Glacier Hazards: Online-database on historical glacier disasters
Entry ID: UNIZH_GLACIER_HAZARDS

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Summary
Abstract: The online Glacier Hazards database available from the University of Zurich is
available in german only. Information on historical and recent catastrophic
events can be retrieved according to various search criteria. The events are
primarily sorted by the name of the glacier involved. Particular time periods,
geographic locations, or process magnitudes can be specified as additional
search criteria. The database can be searched for specific terms as well. The
search results are displayed on-screen and can be downloaded as csv-text files.

Background of the database:

The database on historical glacier catastrophes has been compiled on the basis
of a variety of sources. The main source were the regular reports on the
fluctuations of Swiss glaciers, formerly known as 'Les Variations périodiques
des Glaciers Suisses'. Summaries are published annually in 'Die Alpen' (Journal
of the Swiss Alpine Club) as well. Other sources frequently used were ancient
records and chronicles, newspaper articles and reports from scientific studies.
Since the mid-1980es, short reports from various parts of the world on glacier
hazards were compiled by the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS in the
volumes 'Fluctuations of Glaciers', ICSI/IAHS/UNEP/UNESCO 1988, 1993, 1998).
Scientifically (and glaciologically) correct interpretation of historical
sources such as records by local, non-scientifically trained people can be a
major challenge and requires sufficient experience in glaciology and history.
In fact, this is a problem that has occasionally emerged when historical
sources have been analyzed in natural sciences.

When transforming the information thus collected into a digital database an
appropriate structure must be found. It should satisfy the requirements of easy
extraction of information and of continuous updating. In the present case,
instructions by the Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape
(Buwal, Heiniman et al., 1998) on building up a database on historical hazards
('Ereigniskataster' = event register) were taken into account. The name of the
glacier represents the key attribute. According to the processes involved, a
classification into different events is then made. Further attributes are event
coordinates and date, impact/damage, mitigation measures, sources and a set of
numerical parameters such as water volume and peak discharge of lake outbursts
or break-off volume of ice avalanches.

The variety of sources and of the degree of information on different events
implies a relatively high variation in the database with respect to the
quantity in each category.

Related URL
Link: GET DATA
Description: Online Glacier Hazards database available in German only.


Link: VIEW RELATED INFORMATION
Description: Analysis of Glacier Hazard Potentials By Knowledge-Based Remote Sensing Fusion for GIS Modeling.


Geographic Coverage
 N: 90.0 S: -90.0  E: 180.0  W: -180.0

Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Andreas Kaab and Wilfried Haeberli
Dataset Release Place: Switzerland
Dataset Publisher: University of Zurich
Data Presentation Form: database
Online Resource: http://www.glacierhazards.ch/


Location Keywords
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > GLOBAL


Science Keywords
CRYOSPHERE >SNOW/ICE >AVALANCHE    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIERS    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >ICE SHEETS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >SNOW/ICE >AVALANCHE    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIERS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >ICE SHEETS    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >TOPOGRAPHY >TERRAIN ELEVATION >TOPOGRAPHICAL RELIEF MAPS    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >TOPOGRAPHY >SURFACE ROUGHNESS    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >TOPOGRAPHY >TERRAIN ELEVATION    [Definition]
LAND SURFACE >TOPOGRAPHY >TOPOGRAPHIC EFFECTS    [Definition]
SPECTRAL/ENGINEERING >INFRARED WAVELENGTHS >INFRARED IMAGERY    [Definition]
SPECTRAL/ENGINEERING >VISIBLE WAVELENGTHS >VISIBLE IMAGERY    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >ICEBERGS    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIER THICKNESS/ICE SHEET THICKNESS    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIER TOPOGRAPHY/ICE SHEET TOPOGRAPHY    [Definition]
CRYOSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIER MOTION/ICE SHEET MOTION    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >ICEBERGS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIER THICKNESS/ICE SHEET THICKNESS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIER TOPOGRAPHY/ICE SHEET TOPOGRAPHY    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >GLACIERS/ICE SHEETS >GLACIER MOTION/ICE SHEET MOTION    [Definition]
HUMAN DIMENSIONS >NATURAL HAZARDS >SEVERE STORMS    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
CLIMATOLOGY/METEOROLOGY/ATMOSPHERE
ELEVATION


Keywords
GIS
Geographic Information Systems
Glaciers
Glacier Hazards
Avalanches
Ice Avalanches
Debris Flow


Data Set Progress
COMPLETE


Originating Center
University of Zurich


Data Center
Department of Geography, University of Zurich Switzerland    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://www.geo.unizh.ch/

Data Center Personnel
Name: PROF. WILFRIED HAEBERLI
Phone: + 41 - 1 - 635 51 20
Fax: + 41 - 1 - 635 68 48
Email: haeberli at geo.unizh.ch
Contact Address:
Physical Geography Division
Department of Geography
Room 25 K 64
University of Zurich - Irchel
Winterthurerstr. 190
City: Zurich
Postal Code: CH-8057
Country: Switzerland



Distribution
Distribution_Media: Online
Fees: No fees


Personnel
TYLER B. STEVENS
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: (301) 614-6898
Fax: 301-614-5268
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at nasa.gov
Contact Address:
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Global Change Master Directory
City: Greenbelt
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Country: USA


ANDREAS KAEAEB
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: 41 1 6355146
Fax: 41 1 635 6848
Email: kaeaeb at geo.unizh.ch
Contact Address:
University of Zurich-Irchel
Department of Geography, Physical Geography Division
Winterthurerstr. 190
City: Zurich
Postal Code: CH-8057
Country: Switzerland


PROF. WILFRIED HAEBERLI
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: + 41 - 1 - 635 51 20
Fax: + 41 - 1 - 635 68 48
Email: haeberli at geo.unizh.ch
Contact Address:
Physical Geography Division
Department of Geography
Room 25 K 64
University of Zurich - Irchel
Winterthurerstr. 190
City: Zurich
Postal Code: CH-8057
Country: Switzerland



Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2005-01-24
Last DIF Revision Date: 2013-01-24

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