Month: November 2023


Estimating ice discharge of the Antarctic Peninsula using different ice-thickness datasets

The Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet (APIS) has become a significant contributor to rising sea levels, and accurately estimating ice discharge from its outlet glaciers is essential for assessing the mass balance of the region. This study calculates ice discharge from APIS outlet glaciers north of 70°S using five commonly used ice-thickness reconstructions, employing a consistent surface velocity field and flux gates. Results indicate a total volumetric ice discharge ranging from 45 to 141 km3 per year for 2015–2017, with a mean of 87 ± 44 km3 per year. The substantial differences in results highlight the large uncertainty in current ice-discharge estimates, emphasizing the challenge of accurately modeling the ice-thickness distribution in this complex and data-scarce region.


TanDEM-X reveals ice surface elevation change patterns throughout the Antarctic Peninsula

Existing mass budget estimates for the northern Antarctic Peninsula (>70° S) are affected by considerable limitations. We carried out the first region-wide analysis of geodetic mass balances throughout this region (coverage of 96.4 %) for the period 2013–2017 based on repeat pass bi-static TanDEM-X acquisitions. A total mass budget of −24.1±2.8 Gt/a is revealed. Imbalanced high ice discharge, particularly at former ice shelf tributaries, is the main driver of overall ice loss.


Allgemein Outreach

Joint field work of MOCCA members Manuel and Felix to install rock temperature loggers at the study site in Kaunertal

Knowledge about permafrost distribution is critical for the assessment of rock mass stability. By installing rock surface temperature loggers we aim to create a model to explore the distribution of permafrost in the Ötztal Alps. Solar incoming radiation and air temperature are the main drivers of permafrost evolution. Therefore we picked diverse locations in height, aspect and slope for installing the loggers.

The field work took place on a wonderful sunny day on 6th of September 2023. We are happy that everything worked out as planned and we returned home from the mountains in a safe way with good new stories on our shoulders.


Annual workshop of the doctoral programme M3OCCA in Obergurgl

The annual workshop of the International Doctoral College M3OCCA took place this year in September at the University Centre in Obergurgel. The doctoral students presented the current status of their research projects and gave an outlook on upcoming activities. In addition to the report colloquium and organisational discussions, there were topic-specific guest lectures by Prof. Dr. Francisco Navarro (UPM, Madrid), Prof. Dr. Helmut Rott (Uni. Innsbruck & ENVEO), and Dr. Wolfgang Gurgiser (Uni. Innsbruck). The workshop was followed by a two-day excursion to the Vernagtferner. Dr Christoph Meyer from the Bavarian Academy of Science explained to the participants the diverse glacier monitoring programme, which has been carried out for more than 50 years.