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Thermo-cryogenic controls of fracture kinematics in permafrost rockwalls

Title data

Draebing, Daniel ; Krautblatter, Michael ; Hoffmann, Thomas:
Thermo-cryogenic controls of fracture kinematics in permafrost rockwalls.
In: Geophysical Research Letters. Vol. 44 (2017) Issue 8 . - pp. 3535-3544.
ISSN 1944-8007
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL072050

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project title:
Project's official titleProject's id
Influences of snow cover on thermal and mechanical processes in steep permafrost rock wallsNo information
Predicting the effects of climate change on alpine rock slopes: Evaluation of paraglacial and periglacial drivers of rockfall in the European AlpsNo information

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (KR3912/1-1)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DR1070/1-1)

Abstract in another language

Abstract Thermo-cryogenic processes prepare and trigger rockfalls and rockslides in alpine environments. Temporal occurrence, controls, and applied stresses of Thermo-cryogenic processes on rock masses are poorly understood. This paper reports annual crackmeter measurements with 3 h resolution across perennially ice-filled fractures in an unstable rock permafrost crestline. Thermo-cryogenic processes are controlled by snow cover onset and duration. Thermal changes in snow-free periods control expansion and contraction coincident temperature gradients on a daily to seasonal scale. We can show how snow cover promotes sustained temperatures from −9 to −1°C and boosts ice segregation-related fracture opening up to 1 cm in 8 months. During snowmelt, meltwater induces ice erosion and ice relaxation, which occur in the freeze-thaw window close to the thawing point. We hypothesize that Thermo-cryogenic processes and their cyclic repetition can lead to Thermo-cryogenic fatigue preparing rock slope failure and can control type and location of rockfalls in a changing climate.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Permafrost; Rock stability; Frost weathering; Thermal stress; Snow cover; Ice segregation
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
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2019 08:41
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2019 08:41
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48593