Investigating glacier–permafrost relationships in high-mountain areas: historical background, selected examples and research needs
Wilfried Haeberli, 2005. "Investigating glacier–permafrost relationships in high-mountain areas: historical background, selected examples and research needs", Cryospheric Systems: Glaciers and Permafrost, C. Harris, J. B. Murton
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Investigations on the relationships and interactions between glaciers and permafrost in high-mountain regions have long been neglected. As a consequence, numerous fascinating questions remain open and offer possibilities for highly relevant, innovative and integrative research concerning materials, processes, landforms, environmental aspects and natural hazards. The historical background to this situation is first reviewed, examples are given of some key unanswered questions and two case studies are presented to illustrate the importance of considering the combined effects of glaciers and permafrost, particularly in the context of hazard assessments in high mountains.
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The introduction of the term periglacial by Łoziński in 1909 to describe the cold-climate conditions in the zone adjacent to, but beyond, the Pleistocene glaciers encouraged the separate development of geocryological and glaciological research. Geological and geomorphological processes at the interface between glaciers and permafrost have, as a result, been given less attention than they warrant, and the influence of one on the other has in many respects been neglected. This book includes a collection of papers that emphasize glacier-permafrost interactions. Papers consider permafrost and its influence on glacitectonic processes, glacial meltwater systems and ground-ice development in proglacial and ice-marginal environments. In addition, recent research findings are reported on paraglacial processes, permafrost evolution, rock glaciers, the formation of ice-wedge casts and periglacial slope evolution. It is hoped that this book will stimulate interest in the interface between glacial and periglacial systems, and encourage further collaborative research involving glaciologists and glacial geologists on the one hand, and geocryologists and permafrost scientists on the other.