IPA Action Group: Rock glacier inventories and kinematics

The International Permafrost Association (IPA) Action Group (2018-2023) intends to sustain the first steps toward the development of a network dedicated to rock glacier inventorying (mapping) and to promote the integration of permafrost creep rate (rock glacier kinematics) as a new associated parameter to Essential Climate Variable (ECV) Permafrost within the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) initiative supported by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), characterizing the evolution of mountain permafrost on the global scale. 

 

The Action Group consists at present of a network of 190 people from 25 countries. If you are interested in taking, please subscribe to the mailing list.

 

  • Objectives of the Action Group

    The Action Group intends to sustain the first steps toward developing of a network dedicated to rock glacier inventorying (mapping) and worldwide monitoring, along with the definition of new standards.

    More specifically, the Action Group aims to coordinate efforts to:

    • define widely accepted standard guidelines for inventorying and mapping rock glaciers, including information on the activity rate,
    • promote the use of satellite SAR interferometry (e.g. Sentinel data) for monitoring rock glacier activity at a regional scale and define appropriate standards and guidelines,
    • integrate as far as possible local-scale monitoring datasets based on aerial (photogrammetric) and terrestrial geodetic surveys,
    • initiate the development of a worldwide rock glacier database, including kinematics,
    • set up standard guidelines for selecting an appropriate number of rock glaciers per region that can be then used to assess temporal trends with decadal to intra-decadal time steps,
    • build up and manage a web platform for visualization and open data access.

     

     

  • Organization of the Action Group

    The basic idea of the Action Group is to bring together researchers for coordinating efforts, regrouping knowledge and data in a single place (open access database), as well as to define consensual baselines for inventorying rock glaciers and including kinematics information.

    Co-authors of this abstract have agreed to take part in the scientific core group of the Action Group during its initial stage.  Everyone is welcome to participate in the project and encouraged to apply at any time to the mailing list.

    The Action Group is chaired by Reynald Delaloye (University of Fribourg, Switzerland).

    A committee was constituted in September 2019 at the Workshop I to conduct the development of the activities related to the “inventories” part of the Action Group (Task 1), namely (additional members have been included since 2019):

    • Xavier Bodin (EDYTEM, France)
    • Francesco Brardinoni (University of Bologna, Italy)
    • Reynald Delaloye (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)
    • Christophe Lambiel (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
    • Shelley MacDonell (CEAZA, Chile)
    • Lucas Ruiz (IANIGLA, Argentina)
    • Line Rouyet (NORCE, Norway)
    • Alessandro Cicoira (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
    • Yan Hu (Chinese University of Hong Kong, China)
    • Mishelle Wehbe (University of Lethbridge, Canada)

    A second committee was constituted in February 2020 at the Workshop II to conduct the activities related to the “kinematics (GCOS ECV Permafrost)” part of the Action Group (Task 2), namely (additional members have been included since 2020):

    • Leif Anderson (University of Utah, USA)
    • Chloé Barboux (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)
    • Xavier Bodin (EDYTEM, France)
    • Alessandro Cicoira (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
    • Reynald Delaloye (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)
    • Isabelle Gärtner-Roer (University of Zurich, Switzerland – IPA Vice-President)
    • Christophe Lambiel (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
    • Cécile Pellet (University of Fribourg, PERMOS, Switzerland)
    • Line Rouyet (NORCE, Norway)
    • Philippe Schoeneich (University of Grenoble, France – GTN-P Steering Committee)
    • Gernot Seier (University of Graz, Austria)

    Participation in these committees is open. If you want to join one of them, please contact rockglacier-ipa@unifr.ch

  • Tasks

    During the kick-off meeting (EUCOP 5 Chamonix), attendees supported the proposal of structuring the Action Group activities into three main Tasks and subsequent Sub-Tasks as follows:

    Task 1: Definition of widely accepted standard guidelines for inventorying (mapping) rock glaciers, including indications of the activity rate

    • Agreement on a “working” definition of rock glaciers (what do we want/need to inventory?)
    • Standards for inventorying (definition of key attributes), e.g. point location, outlining, etc. -> Inventorying strategy
    • Practical guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers (e.g. also including the use of kinematics)

     

    Task 2: Generating rock glacier velocity time series in a climate-oriented perspective, meaning data records can contribute to the new product of the GCOS Essential Climate Variable (ECV) Permafrost.

