Periglacial Morphodynamics in the Upper Kaunertal

  • Jana-Marie DusikEmail author
  • Matthias Leopold
  • Florian Haas
Part of the Geography of the Physical Environment book series (GEOPHY)


Proglacial areas represent transitional zones between glacial and periglacial landscapes. Non-glacial processes in the proglacial zone might evolve under periglacial conditions, and vice versa periglacial processes often occur in proglacial zones. Hence, periglacial morphodynamics constitute an inherent part of proglacial studies and are therefore presented here in the context of the research project PROSA. To get an overview of periglacial morphodynamics in the Upper Kaunertal, we (i) established a permafrost model based on BTS measurements, (ii) analysed meteorological data in order to verify ground indications for thermal-contraction cracking and (iii) analysed both geophysical and remote sensing data for the identification of permafrost creep and thermokarst phenomena. In addition, this chapter includes a case study on the morphodynamics of a complex rock glacier in the Riffltal, a tributary valley to the Upper Kaunertal. Results show a diverse genesis and development of different rock glacier parts and lobes, which are mainly related to glacial advances during the Egesen and LIA stadials. More recent developments are largely dependent on (i) sediment sources and pathways constituting diverse states of activity, (i) dynamic interactions between the tongues and (iii) the topographic surrounding, that is already causing dynamic inactivity of parts of the rock glacier.


PROSA project Geophysical measurements Permafrost model Rock glaciers Surface changes 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana-Marie Dusik
    • 1
  • Matthias Leopold
    • 3
  • Florian Haas
    • 2
  1. 1.Bavarian State Agency for Environment (LfU)Geological SurveyHof/SaaleGermany
  2. 2.Physical GeographyCatholic University of Eichstätt-IngolstadtEichstättGermany
  3. 3.School of Agriculture and EnvironmentThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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