Northern Side of the Alps

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it’s a project of the “Inside The Glaciers” dedicated, in 2021, to carry out their investigations on various glaciers of the Valais Canton (CH).

The impact of climate change is particularly noticeable in the Alps due to its effects on glaciers and permafrost. The last few years have seen an increase in the number of landslides, debris flows and other collapses directly linked to the consequences of the melting of ice masses and normally frozen rocky areas. These geophysical phenomena can and will, at least in part, call into question certain human activities in the high alpine valleys as well as local urbanization. Beyond the ecological problems which are already dramatic in themselves, the consequences caused by these events are also economic and political. It is therefore vital to closely monitor the state of these glaciers and their evolution. Due to the large amount of glacial expanses present in its massifs, Vallis, located in the heart of the Alps, is a territory particularly suitable for the study of alpine glaciers.
It is for this reason that the organizers of the Inside The Glaciers project decided this year to carry out their investigations on various glaciers of the area.

Carry out glaciological surveys on glaciers and in contact caves where the simultaneous presence of water and air flow has a significant impact on the process of ice melting and collapse from the inside of the glaciers.

Perform samples of bacteria present on glaciers as well as in cavities in order to establish connections between these different groups. 

Take samples in order to study mineral interactions / extremophilic microorganisms, verify the presence of pollutants (organic elements, heavy metals, nano-particles and micro-plastics) and study the resistance of these extremophilic microorganisms in the presence of these pollutants. 

Explore endoglacial cavities in order to better understand endoglacial hydrology. 

This project will take place over a period from August to November 2021 in the Swiss Alps, more precisely in the canton of Valais, according to a traveling route that will allow you to explore and study from inside and outside the following glaciers: