Climate sensitivity of glacial landscape dynamics

The European Research Council (ERC) has recently awarded Dirk Scherler with a Starting Grant, to finance the research project “Climate sensitivity of glacial landscape dynamics (COLD)”. In this project, Scherler aims to quantify how erosion rates in glacial landscapes vary with climate change and how such changes affect the dynamics of mountain glaciers. The project will focus on the erosion of ice-free hillslopes, which are abundant in steep mountain ranges, like the European Alps or the Himalaya. Debris that is supplied from such hillslopes ends up covering glacier surfaces where it impedes ice melting. The response of debris-covered glaciers to climate changes therefore depends in part on how these hillslopes respond to climate change. Together with 3 PhD students  and one Postdoc researcher, D. Scherler will combine cosmogenic nuclide analysis, numerical modelling, and planetary-scale remote sensing to gauge the temperature-sensitivity of hillslope erosion rates in glacial landscapes. The 5-year project shall start in January 2018.


Scherler, D., Egholm, D.L. (2020): Production and transport of supraglacial debris: Insights from cosmogenic 10Be and numerical modeling, Chhota Shigri Glacier, Indian Himalaya. Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface, vol. 125, e2020JF005586, doi:10.1029/2020JF005586.

Scherler, D., Wulf, H., Gorelick, N. (2018): Global assessment of supraglacial debris cover extents. Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 45, p. 11,798-11,805, doi:10.1029/2018GL080158.

Anderson, L.S., William H. Armstrong, Robert S. Anderson, Dirk Scherler, Eric Petersen: The causes of debris-covered glacier thinning: evidence for the importance of ice dynamics from Kennicott Glacier, Alaska Front. Earth Sci. | doi: 10.3389/feart.2021.680995

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