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Summary of Proposal HYD0289

TitleGlacier dynamics and environmental disasters in the Tien-Shan mountain range
Investigator Kaufmann, Hermann - GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Geodesy and Remote Sensing
Team Member
Prof. Dr. Hellwich, O. - Berlin University of Technology, Computer Vision & Remote Sensing
Zubovich, Alexander - Central Asian Institute for Applied Geoscience,
SummaryOne natural laboratory for strong geo-hazard events is located in the Central Asia Region (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan). It is affected by the ongoing collision of the Indian sub-continent with southern Eurasia. In the area of convergence between the two continental plates rapid bedrock uplift has been leading to the formation of the Earth's largest mountain belts (Himalaya, Pamir, Tien-Shan). Active mountain building is associated with the frequent occurrence of extreme natural processes such as earthquakes, hang-slides, floods and avalanches. These processes often interfere with each other and thus, represent multiple natural hazards to inhabitants and infrastructure of mountainous areas and their vicinities. The thematic focus of the proposed project is the analysis of glacier dynamics in the Kirghiz part of the Tien-Shan mountain range, and the identification of imminent landslides in surrounding areas. Both processes represent a constant threat to the local population: they regularly cause considerable damage to infrastructure (glacier breakage) and lead to the loss of human life (landslides). Data requirements are especially a continuous imaging in standard stripmap mode, at regular intervals and over a long period, of the glacier systems and its surroundings. Additionally, one small area of interest (Merzbacher lake) has to be imaged, with the fastest possible repeat cycle during its high activity phases in summer, in high-resolution spotlight mode. The research is mainly funded by internal resources of TU Berlin, GFZ and CAIAG, which have a substantial interest in the described field. Additionally, fundings include one approved DAAD scholarship for a PhD position (3 years), and requested DFG fundings for a Postdoc position (2 years).

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