Cold scree slopes, dwarf spruces and climate: Dreveneuse, Valais

The study of air circulation in loose sediments (scree slopes and rock glaciers) is still very young. As a result, long-term measurements do not exist which would document the temporal evolution of these environments. It is therefore the aim of this study to apply dendroecological and dendrogeomorphological methods for the analysis of dwarf Norway spruce trees located at the foot of a scree slope and at the front of a fossil rock glacier. At both locations, trees are exposed to cold air fluxes from the soil and it is hoped that growth differences between the disturbed and nearby reference spruce trees will provide data on the functioning and potential changes in the ventilation system. In a further step, tree-ring data will be compared with meteorological and snow height data in order to understand the mechanisms of tree growth and changes in the behavior of ventilation in these cold environments with time.


Project leader: Institut de Géographie de l’Université de Lausanne (UNIL)

Project duration: July 2007 – January 2008

Contact : Christophe Lambiel, Markus Stoffel