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Alpine rockwall erosion patterns follow elevation-dependent climate trajectories

Title data

Draebing, Daniel ; Mayer, Till ; Jacobs, Benjamin ; McColl, Samuel T.:
Alpine rockwall erosion patterns follow elevation-dependent climate trajectories.
In: Communications Earth & Environment. Vol. 3 (2022) . - No. 21.
ISSN 2662-4435
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-022-00348-2

Official URL: Volltext

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 in another language

Mountainous topography reflects an interplay between tectonic uplift, crustal strength, and climate-conditioned erosion cycles. During glaciations, glacial erosion increases bedrock relief, whereas during interglacials relief is lowered by rockwall erosion. Here, we show that paraglacial, frost cracking and permafrost processes jointly drive postglacial rockwall erosion in our research area. Field observations and modelling experiments demonstrate that all three processes are strongly conditioned by elevation. Our findings on catchment scale provide a potential multi-process explanation for the increase of rockwall erosion rates with elevation across the European Alps. As alpine basins warm during deglaciation, changing intensities and elevation-dependent interactions between periglacial and paraglacial processes result in elevational shifts in rockwall erosion patterns. Future climate warming will shift the intensity and elevation distribution of these processes, resulting in overall lower erosion rates across the Alps, but with more intensified erosion at the highest topography most sensitive to climate change.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Periglacial Processes; Paraglacial Processes; Permafrost; Frost weathering; Glacier
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
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2022 08:07
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 08:07
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/68653