Dendrolab.ch
 
 

 

RUFINE – Dendrogeomorphological reconstruction of debris-flow events in torrents and gullies of the Valais Alps

The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Cantonal Department for Traffic, Construction and Environment (Canton of Valais) have commissioned the Dendrolab.ch to reconstruct and analyze past debris-flow activity in 32 torrents and gullies of the Valais Alps over the next six years (2006–2012). In a first stage (10/2006–09/2008), 16 torrents and gullies have been investigated in the main Rhone, Zermatt, Anniviers, Hérémence, and Bagnes valleys . The main goals of the project can be summarized with the following key questions: Where, when and how often did debris flows occur? How much material has been transported during past events and where has it been deposited? How did the frequency of events change in the past? What were the meteorological conditions (precipitation amounts, temperature) during past events? Where can overbank sedimentation and the re-activation of abandoned channels be expected and where did such events occur in the past?

The project „RUFINE “ was launched in fall 2006 and analyses have been undertaken on eight debris-flow cones and gullies. For the moment, a total of nine BSc / MSc students and two research fellows are investigating tree-ring records from disturbed trees at Birchbach, Geisstriftbach, Grosse Grabe, Illgraben, Grosses Wasser, Laggina, Rots Chi and Torrent de Péterey. Results on the past debris-flow activity in these gullies can be found at the respective sites.

 
     
 

Contractors: Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Cantonal Department for Traffic, Construction and Environment (Canton of Valais)

Project duration: October 2006 – November 2014

Project leader: Markus Stoffel

Publications:

Stoffel, M., Mendlik, T., Schneuwly-Bollschweiler, M., Gobiet, A. (2014): Possible impacts of climate change on debris-flow activity in the Swiss Alps. Climatic Change 122, 141–155. [PDF]

Schneuwly, M., Corona, C., Stoffel, M. (2013): How to improve dating quality and reduce noise in tree-ring based debris-flow reconstructions. Quaternary Geochronology 18: 110–118. [PDF]

Stoffel., M., Butler, D.R., Corona, C. (2013): Mass movements and tree rings: A guide to dendrogeomorphic field sampling and dating. Geomorphology 200: 106–120. [PDF]

Toreti, A., Schneuwly-Bollschweiler, M., Stoffel, M., Luterbacher, J. (2013): Atmospheric forcing of debris flows in the southern Swiss Alps. Journalof Applied Meteorology and Climatology 52(7): 1554–1560. [PDF]

Procter E., Stoffel, M., Bollschweiler, M., Neumann M. (2012): Exploring debris-flow history and process dynamics using an integrative approach on a dolomitic cone in western Austria. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 37: 913–922. [PDF]

Schneuwly-Bollschweiler, M., Stoffel, M. (2012): Hydrometeorological triggers of periglacial debris flows – a reconstruction dating back to 1864. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 117: F02033. [PDF]

Stoffel, M., Huggel, C. (2012): Effects of climate change on mass movements in mountain environments. Progress in Physical Geography 36:421–439. [PDF]

Beniston, M., Stoffel, M., Harding, R., Kernan, M., Ludwig, R., Moors, E., Samuels, S., Tockner, K. (2012): Obstacles to data access for research related to climate and water: implications for science and EU policy-making. Environmental Science and Policy 17: 41–48. [PDF]

Stoffel, M., Wilford, D.J. (2012): Hydrogeomorphic processes and vegetation: disturbance, process histories, dependencies and interactions. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 37: 9-22 [PDF]

Bollschweiler, M., Stoffel, M., Schlaeppy, R. (2011): Debris-flood reconstruction in a pre-alpine catchment in Switzerland based on tree-ring analysis of conifers and broadleaved trees. Geografiska Annaler 93:1-15 [PDF]

Stoffel, M., Bollschweiler, M., Beniston, M. (2011): Rainfall characteristics for periglacial debris flows in the Swiss Alps: past incidences – potential future evolutions. Climatic Change 105: 263-280 [PDF]