    • Promoting the use of satellite SAR interferometry, e.g. Sentinel-1 data, but more generally remote sensing data, for monitoring the rock glacier activity at regional scales and defining appropriate standards and guidelines
    • Integrate as far as possible local-scale monitoring data based on aerial and terrestrial geodetic surveys
    • Setting up of standard guidelines for selecting an appropriate number of rock glaciers per region that can be then used to assess temporal trends with decadal to intra-decadal time steps (product for ECV Permafrost)

     

    Task 3: Operational development of a database/web platform

    • Initiating the development of a worldwide rock glacier database, including kinematics
    • Build up and manage a web platform for visualization and open data access
  • Timeline and activities

    The Action Group is active from mid-2018 to mid-2023. It was launched at EUCOP5 in Chamonix (France) in June 2018. Read more

    Pre-workshop took place in Chambéry (France) on 20 March 2019. Read more

    Workshop I took place in Evolène (Switzerland) on 23-27 September 2019. Read more

    Workshop II took place in Fribourg (Switzerland) on 11-13 February 2020. Read more

    Workshop III will take place in Puigcerdà (Catalonia, Spain) on 17 June 2023 during the EUCOP6. Program TBA.

     

  • Outcomes (baseline concepts and guidelines)

    Standard guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers (Task 1)

     - Baseline concepts (v4.2.2) (RGI_BCv4.2.2) (31.03.2022)

     - Practical concepts (v2.0) (RGI_PCv2.0) (11.04.2022)

     

    Kinematics as an optional attribute in standardized rock glacier inventories (Task 1)

    Baseline concepts (v3.0) (RGI_KAv3.0) (11.05.2022)

    Practical guidelines: rock glacier inventory using InSAR (kinematic approach) (v3.0.2)  (11.06.2020)

     

    Rock glacier velocity as an associated parameter of ECV Permafrost (Task 2)

    Baseline concepts (v3.1) (RGV_BCv3.1) (16.05.2022)

     

     

News

Workshop III at EUCOP6

[21.07.2022] We are pleased to announce that the IPA Action group RGIK Workshop III will take place in Puigcerdà (Catalonia, Spain) on 17 June 2023, during the next European Conference on Permafrost (EUCOP6). Also, we are happy to advertise that the session entitled “Open Session on Rock Glaciers” has been approved for the EUCOP6. The session will be chaired by Cécile Pellet, Line Rouyet and Yan Hu. Please stay tuned for more information about the workshop and the call for abstracts for the conference.

RGI document updates (Task 1)

[13.05.2022] Baseline and practical concepts documents have been updated. The baseline concepts version 4.2.2 was reviewed and released in April 2022. Practical concepts version 2.0 and kinematic attribute version 3.0 are open for approval.

Seminars

[20.05.2022] The Action Group is organising online seminars related to different rock glacier topics. Next seminars are: “Inventorying rock glaciers in the arid West Kunlun of China by the combined use of SAR interferometry and deep learning” by Yan Hu (01.06.2022) and “Interpretation of Volume and Flux Changes of the Laurichard Rock Glacier Between 1952 and 2019, French Alps” by Diego Cusicanqui (30.06.2022). Please, check the seminar program here.

Rock glacier velocity as an associated parameter of ECV Permafrost (Task 2)

[04.02.2022] The version 3.1 was released the 04 February 2022.  The Rock Glacier Kinematic (RGK) product was renamed into Rock Glacier Velocity (RGV). This version and its content are open for approval. The practical guidelines will be compiled in a next stage starting early 2022 on the basis of this version 3.1. 

Rock Glacier Velocity (RGV)

[02.02.2022] Rock Glacier Velocity (RGV) has been formally accepted as a new associated parameter to the ECV Permafrost under the framework of GTN-P and GCOS. Rock Glacier Velocity will be included in the next GTN-P and GCOS implementation plans, which are currently under review. 

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Contact us

IPA Action Group Rock glacier inventories and kinematics

Geography
Department of Geosciences

University of Fribourg
Chemin du Musée 4

CH – 1700 Fribourg

   +41 26 300 90 21

  rockglacier-ipa@unifr.ch