IPA Action Group : Rock glacier inventories and kinematics

The IPA Action Group (2018-2023) intends to sustain the first steps toward the organization and the management of a network dedicated to rock glacier mapping (inventorying) 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 166 people from 24 countries. If you are interested to take part, subscribe to its mailing list!

 

  • Objectives of the Action Group

    The Action Group intends to sustain the first steps toward the organization and the management of a network dedicated to rock glacier mapping (inventorying) and monitoring all around the world and the definition of the necessary standards.

    More specifically the Action Group aims to coordinate efforts to:

    • define widely accepted standard guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers in mountain permafrost regions, including information on the activity rate,
    • promote the use of satellite SAR interferometry, e.g. Sentinel data, for monitoring the rock glacier activity at a regional scale and define appropriate standards and guidelines,
    • integrate as far as possible local-scale based monitoring data based on aerial and terrestrial geodetic surveys,
    • initiate the development a world-wide 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.

    The Action Group is expecting that in the long run rock glacier kinematics could be recognized by the permafrost community (e.g. GTN-P) and later by the WMO as a new associated parameter to the ECV Permafrost and could be integrated in the monitoring strategy of international programs in addition to the observation of permafrost thermal state and active layer trends.

     

  • Organization of the Action Group

    The basic idea of the Action is to federate scientists for coordinating efforts and regrouping knowledge and data on a single place (open access database) and define consensual baselines for inventorying rock glaciers and including kinematics information.

    Co-authors of this abstract have agreed to take part to the scientific core group of the Action in its initial stage.  Everyone is welcome to participate at 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 has been constituted in September 2019 at Workshop I to conduct the development of the activities related the “inventories” part of the Action Group (Task 1), namely:

    • 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)

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

    • Leif Anderson (GFZ Potsdam, Germany)
    • Xavier Bodin (EDYTEM, France)
    • Reynald Delaloye (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)
    • Isabelle Gärtner-Roer (University of Zurich, Switzerland – IPA Vice-President)
    • Cécile Pellet (University of Fribourg, PERMOS, Switzerland)
    • Line Rouyet (NORCE, Norway)
    • Philippe Schoeneich (University of Grenoble, France – GTN-P Steering Committee)

    The participation to this committee is open. If you want to join one to them, take contact with 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 in mountain permafrost regions, including indications on the activity rate

    • Agreement of a “working” definition of rock glaciers (what do we want/need to inventory ?)
    • Standards of 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 InSAR)

     

    Task 2 : Generating rock glacier kinematics time series in a climate-oriented perspective, meaning data records contributing to a potential 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 a regional scale and define 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 world-wide 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 I took place in Chambéry (France) on 20 March 2019. Read more

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

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

     

  • Outcomes (baseline concepts and guidelines)

    Standard guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers (Task 1)

     - Baseline concepts (v4.2) (RGI_BCv4.2) (25.07.2021)

     

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

    Baseline concepts (v2.1) (29.04.2020)

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

     

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

    Baseline concepts (v3.0) (RGK_BCv3) (02.11.2021)

     

     

News

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

The version 3.0 was released the 02 November 2021 and is submitted for approbation until 31 December 2021. The practical guidelines will be compiled in a next stage starting early 2022 on the basis of this version 3.0. 

RGI baseline and practical concepts (Task 1)

Practical aspects regarding standard guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers have been worked on. The feedback of the Action Group community is expected on both resulting documents until 10 October 2021 via the inserted comment boxes. RGI_BCv4.2.1 is an illustrated version of RGI_BCv4.2 and RGI_PCv1.0 is an additional illustrated chapter of the previous document.

Baseline concepts towards the set-up of standard guidelines for inventorying rock glaciers (Task 1)

An updated version 4.2 (RGI_BCv4.2) was released in July 2021. In the continuation of the previous version, it is still submitted to your approval within the next months (link at the beginning of the document).

Support to the IPA Action Group extended!

Due to the delays caused by the pandemic, the IPA Executive Committee has extended its support to the Action Group by one year, that is until June 2023. News about the planned activities of the Action Group for about the next year and new documents to revise or comment are to be expected soon. Stay tuned!

Kinematics as an optional attribute of standardized rock glacier inventories (baseline concepts, Task 1)

As a specific first result of the Action Group Workshop II, which took place in February 2020, and in addendum to the general baseline document, the version 2.1  of the baseline concepts for the integration of an optional kinematic attribute in rock glacier inventories has been prepared, launched and opened for comment in May 2020. Practical guidelines using InSAR have also been edited in the framework of the ESA CCI+ Permafrost project (2018-2021).

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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