Dr. Matthias Huss


Phone: +41 26 300 90 29 | Fax: +41 26 300 97 46

E-mail: matthias.huss(at)unifr.ch

Office: 334

Function: Senior Lecturer

Personal Info

Academic Qualification

  • Since 2009    Senior lecturer, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg,Switzerland
  • 2009               PhD thesis at VAW-ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2005               Diploma theses at ETH Zurich, Switzerland


Bachelor Level

  • GG.0101 Introduction to Physical Geography
  • GG.0151 Introduction to Physical Geography (Exercises)
  • GG.0253 Introduction to Cryosphere
  • GG.0254 Introduction to Cryosphere (Exercises)


Master Level

  • GG.0448 Modelling of Glaciers and Permafrost
  • GG.0444 Alpine Cryosphere
  • GG.0443 Project in Cryosphere and Geomorphology
  • GG.0410 Master seminar (preliminary)
  • GG.0501 Master seminar (final)
  • GG.0530 Field Course


  • Mass balance of alpine glaciers
  • Hydrological modelling of highly glacierized drainage basins
  • Response of mountain glaciers to past and future climate change


Current Projects

  • Glacier Monitoring Switzerland (GLAMOS), funded by BAFU, GCOS Schweiz and scnat (2016-present)
  • Snowline observations to remotely derive seasonal to sub-seasonal glacier mass balance in the Tien Shan and the Pamir Mountains, funded by SNSF (2014-present)
  • State, changes and impact of glacier surface albedo in the Swiss Alps, a sub-project of “Swiss Earth Observatory Network (SEON)”, funded by the Swiss University Conference (2013-present)
  • New monitoring techniques for understanding the response of very small glaciers to climate change, funded by SNSF (2012-present)
  • Glaciolive – real-time glacier monitoring, funded by Sparkling Science (2015-present)
  • FutureLakes – formation and future evolution glacier lakes in Austria, funded by ÖAW (2015-present)

Past Projects  

  • SNF-project: Helicopter-borne GPR for mapping snow accumulation distribution (2011-2015)
  • FREEZWATER: Artificial glaciers in Armenia (2011-2014)    
  • NFP61-project: MONTANAQUA: Approaching water stress in the Alps – water management options in the Crans-Montana-Sierre Region (Valais) (2010-2013)
  • Past and future changes in glacier mass balance in the Swiss Alps (2006-2009)



[72] Huss, M., and Fischer, M. (submitted). Sensitivity of very small glaciers in the Swiss Alps to future climate change. Frontiers in Earth Science.

[71] Kronenberg, M., Barandun, M., Hoelzle, M., Huss, M., Farinotti, D., Azisov, E., Usubaliev, R., Gafurov, A., Patrakov, D. and Kaeaeb, A. (2016). Mass balance reconstruction for Glacier No. 354, Tien Shan from 2003-2014. Annals of Glaciology, 57(71), 92-102, doi:10.3189/2016AoG71A032. Link.

[70] Sold, L., Huss, M., Machguth, H., Joerg, P.C., Leysinger-Vieli, G., Linsbauer, A., Salzmann, N., Zemp, M., and Hoelzle, M. (2016). Mass balance reanalysis of Findelengletscher, Switzerland, benefits from extensive snow accumulation measurements Frontiers in Earth Science. Link.

[69] Drolon, V., Maisongrande, P., Berthier, E., Swinnen, E. and Huss, M.(submitted). Monitoring of seasonal glacier mass balance over the European Alps using low resolution optical images. Journal of Glaciology.

[68] Farinotti, D., Pistocchi, A., and Huss, M., (submitted). From dwindling glaciers to headwater lakes: Can dams replace glaciers in the European Alps? Environmental Research Letters.

[67] Fischer, M., Huss, M., and Hoelzle, M. (submitted). Use of an ultra-long-range terrestrial laser scanner to monitor the mass balance of very small glaciers in the Swiss Alps. The Cryosphere.

[66] Rastner, P., Joerg, P. C., Huss, M., Zemp, M. (in preparation). Historical analysis and visualization of the retreat of Findelengletscher, Switzerland, 1859-2010. Computers & Geosciences .


[65] Huss, M. and Hock, R. (2015). A new model for global glacier change and sea-level rise. Frontiers in Earth Science, 3:54, doi:10.3389/feart.2015.00054. Link.

[64] Huss, M., Dhulst, L. and Bauder, A. (2015). New long-term mass balance series for the Swiss Alps. Journal of Glaciology, 61 (227), 551-562. Link.

