10 years of permafrost research at the famous Matterhorn in Switzerland

A team led by Jan Beutel (ETH Zürich) just published their unique record of high-resolution data from 17 different types of sensors installed on the Matterhorn’s Hörnli ridge. The paper and data (115 million data points over 10 years) were published in the journal Earth System Science Data (Weber et al.: https://www.earth-syst-sci-data.net/11/1203/2019/). These data lead to a better understanding of permafrost-related processes and their role in the destabilization of steep rock. The publication contributes to the current dialogue surrounding changes in and loss of climbing routes in the Alps due to glacier retreat, rockfalls, and reduction in snow cover.

For additional information, read ETH Zürich’s news release on the project: https://ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2019/08/monitoring-the-matterhorn-with-millions-of-data-points.html.

Below: Jan Beutel conducting maintenance work on the Hörnli ridge sensor network, near the site of a major rockfall in 2003. (Photo: Permasense)

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