The frozen river - meltwater channels and ponds on a glacier - Gorner Glacier, Swiss Alps

  
  
  
  
  

Eighty-two of 88 glaciers measured in Switzerland between 2007 and 2008 reduced in length, according to scientists at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Although the winter of 2007 was one of the snowiest ever – with many stations reporting record snowfalls – this was cancelled out by a hot summer.
"The measurements confirm once again the ongoing glacial retreat observed over recent years," Andreas Bauder, a glaciologist at the institute, told swissinfo. Bauder, who took part in the study, explained the two types of measurements: length change and mass balance. "We investigated the latest measurements for mass balance – in which one looks at the difference between the accumulation of snow and the melting of the ice – and it more or less reflects the average value of the past ten years," he said. "Length-change information represents the mid- to long term, although it depends on the glacier's size and other factors."
For example, whereas only two glaciers got longer and most shrank by less than 25 metres, the Gorner Glacier, a valley glacier found on the Monte Rosa massif close to Zermatt in western Switzerland, withered by 290 metres.
"The snout [of the Gorner Glacier] was located for a couple of years in a narrow shaded gorge where there wasn't much change," Bauder explained. "The back of the glacier melted more and a hole appeared. Now this remaining ice in the gorge has melted. But in principle this figure represents a trend of the past five to ten years." (Source: swissinfo.ch)

Freshwater Ecoregion of the World : #404 Central & Western Europe
Major Habitat Type: temperate floodplain rivers and wetlands

Stories about the Gorner Glacier with Michel’s images:
Schweizer Familie, 2013  |  Hörzu Wissen, 2014

A musical-visual sequence, including the Gorner Glacier
(QT Movie 09:32) :

wasser.schweiz  |  water.switzerland  |  eau.suisse

  

Under the Surface of Meltwater Lakes and Cryoconite Holes


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Meltwater Lakes


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Meltwater Channels


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Crevasses


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Glacier Portals


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The Glacier


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Panoramas

U22-843 Gornerglacier with Monte Rosa, Dufourspitze, Liskamm and Breithorn (TIFF file size 8392 x 2835 px)
U22-842 Gornerglacier with Monte Rosa, Dufourspitze, Liskamm, Castor, Pollux and Breithorn (TIFF file size 9923 x 2781 px)
U22-841 Gornerglacier with Monte Rosa, Dufourspitze, Liskamm, Castor, Pollux and Breithorn (TIFF file size 12539 x 3163 px)
U22-840 Gornerglacier with Monte Rosa, Dufourspitze, Liskamm, Castor, Pollux and Breithorn (TIFF file size 7891 x 3094 px)
U22-501 Gornerglacier with Monte Rosa, Dufourspitze, Liskamm, Castor, Pollux and Breithorn
U22-569 Gornerglacier with Monte Rosa, Dufourspitze, Liskamm and Breithorn
U22-568 Gornerglacier with Monte Rosa and Breithorn
U22-502 Gornerglacier
U22-503 Gornerglacier with meltwater channels
U22-504 Gornerglacier
U22-570 Gornerglacier with meltwater channels
U22-659 Gornerglacier with Dufourspitze, Liskamm, Castor, Pollux and Breithorn
U22-660 Gornerglacier with Monte Rosa, Dufourspitze, Liskamm, Castor and Pollux
U22-661 Gornerglacier with Monte Rosa, Dufourspitze, Liskamm, Castor and Pollux
Surrounding Landscapes

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Gornera river gorge

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Gornera river gorge

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Gornera river gorge

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The Animals

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Another Day at the Office

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All Photographs Copyright 2013© Michel Roggo