Title Sensitivity and path dependence of mountain permafrost systems
Author Verleysdonk, S.; Krautblatter, M.; Dikau, R.
Author Affil Verleysdonk, S., University of Bonn, Department of Geography, Bonn, Germany
Source Geografiska Annaler. Series A: Physical Geography, 93(2), p.113-135, . Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell published on behalf of Svenska Saellskapet foer Antropologi och Geografi, Stockholm, Sweden. ISSN: 0435-3676
Publication Date Jun. 2011
Notes In English. 85 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 310325
Index Terms climatic change; geomorphology; permafrost; soils; thermokarst; thermokarst development; Alps--Central Alps; Alps-- Northern Limestone Alps; Austria--Tyrol; Germany--Upper Bavaria Germany; Alps; Austria; Bavaria Germany; Central Alps; Central Europe; climate change; climate effects; deglaciation; Eastern Alps; Europe; factors; Germany; landform evolution; Limestone Alps; Northern Limestone Alps; periglacial environment; processes; rates; sensitivity analysis; theoretical models; Tyrol Austria; Upper Bavaria Germany; Zugspitze
Abstract This article is an attempt to transfer a classical geomorphological concept--the sensitivity concept by Brunsden and Thornes-- onto mountain permafrost systems. Focus is put on the impulses applied on the system and its subsequent response. The system state, the ratio between sensitivity and resistivity, as well as all system components and the external impulses are understood to be variable in space and time. In order to address sensitivity and path dependence in mountain permafrost systems, not only the present system configuration but also their historical development and possible future attractors have to be analysed. Important elements are the system configuration, variable impulses and thresholds, processes and process rates and internal feedbacks. The Zugspitze in the Northern Calcareous Alps at the German/Austrian border is chosen as a test site for the applicability of the sensitivity concept on mountain permafrost systems due to the high quantity of research conducted there and the significant impact of climate change on the periglacial system. Further aspects include the consequences of the Eibsee Bergsturz event in 3700 bp in terms of path dependence and geomorphic response time. With this conceptual approach, we hope (1) to enhance the interlinkage between periglacial geomorphology and other sub-disciplines of geomorphology, (2) to contribute to the strengthening of the conceptual basis of periglacial geomorphology, and, therefore, (3) to strengthen the possibilities for holistic exchange within the cryospheric research community. Abstract Copyright (2011), Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0459.2011.00423.x
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 65007243