orozco 3, Hanne Hendricks 8, Christof Kneisel 9, Julius Kunz 9, Sarah Morard 1, Mirko Pavoni 7, Sebastian Pfaehler 1, Marcia Phillips 5,6, Riccardo Scandroglio 10, Cristian Scapozza 11, Julie Wee 1

How to cite: Mollaret, C., Hilbich, C., Pellet, C., Hauck, C., Gluzinski, T., De Mits, E., Maierhofer, T., Lambiel, C., Bast, A., Boaga, J., Flores Orozco, A., Hendricks, H., Kneisel, C., Kunz, J., Morard, S., Pavoni, M., Pfaehler, S., Philips, M., Scandroglio, R., and Scapozza, C. and the Swiss Electrical Database on Permafrost Team: A database integrating the electrical resistivity data of Switzerland for mountain permafrost spatio-temporal characterisation, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19517,, 2024.