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Topographic and geologic controls on frost cracking in Alpine rockwalls

DOI zum Zitieren der Version auf EPub Bayreuth: https://doi.org/10.15495/EPub_UBT_00005789
URN to cite this document: urn:nbn:de:bvb:703-epub-5789-1

Title data

Draebing, Daniel ; Mayer, Till:
Topographic and geologic controls on frost cracking in Alpine rockwalls.
In: Journal of Geophysical Research : Earth Surface. Vol. 126 (2021) Issue 6 . - No. e2021JF006163.
ISSN 2169-9011
DOI der Verlagsversion: https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JF006163

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Project information

Project title:
Project's official titleProject's id
Predicting the effects of climate change on alpine rock slopes: Evaluation of paraglacial and periglacial drivers of rockfall in the European AlpsDR1070/1-1

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract

Frost weathering is a major control on rockwall erosion in alpine environments. Previous frost cracking model approaches used air temperatures as a proxy for rock temperatures to drive frost weathering simulations on rockwall and on mountain scale. Unfortunately, the thermal rockwall regime differs from air temperature due to topographic effects on insolation and insulation, which affects frost weathering model results and the predicted erosion patterns. To provide a more realistic model of the rockwall regime, we installed six temperature loggers along an altitudinal gradient in the Swiss Alps, including two logger pairs at rockwalls with opposing aspects. We used the recorded rock surface temperatures to model rock temperatures in the upper 10 m of the rockwalls and as input data to run four different frost cracking models. We mapped fracture spacing and rock strength to validate the model results. Our results showed that frost cracking models are sensitive to thermal, hydraulic and mechanical parameters that affect frost cracking magnitude but frost cracking patterns in terms of peak location and affected rock mass remained consistent between varying input parameters. Thermo-mechanical models incorporate rock strength and hydraulic properties and provided a frost cracking pattern at the rockwall scale that reflects better measured fracture spacing. At the mountain scale, these models showed a pattern of increasing frost cracking with altitude, which is contrary to purely thermal models but consistent with observations of existing rockfall studies.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Keywords: frost weathering; periglacial processes; landscape evolution; ice segregation; freeze-thaw
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Chemistry
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Geomorphology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Geomorphology > Chair Geomorphology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Oliver Sass
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Language: English
Originates at UBT: Yes
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:703-epub-5789-1
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2021 09:45
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 09:45
URI: https://epub.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/5789

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