Journal article

Mapping and quantifying sediment transfer between the front of rapidly moving rock glaciers and torrential gullies

  • Kummert, Mario Department of Geosciences/Geography, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Delaloye, Reynald Department of Geosciences/Geography, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Published in:
  • Geomorphology. - 2018, vol. 309, p. 60–76
English The sedimentary connection which may occur between the front of active rock glaciers and torrential channels is not well understood, despite its potential impact on the torrential activity characterizing the concerned catchments. In this study, DEMs of difference (DoDs) covering various time intervals between 2013 and 2016 were obtained from LiDAR-derived multitemporal DEMs for three rapidly moving rock glaciers located in the western Swiss Alps. The DoDs were used to map and quantify sediment transfer activity between the front of these rock glaciers and the corresponding underlying torrential gullies. Sediment transfer rates ranging between 1500 m3/y and 7800 m3/y have been calculated, depending on the sites. Sediment eroded from the fronts generally accumulated in the upper sectors of the torrential gullies where they were occasionally mobilized within small to medium sized debris flow events. A clear relation between the motion rates of the rock glaciers and the sediment transfer rates calculated at their fronts could be highlighted. Along with the size of the frontal areas, rock glacier creep rates influence thus directly sediment availability in the headwaters of the studied torrents. The frequency-magnitude of debris flow events varied between sites and was mainly related to the concordance of local factors such as topography, water availability, sediment availability or sediment type.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Géosciences
  • English
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