Active rock glacier, talus slope

 Elevation: 2800-2900m  -   Massif: Valais Alps   -   Commune: Mont-Noble (VS)

The study of the Tsavolire (La Tsevalire) rock glacier started during the 1990s. At first the main focus layed on the investigation of the presence, the distribution and the evolution of permafrost inside the rock glacier. Later, other measurements were conducted, such as position measurements (geodetic, photogrammetry), hydrological measurements and ground surface temperature measurements on an adjacent talus slope.


  • Measurements and observations

    Thermal (ground surface temperature : GST)
    Geodetic (GNSS)
    Hydrological (tracing experiment)
    Geophysics (geoelectric)

  • Figures

    Horizontal motion rate measured by a permanent GNSS stations located in the lower part of the rock glacier.



    Mean annual ground surface temperature on the Pointe de la Tsevalire talus slope. The orange curve represents the mean temperature of the 3 sensors installed on the site (grey curves). The dotted orange line is the mean temperature observed on the site since the beginning of the measurements.



    Contribution of the annual Ground Freezing (sum of all daily mean values < 0°C) and Ground Thawing (>0°C) Indexes to the mean annual ground surface temperature (MAGST) on a set of selected locations (n) on the site (Pointe de la Tsevalire talus slope) with indication of the respective trend since the beginning of the time series. Or : how cold was the winter and how warm was the summer at the surface of the ground ?



    Annual dates of the start and end of the snowmelt period (zero curtain phase). Mean of n sensors placed on permafrost terrain (Pointe de la Tservalire talus slope). The dotted lines show the mean dates since the beginning of the time series.



  • Collaboration

    Geosat SA

  • Publications

    PERMOS 2019. Permafrost in Switzerland 2014/2015 to 2017/2018. Noetzli, J., Pellet, C., and Staub, B. (eds.), Glaciological Report (Permafrost) No. 16-19 of the Cryospheric Commission of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, 104 pp, DOI:10.13093/permos-rep-2019-16-19.  

    Delaloye, R. & Staub., B. (2016). Seasonal variations of rock glacier creep: time series observations from the Western Swiss Alps. In: Günther, F. and Morgenstern, A. (Eds.) (2016): XI. International Conference On Permafrost – Book of Abstracts, 20 – 24 June 2016, Potsdam, Germany. Bibliothek Wissenschaftspark Albert Einstein. 22-23. (pdf)

    PERMOS (2016). Permafrost in Switzerland 2010/2011 to 2013/2014. Noetzli, J., Luethi, R., and Staub, B. (eds.), Glaciological Report (Permafrost) No. 12-15 of the Cryospheric Commission of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, 85 pp.  (pdf)  

    Mari, S. (2014). Studio e insegnamento dei movimenti di versante in ambiente periglaciale in Ticino e nella Regione Gottardo. Tesi di dottorato, Università di Friborgo, 375 pp. (pdf)

    Mari, S., Scapozza, C., Pera, S. and Delaloye, R. (2013). Prove di multitracciamento di ghiacciai rocciosi e ambienti periglaciali nel Vallon de Réchy (VS) e nella Valle di Sceru (TI). Bollettino della Società ticinese di scienze naturali, 101, 2013, pp. 13-20 (ISSN 0379-1254). (pdf)

    PERMOS (2013). Permafrost in Switzerland 2008/2009 and 2009/2010. Noetzli, J. (ed.), Glaciological Report (Permafrost) No. 10/11 of the Cryospheric Commission of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, 80 pp. (pdf)

    Delaloye, R. (2004). Contribution à l’étude du pergélisol de montagne en zone marginale. PhD thesis, Fac. Sciences, Univ. Fribourg, GeoFocus 10 (pdf)

    Lugon, R. & Delaloye, R. (2001). Modelling alpine permafrost distribution, Val de Réchy, Valais Alps (Switzerland).Norwegian Journal of Geography. Vol. 55/4, 224-229.

    Tenthorey G. (1994): Hydrologie liée aux glaciers rocheux, Haut-Val de Réchy (Nax, VS) Bulletin de la Murithienne, 112, 97-116.

    Tenthorey (1993). Paysage géomorphologique du Haut-Val de Réchy (Valais, Suisse) et hydrologie liée aux glaciers rocheux. Thèse de doctorat, Institut de Géographie, Université de Fribourg (CH), non publié, 291 p. (pdf)

    Tenthorey G. (1992): Perennial névés and the hydrology of rock glacier. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 3(3), 247-252.

    Tenthorey G. (1989): Etude géomorphologique et hydrologique des terrains périglaciaires du haut Val de Réchy (Nax, VS): présentation du projet. Bulletin de la Murithienne, 107, 59-67.