The EVENT in 2003 was the preparation for the 8th International Conference on Permafrost in July. The main work load was carried out by the University of Zurich, the ETH Zurich and the SLF Davos, but all other Swiss institutes working on permafrost contributed as well.


The first pilot phase of the “Permafrost Monitoring Switzerland (PERMOS)” will come to an end this year. During the second pilot phase (2004–2005) the methodology of the BTS-area part of PERMOS will be improved. The following activities are reported by several institutes:

•The Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) has started a new project to investigate the role of water in the active layer on steep scree slopes in alpine permafrost. Armin Rist is undertaking a Ph.D. in this context to obtain a better understanding of the interactions between water, ground temperature, and slope stability. Two boreholes were drilled in 2002 at Flüela Pass by Martina Lütschg who is monitoring and modelling the permafrost at the foot of a slope cooled by avalanche deposits. After being an editor of the 2003 ICOP proceedings, Marcia Phillips continues to monitor the performance of snow-supporting structures on steep avalanche slopes in creeping permafrost at three high altitude sites, and is involved in a project concerning a chairlift with stability problems. The SLF borehole programme now has a total of 12 boreholes at various sites in the eastern and western Swiss Alps in which ground temperatures and slope stability measurement are made—most of these are included in the PERMOS network.

• Permafrost monitoring on Schilthorn combined with geophysical and meteorological measurements has continued by Christian Hauck (Institute for MeteorMeteorology and Climate Research, University of Karlsruhe), Ingo Völksch (ETH Zurich), Lars Schudel and Martin Hoelzle (University of Zurich).

•At the Glaciology and Geomorphodynamics Group (University of Zurich), a number of permafrost activities are reported:

•On the two rock glaciers Muragl and Murtèl-Corvatsch temperature monitoring and borehole deformation measurements are ongoing within PERMOS. Based on the results of ETH-Mini-Poly project, laboratory experiments are being performed at the Institute for Geotechnical Engineering, ETH Zurich (Sarah Springman, Lukas Arenson).

• As for the past several years, at the Institutes of Geography of the Universities of Lausanne (Christophe Lambiel, Emmanuel Reynard) and Fribourg (Reynald Delaloye, Sébastien Métrailler) permafrost activities continue in close collaboration. The focus remains on the investigation of permafrost conditions on scree slopes, on the Little Ice Age forefields of small glaciers as well as on several rock glaciers, mainly in the western Swiss Alps. Some new sites are being investigated:

Daniel Vonder Mühll (