Most of the permafrost research in Austria is carried out by the research groups in Innsbruck and in Graz. The Innsbruck group (K. Krainer) is continuing rock glacier monitoring in the western Stubai and Oetztal Alps (hydrogeology, ground temperature, surface velocities). Furthermore investigations on active rock glaciers in South Tyrol (Central Alps and eastern Dolomites) started with similar thematic focus using georadar information.

The Graz group focuses on active rock glaciers in the central Alps of Austria. The Institute of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry (Graz University of Technology) continued annual geodetic measurements on Doesen, Hinteres Langtalkar and Weissenkar rock glaciers and presented a final report on the applicability of differential SAR interferometry using ERS-1/2 data for measuring surface deformation of glaciers and active rock glaciers. In a case study, ground-based photogrammetric methods were used successfully for deriving metric information on surface deformation and flow velocity.

Since 2000 the front of the highly active Hinteres Langtalkar rock glacier has been monitored by terrestrial laser scanning (Riegl LPM-2k Long Range Laser Scanner and the software GeoScanner) by Joanneum Research in order to better understand rock glacier front processes with high temporal and spatial resolution. More recently, studies on geomorphic processes were emphasized to improve our knowledge on processes in the nourishment areas of active rock glaciers.

Beside these activities, research also focuses on lower mountains of eastern Austria. The Niedere Tauern range (Styria) is of particular interest because of widespread occurrence of multi-unit relict rock glaciers, possibly attributed to different stages of the Late-Glacial period. Thus in this mountain area, palaeo-permafrost investigations will give information on permafrost distribution at its spatial limits and on glacial and periglacial landscape evolution.

Gerhard Karl Lieb (gerhard.lieb@uni-graz.at)