Support 2020

Patricia Hug / Departement of Earth Science / ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Holocene rock avalanches and evolution of the polygenic Frébouze cone, Val Ferret Mont Blanc Massif

The Mont Blanc Massif presents a striking, glacially scoured high-relief topography; when combined with steep slopes and fractured rock walls, high rates of gravitational movements, such as rock avalanches, are inevitable. The focus of my MSc thesis is on deciphering the evolution of the Frébouze polygenic cone in the Italian part of the Val Ferret. The cone is built-up of rock avalanche and debris flow material, glacial sediments, but also debris delivered by ice, snow avalanches and rockfalls. To identify the evolution, several landscape reconstruction tools are combined.

I’m very grateful for the cost contribution of CH-QUAT which supported me with the costs of the ten days lasting fieldwork in August. During this time, detailed geomorphological mapping and sedimental description were performed. Furthermore, drone images were taken in order to get a high resolution orthophoto and DEM for additional mapping. Finally, samples were taken on different geomorphological features (debris flows, moraines, rock avalanche) and are dated with cosmogenic radionuclides in autumn 2020 to get a deeper insight in the temporal evolution of the cone. Later, the rock avalanche will be modelled using Dan3D runout modelling to compare possible release areas to the distribution of the rock avalanche deposits.

Patricia Hug
Patricia Hug

P. Hug
P. HugImage : P.Deline & N. Akçar

Adeline Cojean / Biogeochemistry, Center for Hydrogeology and Geothermics (CHYN)/ University of Neuchatel, Switzerland

My project consists of investigating the different pockmark systems (e.g. crater-like depressions formed by upward transport of fluid through the unconsolidated sediment column) located in Lake Thun, Switzerland. In contrast to the marine realm, pockmark systems in lakes are much less investigated. By using a multidisciplinary approach (sedimentology, geology, biogeochemistry, and microbiology), we aimed to better understand the mechanism of formation of these pockmarks and quantify their potential influence on the lake hydrological and biogeochemical budget.

The financial support from CH-QUAT allowed me to participate in a 2-day conference (“Pockmarks et Ecosystèmes Benthiques”, Paris) specialized on pockmarks. During this conference, I have presented my research in front of many researchers from different fields, as well as participated in workshops during which we brought together our knowledge to identify the proxies that can be used to investigate pockmarks in marine and lacustrine environments. Thanks to the CH-QUAT and this conference, I have received relevant inputs that will be useful to develop my project further.

Adeline Cojean

A. Cojean
A. CojeanImage : J. Venetz & A. Cojean