Presentation of the Swiss Young Geomorphologists
Created at the annual meeting of the SGmS 2009 in Olivone, the Swiss Young Geomorphologists Section aims to promote, enhance and exchange geomorphological knowledge between young researchers (BSc-, MSc- and PhD-students and PostDocs) working in the field of geomorphology or in areas close to it (interdisciplinarity).
Its committee is responsible for networking and organizing activities for young Swiss geomorphologists. Exchanges with similar groups from other alpine countries are also foreseen. These activities are intended to be an informal discussion platform in the form of excursions, scientific workshops or social events. The last main objective is to discover the diversity of the regional geomorphology of Switzerland.
- Julie Wee, University of Fribourg
- Jonathan Bussard, University of Lausanne
- Chantal Del Siro, SUPSI
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The Young Geomorphologists’ 2022 summer excursion took place in the Saas Valley over two days and was attended by fourteen participants from the universities of Fribourg, Basel, Lausanne and Bern. The aim of the excursion was to give an overview of the periglacial and glacial geomorphology, to discuss the impacts of the tremendously dry and warm summer 2022 on the landscape and to go back in time and trace the research done on the historical site of Gruben.
For detailed information and pictures see the report.
The Young Geomorphologists’ 2022 winter excursion took place in Fribourg on a one-day trip. The aim of the excursion was to give some insight on the application of the fields of geomorphology and geology for society from the perspective of different stakeholders.
Fourteen young geomorphologists from Fribourg, Lausanne and Zurich participated to the excursion. Three geologists and engineers from the company Geotest AG (Nina Backman, Kaspar Graf and Pierre Dalban) and the project manager for natural hazards of the City of Fribourg (Dario Carrea) accompanied us during the day and gave numerous explanations on the monitoring and management of unstable slopes in an urban and peri-urban context. For detailed information and pictures see the report.
The 2021 Young Geomorphologists' end of summer excursion (16-17.09.2021) took place in the Arolla Valley in the Valais canton. The aim of this excursion was to explore and discuss the glacial and periglacial landscape above Arolla by visiting the Tsijiore Nouve glacier and the Petit Mont Rouge talus slope on the first day. The second day was dedicated to discussions on the effects of climate change on the evolution of mountaineering routes in the Alps.
Eleven young geomorphologists from Fribourg, Lausanne and Zurich participated to the excursion, as well as two guest speakers, Dr. Christophe Lambiel and Dr. Jacques Mourey. For detailed information and pictures see the report.
The 2020 Young Geomorphologists' autumn excursion (10-11.10.2020) took place in the Réchy Valley in the Valais canton. The aim of this excursion was to explore and discuss the periglacial landscape of the Réchy Valley by visiting the Becs-de-Bosson rock glacier and the Lona push-moraine. Moreover, with PERMOS celebrating its 20th anniversary, we wanted to take this opportunity to present and discuss permafrost monitoring in the Swiss Alps, with the Becs-de-Bosson rock glacier being part of the kinematic section of PERMOS.
Seven young geomorphologists from Fribourg, Lausanne and Zurich participated at the excursion. For detailed information and pictures see the report.
The 2019 Young Geomorphologist’s summer excursion (06-08/09/2019) took place in the Basodino area in the Ticino canton. The aim of this multi-disciplinary excursion was to visit, identify and discuss the Sentiero Glaciologico del Basodino looking at the traces of the glacier, the karstic processes, the Lago Nero area and the monitoring about water and permafrost carried out in the basin. Eight young geomorphologists from Lugano and Lausanne participated at the excursion. For detailed information and pictures see the report.
The 2019 Young Geomorphologist’s winter excursion (15-16/02/2019) took place between Brig and the Simplon Pass in the Valais canton. The aim of the first day was to explore the hydrological hazards of the Saltina river, crossing the center of Brig, and to have a look at the special bridge constructed to avoid floods in the city. During the second day, we had a sunny snowshoes hike in the Simplon Pass region, up to the Staldhorn pick. Nine young geomorphologists from Zürich, Lausanne and Fribourg participated at the excursion. For detailed information and pictures see the report.
In October 2018 the Young Geomorphologists visited Zurich. During a tour through the museum focusTerra we experienced earthquakes in the simulator and discussed Alpine geology, glacial retreat, and the surface morphology of the Zurich area. After a walk through the city (and its hidden underground) we enjoyed dinner and drinks in the Niederdorf. During the second day we followed up with the discussions of Friday and looked at Molasse deposition and erosion during a hike up to Uetliberg. Young geomorphologist Sascha Winterberg gave an introduction to Alpine orogenesis, the Molasse Basin, and its erosional features at the slopes of Uetliberg.And he showed results from his own study of the river incision pattern. The group had seven participants and additional local YG-members who joined us for the hike. Even though the members were of different academic levels, Sascha’s explanations allowed everyone to participate in very lively discussions. For detailed information and pictures see the report.
Winter Excursion for the Swiss Young Geomorphologists to Schwarzsee/Lac Noir on Saturday 24th February 2018
The 2017 Young Geomorphologist’s excursion (02/09/2017) took place in the Mattertal between Herbriggen and Randa in the Valais canton. The aim of the excursion was to visit, identify and discuss both the main sediment sources in the upper parts of the torrential catchments, and the mitigation measures and infrastructures concerning debris flow hazards in the valley bottom. The group composed by seven participants visited in the morning the channels of the Grosse Grabe and the Bielzug catchments, as well as the protection infrastructures near Herbriggen. Then in afternoon the group moved to Randa up to the Hangebrücke to observe the whole catchment area of the Dorfbach torrent, and especially the chaine of sediment transfer processes characterizing the Grabengufer area. For detailed information and pictures see the report.
The 2016 Young Geomorphologist's activity (1./2.10.2016) took place in the region of Les Diablerets / Sanetsch around the cantonal borders of Bern, Vaud and Vallais. Organized and conducted by Mario Kummert of the physical geography group of the university of Fribourg, eight students and alumni of different parts of switzerland explored a high alpine landscape. After an introduction about the regional geology, the group crossed the Tsanfleuron glacier. During the second day lateglacial glacier retreat and associated dynamic landforms, such as hummocky moraines, dropstones and deposits from an ice-dammed lake at various stops were seen and discussed with the participants. For detailed information and pictures see the attached report.
The Young Geomorphologist's activity 2015 was organized by the Geomorphology and Risk group of the Universty of Berne to the Gelmersee & Triftgebiet (BE) from October 8-9, 2015. They visited the Gelmersee where the were introduced to the geology of the Grimsel region. After an underground visit of the Grimsel reservoir the 15 participants learned more about the current research on debris-flow activies in the Spreitloui near Guttannen. The second day was spent in the Trift region, discussing glacier retreat, geomorphological and geological aspects and in terms of futur hydropower projects in the area, also social and economic topics.
The excursion organized by the Young Geomorphologists to Grindelwald in the framework of the EGEA Western Regional Congress 2014 took place on May 5, 2014. 21 participants from Switzerland and abroad were informed about geomorphological processes, natural hazards and adaption strategies of an alpine community.
The Second Meeting of the Young Swiss Geomorphologists took place from 14 to 16 September 2012 in the region of the project Parc Adula (Ticino/Grisons).
The First Meeting of the Young Swiss Geomorphologists was held from 10 to 12 September 2010 in the region of the Regional Natural Park (NRP) Pfyn-Finges (central Valais). During these 3 days, the integrative tool of land management that is a NRP, regional history, landscape management and natural hazards were discussed with local experts. Field trips focused on the periglacial and glacial forms in the wild Turtmann valley, as well as on the torrential system of Illgraben.