The study area comprises two zones both located in the Swiss Alps: (i) the Mattervalley, going up from Visp in the bottom of the Rhonevalley to Zermatt, and (ii) the St. Moritz - Engadine valley area. In the Mattervalley area mainly metamorphic rocks (schists and gniesses) crop out. In the valley there are numerous instable slopes, including some densely populated regions prone to landslides. Many landslides, rockslides, and rock falls are still active and there are high annually costs for the mitigation and countermeasures. Several large landslides are monitored in the study area, allowing an integration of the InSAR technique for hazard assessment. Numerous active rock glaciers (related to the presence of permafrost in the area) common above 2200 to 2500 m a.s.l., are recognized in the Mattervalley, showing an increasing velocity since the 1980s, in response to a significant permafrost warming. Most active rockglaciers are well detectable with ERS, ENVISAT, JERS, ALOS and TERRA SAR interferometry at monthly time lapse, whereas the slowest are only visible at yearly interval. The St. Moritz - Engadine valley area is close to the Piz Bernina in central Alps. In the area Middle and Upper Triassic platform carbonates, mainly dolomites, crop out, overlain by hemipelagic limestone-marl-alternations of Early Jurassic to Early Cretaceous age. The Mesozoic sediments are partly still in contact with the basement, but have also been partly sheared off. Landslides, rock falls and permafrost activities are widespread. Due to climate change, these hazards should be integrated into an inventory and hazard assessment is planned. Satellite and terrestrial SAR interferometry would be an important value added information.
Alpine mountain environment. In the area permafrost is present.
Rockslides, rock falls, debris flows and rock glaciers (related to presence of permafrost)