Rock glaciers are characteristic landforms associated with mountain periglacial landscapes, formed by past or present gravity-driven creep of (ice-rich) perennially frozen ground (permafrost). Their location, characteristics, and evolution are controlled by a combination of environmental (e.g. internal structure, topography, debris loading) and climatic (e.g. thermal and hydrological regimes) factors. Despite the growing interest from the international community (e.g. Rock Glacier Velocity has been adopted as a new parameter associated with the Essential Climate Variable permafrost) and an increasing number of studies, our understanding of the physical processes controlling the dynamics of rock glaciers, and in particular the role of water, remains incomplete. Furthermore, the impact of climate-induced permafrost degradation on the present and future evolution of these landforms is largely unknown.
This session welcomes contributions on established and novel methods to study the dynamics and distribution of rock glaciers, such as remote sensing, numerical modelling, field observations, and geophysics. We would also like to promote the discussion of the relevance of such landforms in the fields of geohazards, geoheritage, water resources, and climate impact studies. This session is closely related to the objectives of the Rock glacier inventories and kinematics (RGIK) initiative and encourages members and new interested researchers to join.