[63] Andreassen, L. M., Huss, M., Melvold, K., Elvehoy, H. and Winsvold, S.H. (2015). Ice thickness measurements and ice volume estimate of glaciers in Norway. Journal of Glaciology, 61 (228), 763-775. Link.

[62] Barandun, M., Huss, M., Sold, L., Farinotti, D., Azisov, E., Salzmann, N., Usubaliev, R., Merkushkin, A. and Hoelzle, M. (2015). Re-analysis of seasonal mass balance at Abramov Glacier 1968-2014. Journal of Glaciology, 61 (230), 1103-1117. doi:10.3189/2015JoG14J239. Link.

[61] Gabbi, J., Huss, M., Bauder, A., and Schwikowski, M. (2015). The impact of Saharan dust and black carbon on albedo and long-term glacier mass balance. The Cryosphere, 9, 1385-1400. Link.

[60] Finger, D., Vis, M., Huss, M. and Seibert, S. (2015). The value of multiple data set calibration versus model complexity for improving the performance of hydrological models in mountain catchments. Water Resources Research, 51(4), 1939-1958, doi:10.1002/2014WR015712. Link.

[59] Fischer, M., Huss, M., and Hoelzle, M. (2015). Surface elevation and mass changes of all Swiss glaciers 1980-2010. The Cryosphere, 9, 525-540. Link.

[58] Li, H., Beldring, S., Xu, C.-Y., Huss, M., Melvold, K. and Jain, S. (2015). Integrating a glacier retreat model into a hydrological model - case studies on three glacierised catchments in Norway and Himalayan region. Journal of Hydrology, 527, 656-667, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.05.017. Link.

[57] McNabb, R.W., Hock, R., and Huss, M. (2015). Variations in Alaska tidewater glacier frontal ablation, 1985-2013 Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 120(1), 120-136, doi:10.1002/2014JF003276. Link.

[56] Naegeli, K., Damm, A., Huss, M., Schaepman, M., Hoelzle, M. (2015). Imaging spectroscopy to assess the composition of ice surface materials and their impact on glacier mass balance. Remote Sensing of the Environment, 168, 388-402. Link.

[55] Schneider, F., Reynard, E., Bonriposi, M., Graefe, O., Herweg, K., Homewood, C., Huss, M., Kauzlaric, M., Liniger, H., Rey, E., Rist, S., Schaedler, B. and Weingartner, R. (2015). Assessing the Sustainability of Water Governance Systems: The Sustainability Wheel. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 58 (9), 1577-1600. doi:10.1080/09640568.2014.938804. Link.

[54] Sold, L., Huss., M., Eichler, A., Schwikowski, M., and Hoelzle, M. (2015). Unlocking annual firn layer water equivalents from ground-penetrating radar data on an Alpine glacier. The Cryosphere, 9, 1075-1087. Link.

[53] Truessel, B., Truffer, M., Hock, R., Huss, M. and Motyka, R.J. (2015). Runaway thinning of the low-elevation Yakutat Glacier, Alaska, and its sensitivity to climate change. Journal of Glaciology, 61(225), 65-75. Link.


[52] Huss, M., Joerg, P.C., Zemp, M., and Salzmann, N. (2014). High uncertainty in 21st century runoff projections from glacierized basins. Journal of Hydrology, 510, 35-48. Link.

[51] Huss, M. and Farinotti, D. (2014). A high-resolution bedrock map for the Antarctic Peninsula. The Cryosphere, 8, 1261-1273. Link.

[50] Addor, N., Roessler, O., Koeplin, N., Huss, M., Weingartner, R. and Seibert, J. (2014). Robust changes and sources of uncertainty in the projected hydrological regimes of Swiss catchments. Water Resources Research, 50, doi:10.1002/2014WR015549. Link.

[49] Farinotti, D, King, E.C., Albrecht, A., Huss, M. and Gudmundsson, G.H. (2014). The bedrock topography of Starbuck Glacier, Antarctic Peninsula, as determined by radio-echo soundings and flow modeling. Annals of Glaciology, 55(67), 22-28. Link.

[48] Fischer, M., Huss, M., Barboux, C. and Hoelzle, M. (2014). The new Swiss Glacier Inventory SGI2010: Relevance of using high-resolution source data in areas dominated by very small glaciers Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 46(4), 933-945. Link.

