Stubacher Sonnblickkees - Austria
Parent Site Name
Stubacher Sonnblickkees (SSK) is located in the Hohe Tauern Range (Eastern Alps) in the south of Salzburg Province (Austria) in the region of Oberpinzgau in the upper Stubach Valley. The glacier is situated at the main Alpine crest and faces east, starting at elevations close to 3050 m and in the 1980s terminated at 2500 m a.s.l. It had an area of 1.7 km² at that time, compared with 1 km² in 2013. The glacier type can be classified as a slope glacier, i.e. the relief is covered by a relatively thin ice sheet and there is no regular glacier tongue. The rough subglacial topography makes for a complex shape in the surface topography, with various concave and convex patterns. Direct yearly mass balance measurements were started in 1963, first for 3 years as part of a thesis project. In 1965 the project was incorporated into the Austrian glacier measurement sites within the International Hydrological Decade (IHD) 1965 - 1974 and was afterwards extended via the International Hydrological Program (IHP) 1975 - 1981. During both periods the main financial support came from the Hydrological Survey of Austria. After 1981 funds were provided by the Hydrological Service of the Federal Government of Salzburg. The research was conducted from 1965 onwards by Heinz Slupetzky from the (former) Department of Geography of the University of Salzburg. Along with the mass balance measurement lenght variations and volumen changes where conducted repeatetly. The SSK was mapped several times on a scale of 1:5000 to 1:10000. Length variations have been measured since 1960 within the OeAV glacier length measurement programme. In recent years, the glacier has disintegrated faster, forced by the formation of a periglacial lake at the glacier terminus and also by the outcrops of rocks (typical for the slope glacier type), which have accelerated the meltdown. The formation of this lake is well documented. The glacier has retreated by some 600 m since 1981. - Since August 2002, a runoff gauge installed by the Hydrographical Service of Salzburg has recorded the discharge of the main part of SSK at the outlet of the new Unterer Eisboden See.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information