Glacier Monitoring of Switzerland (GLAMOS)

Glaciers are excellent indicators of climate change. Fluctuations in glacier length and changes in volume and mass represent key parameters in environmental monitoring. The project Glacier Monitoring in Switzerland (GLAMOS) aims at maintaining and evaluating the exceptional long-term data series available for numerous glaciers in the Swiss Alps. Glacier monitoring in Switzerland looks back onto a long tradition and is operational since the late 19thcentury. GLAMOS collects and compiles representative and relevant glaciological data in relation to climate variations and delivers the results to international data centres and a broader public.


GLAMOS is a joint effort of the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW) at ETH Zurich and the Universities of Fribourg and Zurich. The following categories of data are acquired and evaluated at a seasonal to multi-annual basis:

  1. Glacier length change for about 100 glaciers
  2. Seasonal surface mass balance for about 15 glaciers
  3. Ice volume changes at 5-10-year intervals for about 40 glaciers
  4. Surface ice flow speed
  5. Repeated glacier inventories
  6. Firn and ice temperatures


Research aims:
(1) Long-term response of Swiss glaciers to climate change

(2) Monitoring of glacier length and mass change

(3) Monitoring of englacial temperature

(4) Dissemination of results and collaboration with international data centers


Study area: Glacier de la Plaine Morte (VS), Findelengletscher (VS), St. Annafirn (UR), Vadret dal Murtel (GR), Vadret da Pers (GR), Glacier du Tsanfleuron (VS), Colle Gnifetti (VS)



  • Illustrations
    Cumulative length change of four Swiss glaciers since 1880.

    Annual mass balance of four selected Swiss glaciers since 1999.

Duration: 2016-2020

Funded by: Federal Office for the Environment, MeteoSchweiz (GCOS Schweiz), Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT)

Collaborators: Matthias Huss, University of Fribourg, ETH Zurich ; M. Hoelzle, University of Fribourg

External collaboration with:

  • ETH Zurich (Prof. Martin Funk, Dr. Andreas Bauder)
  • University of Zurich (Prof. Andreas Vieli, Dr. Andreas Linsbauer)



Matthias Huss

Department of Geosciences

University of Fribourg
Chemin du Musée 4

CH–1700 Fribourg

   +41 26 300 90 21