Stoffel, M., Bollschweiler, M., Widmer, S., Sorg, A. (2010): Spatio-temporal variability in debris-flow activity: a tree-ring study at Geisstriftbach (Swiss Alps) extending back to AD 1736. Swiss Journal of Geosciences 103: 283–292. [PDF]

Lugon, R., Stoffel, M. (2010): Rock-glacier dynamics and magnitude–frequency relations of debris flows in a high-elevation watershed: Ritigraben, Swiss Alps. Global and Planetary Change 73: 202–210. [PDF]

Bollschweiler, M., Stoffel, M. (2010): Tree rings and debris flows: recent developments, future directions. Progress in Physical Geography 34: 625–645. [PDF]

Bollschweiler, M., Stoffel, M. (2010). Changes and trends in debris-flow frequency since AD 1850: Results from the Swiss Alps. The Holocene 20: 907–916. [PDF]

Sorg, A., Bugmann, H., Bollschweiler, M., Stoffel, M. (2010): Debris-flow activity along a torrent in the Swiss Alps: Minimum frequency of events and implications for forest dynamics. Dendrochronologia 28: 215–223. [PDF]

Bollschweiler, M., Stoffel, M. (2010): Variations in debris-flow occurrence in an Alpine catchment – A reconstruction based on tree rings. Global and Planetary Change 73: 186–192. [PDF]

Arbellay, E., Stoffel, M., Bollschweiler, M. (2010): Dendrogeomorphic reconstruction of past debris-flow activity using injured broad-leaved trees. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 35: 399–406. [PDF]

Stoffel, M. (2010): Magnitude-frequency relationships of debris flows – a case study based on field surveys and tree-ring records. Geomorphology. 116: 67–76. [PDF]

Szymczak, S., Bollschweiler, M., Stoffel, M., Dikau, R. (2010): Debris-flow activity and snow avalanches in a steep watershed of the Valais Alps (Switzerland): dendrogeomorphic event reconstruction and identification of triggers. Geomorphology 116: 107-114. [PDF]

Arbellay, E., Stoffel, M., Bollschweiler, M. (2010): Dendrogeomorphic reconstruction of past debris-flow activity using injured broad-leaved trees. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 35: 399–406. [PDF]

Sorg, A., Bugmann, H., Bollschweiler, M., Stoffel, M. (2010): Debris-flow activity along a torrent in the Swiss Alps: Minimum frequency of events and implications for forest dynamics. Dendrochronologia 28: 215–223. [PDF]

Stoffel, M., Bollschweiler (2009): Tree-ring reconstruction of past debris flows based on a small number of samples – possibilities and limitations. Landslides 6: 225–230. [PDF]

Stoffel, M., Bollschweiler, M., Leutwiler, A., Aeby, P. (2008): Large debris-flow events and overbank sedimentation in the Illgraben torrent (Valais Alps, Switzerland). Open Geology Journal 2: 18–29. [PDF]

Stoffel, M., Conus, D., Grichting, M.A., Lièvre, I., Maître, G. (2008): Unraveling the patterns of late Holocene debris-flow activity on a cone in the central Swiss Alps: chronology, environment and implications for the future. Global and Planetary Change 60: 222–234 [PDF].

Stoffel, M., Bollschweiler, M. (2008): Jahrringrekonstruktion vergangener Murgangereignisse und Erkennung künftiger Risiken in 32 Wildbächen der Walliser Alpen (Schweiz). Proceedings 11th Interpraevent Congress 2008, May 26 – 30, 2008. Dornbirn, Austria. Vol. 1 : 513–524. [PDF]

Stoffel, M., Bollschweiler, M. (2007). RUFINE – Dendrogeomorphological reconstruction of past debris-flow activity in torrents and gullies of the Valais Alps. Geophysical Research Abstract 9, 01158. [PDF]

 
Dendrolab.ch