UNESCO World Heritage Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch Data Center
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Entry no. 36549
Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in the Valaisian Alps
Research Project The reconstruction of holocene glacier fluctuations are achieved using several methods. Written and pictorial historical records such as drawings, paintings, engravings and photographs are interpreted. The radiocarbondating of fossil soils and wood from glacier forefields indicate glacier advance and retreat periods. The dendrochronological analysis of some of these fossil woods give absolute dates if they fit within known absolute dated tree-ring chronologies. These investigations are necessary to find the range of glacier fluctuations during the last 10,000 years - the maximum and minimum extensions during holocene advance and retreat periods. Furthermore, this investigation also shows how far the modern accelerated retreat period of the alpine glaciers is unusual as compared to earlier retreat periods. A further aim of the dendrochronological analysis of larch and alpine stone pine trees found at the alpine timberline is to establish long tree-ring width chronologies as a base for dating fossil wood found in glacier forefields. These tree-ring records will also be used to reconstruct the mean June/July temperatures at high altitudes in the Swiss Alps.
Glacier and lake-level variations in west-central Europe over the last 3500 years
HOLZHAUSER, Hanspeter, MAGNY, Michel, ZUMBÜHL, Heinz Jürg
Fluctuations of the Grosser Aletsch Glacier and the Gorner Glacier during the last 3200 years: new results
To the history of the Lower Grindelwald Glacier during the last 2800 years - palaeosols, fossil wood and historical pictorial records - new results
Holzhauser, H. and Zumbühl, H.J.