[47] Frey, H., Machguth, H., Huss, M., Huggel, C., Bajracharya, S., Bolch, T., Kulkarni, A., Linsbauer, A., Salzmann, N. and Stoffel, M. 2013. Estimating the volume of glaciers in the Himalaya-Karakoram region using different methods. The Cryosphere, 8, 2313-2333. Link

[46] Gaertner-Roer, I., Naegeli, K., Huss, M., Knecht, T., Machguth, H. and Zemp, M. (2014). A database of worldwide glacier thickness observations. Global and Planetary Change, 122, 330-344. Link.

[45] Haemmig, C., Huss, M., Keusen, H., Hess, J., Wegmueller, U., Zhigang, A. and Kulubayi, W. (2014). Hazard Assessment of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods from Kyagar Glacier, Karakoram Mountains, P.R. China. Annals of Glaciology, 55(66), 34-44. Link.

[44] Machguth, H. and Huss, M. (2014). The length of the world's glaciers - a new approach for the global calculation of center lines. The Cryosphere, 8, 1741-1755. Link.

[43] Nestler, A., Huss., M., Ambartzumian, R. and Hambarian, A. (2014). Hydrological implications of covering wind-blown snow accumulation with geotextiles on Mount Aragats, Armenia. Geosciences, 4, 73-92; doi:10.3390/geosciences4030073. Link.

[42] Reynard, E., Bonriposi, M., Graefe, O., Homewood, C., Huss, M., Kauzlaric, M., Liniger, H., Rey, E., Rist, S., Schaedler, B., Schneider, F. and Weingartner, R. (2014). Interdisciplinary assessment of complex regional water systems and their future evolution: how socio-economic drivers can matter more than climate. WIREs Water, doi: 10.1002/wat2.1032. Link.

[41] Rogers, S., Fischer, M., and Huss, M. (2014). Combining glaciological and archaeological methods for gauging glacial archaeological potential. Journal of Archaeological Science, 52, 410-420. Link.

[40] Seibert, J., Jenicek, M., Huss, M. and Ewen, T. (2014). Snow and ice in the water cycle. 99-137. In: Hazards, Risks and Disasters Related to Snow and Ice. Eds: Haeberli, W., Whiteman, C. and Shroder, J.F.

[39] Sorg, A., Huss., M., Stoffel, M. and Rohrer, M. (2014). The days of plenty might soon be over in glacierized Central Asian catchments. Environmental Research Letters, 9, 104018. Link.


[38] Huss, M. (2013). Density assumptions for converting geodetic glacier volume change to mass change. The Cryosphere, 7, 877-887. Link

[37] Huss, M., Sold, L., Hoelzle, M., Stokvis, M., Salzmann, N., Farinotti, D. and Zemp, M. (2013). Towards remote monitoring of sub-seasonal glacier mass balance. Annals of Glaciology, 54(63), 85-93. Link

[36] Huss, M., Voinesco, A. and Hoelzle, M. (2013). Implications of climate change on Glacier de la Plaine Morte, Switzerland. Geographica Helvetica, 68, 227-237. Link

[35] Farinotti, D. and Huss, M. (2013). An upper-bound estimate for the accuracy of glacier volume–area scaling. The Cryosphere, 7, 1707-1720. Link

[34] Finger, D., Hugentobler, A., Huss, M., Voinesco, A., Wernli, H.R., Fischer, D., Weber, E., Jeannin, P-Y., Kauzlaric, M., Wirz, A., Vennemann, T., Huesler, F., Schaedler, B. and Weingartner, R. (2013). Identification of glacial melt water runoff in a karstic environment and its implication for present and future water availability. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17, 3261-3277. Link

[33] Sold, L., Huss, M., Hoelzle, M., Joerg, P.C., Zemp, M (2013). Methodological approaches to infer end-of-winter snow distribution on alpine glaciers. Journal of Glaciology, 59 (218), 1047-1059. Link

[32] Zemp, M., Thibert, E., Huss, M., Stumm, D., Rolstad-Denby, C., Nuth, C., Nussbaumer, S.U., Moholdt, G., Mercer, A., Mayer, C., Joerg, P.C., Jansson, P., Hynek, B., Fischer, A., Escher-Vetter, H., Elvehoy, H., and Andreassen, L.M. (2013). Uncertainties and re-analysis of glacier mass balance measurements. The Cryosphere, 7, 1227-1245. Link


[31] Huss, M. and Farinotti, D., 2012. Distributed ice thickness and volume of all glaciers around the globe. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, F04010, doi:10.1029/2012JF002523.

