Journal article

Seasonally intermittent water flow through deep fractures in an Alpine Rock Ridge: Gemsstock, Central Swiss Alps

  • Phillips, Marcia WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos, Switzerland
  • Haberkorn, Anna WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos, Switzerland - Unit of Geography, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Draebing, Daniel Department of Geography, Bonn University, Germany
  • Krautblatter, Michael Technische Universität München, Germany
  • Rhyner, Hansueli WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos, Switzerland
  • Kenner, Robert WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos, Switzerland
Show more…
    24.02.2016
Published in:
  • Cold Regions Science and Technology. - 2016, vol. 125, p. 117–127
English Geological investigations and seismic refraction tomography reveal a series of 70° steep, parallel and continuous fractures at 2950 m asl within the Gemsstock rock ridge (Central Swiss Alps), at the lower fringe of alpine permafrost. Temperature measurements in a 40 m horizontal borehole through the base of the ridge show that whilst conductive heat transfer dominates within the rock mass, brief negative and positive temperature anomalies are registered in summer. These have very small amplitudes and coincide with summer rainfall events lasting longer than 12 h. In contrast, a complete lack of anomalous thermal signals during spring snowmelt suggests that runoff does not penetrate the open joints, despite high snow water equivalents of around 400 mm. This is attributed to the development of an approximately 20 cm thick, continuous and impermeable basal ice layer which forms at the interface between the snow cover and the cold rock on the shady North facing rock wall during snowmelt. Spring snowmelt water therefore does not affect rock temperatures in the centre of the rock mass, despite the presence of deep open joints. The mechanical impact of snowmelt infiltration on rock wall stability at depth is thus assumed to be negligible at this site.
Faculty
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Department
Département de Géosciences
Language
  • English
Classification
Hydrology
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/305175
Statistics

Document views: 6 File downloads:
  • hab_siw.pdf: 4