Excursions > Local excursion Aiguille du Midi

Aiguille du Midi

27 June + 29 June

Peaking at 3842 m a.s.l. above Chamonix, the Aiguille du Midi is one of the few high-elevated sites worldwide where rockwall permafrost is studied. All year long reachable by cable car (0.9 M tourists per year), rock temperature is monitored since 2005 by surface to 10-m-deep thermistors. This permanent network was completed during the last decade with AWS, automatic cameras for snow cover, ERT surveys, or extensometers for instance.

Combined with temperature sensors and geophysics surveys at other sites in the Mont Blanc massif, the Aiguille du Midi data are used to understand the rock temperature regime in the massif rockwalls, their current permafrost degradation, and its relationship with rockfall occurrence that has increased since the 1990s.

After returning to Chamonix with the cable car, field trip participants will take the one-century old cogwheel train to access the Montenvers (1913 m a.s.l.) and admire the Mer de Glace – the largest French glacier – towered by the iconic Drus. The visit of its famous ice cave that needs to go down and up a staircase with 450 steps will give the opportunity to the participants to realize how much the shrinkage of the glacier has been dramatic since 1990!

For more information, please have a look at the detailled program, and/or contact the responsible of the excursion (Ludovic Ravanel, ludovic.ravanel@univ-smb.fr).




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