[30] Huss, M., 2012. Extrapolating glacier mass balance to the mountain-range scale: The European Alps 1900-2100. The Cryosphere, 6, 713-727, doi:10.5194/tc-6-713-2012. 

[29] Huss, M., Hock, R., Bauder, A. and Funk. M., 2012. Conventional versus reference-surface mass balance. Journal of Glaciology, 58 (208), 278-286.

[28] Farinotti, D., Usselmann, S., Huss, M., Bauder, A. and Funk, M., 2012. The runoff evolution in the Swiss Alps: Projections for selected high-alpine catchments based on ENSEMBLES scenarios. Hydrological Processes, 26(13), 1909–1924, doi:10.1002/hyp.8276.

[27] Levermann, A., Bamber, J., Drijfhout, S., Ganopolski, A., Haeberli, W., Harris, N.R.P., Huss, M., Krüger, K., Lenton, T.M., Lindsay, R.W., Notz, D., Wadhams, P., Weber, S., 2012. Potential climatic transitions with profound impact on Europe. Climatic Change, 110, 845-878, doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0126-5.

[26] Dalban, P., Failletaz, J., Walter, F. and Huss, M., 2012. Seismic activity and surface motion of a steep temperate glacier, a study on Triftgletscher, Switzerland. Journal of Glaciology, 58 (209), 513-528.



[25] Huss, M., 2011. Present and future contribution of glaciers to runoff from macroscale drainage basins in Europe. Water Resources Research, 47, W07511, doi:10.1029/2010WR010299.

[24] Jouvet, G., Huss, M., Blatter, H. and Funk. M., 2011. Modelling the retreat of Great Aletschgletscher in a changing climate. Journal of Glaciology, 57(206), 1033-1045.

[23] Jouvet, G., Picasso, M., Rappaz, J., Huss, M. and Funk. M., 2011. Modelling and numerical simulation of the dynamics of glaciers including local damage effects. Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena, 6(5), 263-280.

[22] Junghans, N., Cullmann, J. and Huss, M., 2011. Evaluating the effect of snow- and icemelt in a Swiss headwater catchment and further downstream in the River Rhine. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 56(6), 981-993. 

[21] Schaefli, B. and Huss, M., 2011. Integrating point glacier mass balance observations into hydrologic model identification, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, vol. 15, 1227-1241.

[20] Sugiyama, S., Yoshizawa, T., Huss, M., Tsutaki, S. and Nishimura, D., 2011. Spatial distribution of surface ablation in the terminus of Rhonegletscher, Switzerland. Annals of Glaciology, 52(58), 1-8.



[19] Huss, M., Hock, R., Bauder, A. and Funk, M., 2010. 100-year glacier mass changes in the Swiss Alps linked to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Geophyiscal Research Letters, 37, L10501, doi:10.1029/2010GL042616.

[18] Huss, M., Jouvet, G., Farinotti, D. and Bauder, A., 2010. Future high-mountain hydrology: a new parameterization of glacier retreat. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 14, 815-829.

[17] Huss, M., Usselmann, S., Farinotti, D. and Bauder, A., 2010. Glacier mass balance in the south-eastern Swiss Alps since 1900 and perspectives for the future. Erdkunde, 64(2), 119-140. 

[16] Huss, M., 2010. Mass balance of Pizolgletscher. Geographica Helvetica, 65(2), 80-92.

[15] Huss, M., Hock, R., Bauder, A. and Funk, M., 2010. Reply to the Comment of Leclercq et al. on “100-year mass changes in the Swiss Alps linked to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation”. The Cryosphere Discuss., 4, 2587-2592.

[14] Farinotti, D., Magnusson, J., Huss, M. and Bauder, A., 2010. Snow accumulation distribution inferred from time-lapse photography and simple modelling. Hydrological Processes, 24, 2087-2097, doi:10.1002/hyp.7629.



[13] Huss, M., Funk, M. and Ohmura, A., 2009. Strong Alpine glacier melt in the 1940s due to enhanced solar radiation. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L23501, doi:10.1029/2009GL040789. 

