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Dangerous and invisible: water pockets in Alpine glaciers (DIWING)


Glacier water pockets (GWPs) are elusive bodies of liquid water that can form within glaciers. The term is most often used in conjunction with glacier floods, which can happen when GWPs suddenly release their waters (so-called "GWP-ruptures"). Being invisible from the surface and very difficult to detect, GWPs pose a real hazard for the areas downstream. This project sets out to fundamentally advance our understanding of GWPs, and to answer some long-standing questions including: How often do GPW-ruptures occur and what are the magnitudes of the related floods? Which morpho-climatic factors determine the presence of GWPs? How can the locations of GWPs be determined, and which morphologies do they have? Which mechanisms control the temporal evolution of GWPs, and can their ruptures be predicted?