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Department of Geography

Earth Surface Dynamics and Processes

Improved understanding of earth surface dynamics and processes is central to both reconstructing past change and making future projections. Through our expertise in field measurements, laboratory experiments, remote sensing and numerical modelling we make significant contributions to  understanding the cryosphere, hydrosphere, pedosphere and biosphere, and their interactions with one another - and how human societies impact them.

We develop essential indicators used in monitoring, for example glacier mass change and biodiversity, contribute to policy at multiple temporal and spatial scales, and are experts on earth surface processes in high mountain environments, and from the poles to the tropics.

  • Measuring the displacement of Eqip Sermia Glacier, Greenland <br/> (Picture: A. Vieli)

  • Mapping functional diversity of forests with remote sensing <br/> (Picture: RSL)

  • The role of soil organic carbon in terrestrial feedbacks to global warming: sampling site.

  • Modeled current surface temperatures of the Matterhorn <br/> (Picture: J. Nötzli)

  • Tree rings allow the dating of landscape changes and geomorphic surface dynamics

  • Ablation stake drilling on Tiefengletscher, Switzerland <br/> (Picture: R. Mercenier)

  • Measuring leaf spectral signatures at the top of tropical trees, Malaysia <br/> (Picture: F. Schneider)

Weiterführende Informationen

In this cluster we address questions such as ...

How do glaciers and the water cycle respond to climate change?

How can we extrapolate from vegetation structure to biodiversity?

How can we date landscape changes and geomorphic surfaces?

What are the interactions of vegetation, soil, and the carbon cycle?

How can we understand field observations with numerical modelling?

At which rates are landscape and soils developing and changing?