[12] Huss, M., Bauder, A. and Funk, M., 2009. Homogenization of long-term mass balance time series, Annals of Glaciology, 50(50), 198–206. http://www.igsoc.org/annals/50/50/t50A053.pdf

[11] Huss, M. and Bauder, A., 2009. 20-th century climate change inferred from four long term point observations of seasonal mass balance, Annals of Glaciology, 50(50), 207–214. http://www.igsoc.org/annals/50/50/t50A076.pdf

[10] Farinotti, D., Huss, M., Bauder, A., Funk, M. and Truffer, M., 2009. A method to estimate ice volume and ice thickness distribution of alpine glaciers. Journal of Glaciology, 55(191), 422-430. http://www.igsoc.org/journal/55/191/t08J055.pdf

[9] Farinotti, D., Huss, M., Bauder, A. and Funk, M., 2009. An estimate of the glacier ice volume in the the Swiss Alps. Global and Planetary Change, 68(3), 225-231, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2009.05.004.

[8] Jouvet, G., Huss, M., Blatter, H., Picasso, M. and Rappaz, J., 2009. Numerical simulation of Rhonegletscher from 1874 to 2100. Journal of Computational Physics, 228(17), 6426-6439, doi:10.1016/j.jcp.2009.05.033.



[7] Huss, M., Bauder, A., Funk, M. and Hock, R. 2008. Determination of the seasonal mass balance of four Alpine glaciers since 1865, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, F01015, doi:10.1029/2007JF000803.

[6] Huss, M., Farinotti, D., Bauder, A. and Funk, M. 2008. Modelling runoff from highly glacierized alpine drainage basins in a changing climate, Hydrological Processes, 22(19), 3888–3902, doi:10.1002/hyp.7055.http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118859399/abstract

[5] Huss, M., Stöckli, R., Kappenberger, G. and Blatter, H. 2008. Temporal and spatial changes of Laika Glacier, Canadian Arctic, since 1959 inferred from satellite remote sensing and mass balance modelling, Journal of Glaciology, 54(188), 857–866. http://www.igsoc.org/journal/54/188/t08j018.pdf

[4] Sugiyama, S., Bauder, A., Huss, M., Riesen, P. and Funk, M., 2008. Triggering and drainage mechanisms of the 2004 glacier-dammed lake outburst in Gornergletscher, Switzerland. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, F04019, doi:10.1029/2007JF000920. http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2007JF000920.shtml



[3] Huss M., Sugiyama, S., Bauder, A. and Funk, M., 2007. Retreat scenarios of Unteraargletscher, Switzerland, using a combined ice-flow mass-balance model. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 39(3), 422–431.

[2] Huss, M., Bauder, A., Werder, M., Funk, M. and Hock, R., 2007. Glacier-dammed lake outburst events of Gornersee, Switzerland Journal of Glaciology, 53(181), 189–200. http://www.igsoc.org/journal/53/181/j06j061.pdf

[1] Bauder, A., Funk, M. and Huss, M., 2007. Ice volume changes of selected glaciers in the Swiss Alps since the end of the 19th century. Annals of Glaciology, 46, 145–149. http://www.igsoc.org/annals/46/a46a159.pdf

Some papers (links see above) may require a journal subscription. If you do not have access to the journal please send me an email to obtain a pdf of the paper.


Other Publications

Hauck, C., Collet, C., Delaloye, R., Hilbich, C., Hoelzle, M., Huss, M., Salzmann, N., 2012. The potential of new measurement and modelling techniques in alpine cryosphere and geomorphology research. Geographica Helvetica, 1-2, 26-37.

Huss, M., 2011. Melting glaciers: Is there an impact on the Danube hydrology? Danube News, 23, 5-8.

Huss, M., 2011. Ein Gletscher in seinen letzten Zügen, Geosciences Actuel, 1/2011, 23-26.

Farinotti, D., Bauder, A., Huss, M., Jouvet, G., Widmer, F. and Boes, R., 2011. Future glacier evolution and impact on the runoff regime in the catchments of Alpine reservoirs: the Aletsch area, Switzerland, in Symposium Book “Dams in Switzerland - Source for Worldwide Swiss Dam Engineering” (Swiss Committee on Dams), 283-289, ISBN: 978-3-85545-158-6.

Huss, M., 2009. Past and future changes in glacier mass balance. PhD thesis, ETH Zürich, VAW-Mitteilungen 211.

Huss, M., 2005. Gornergletscher - Gletscherseeausbrüche und Massenbilanzabschätzungen. Diploma (MSc) thesis, ETH Zürich, 204 pp.




Unit of Geography - Chemin du Musée 4 - 1700 Fribourg - Tel +41 26 / 300 90 10 - Fax +41 26 / 300 9746
nicole.equey [at] unifr.ch - Swiss University